Smooth Whorls; a Poem for Breaking Down Walls

by Hilary Horn

By Talitha Fraser

I have been living in intentional  community with refugees and asylum seekers since 2012.  You know you’ll  learn a lot from such an experience but what is more subtle is the unlearning… sometimes you need to deconstruct and reform your ideas of what hospitality is, what values are and how that can influence what you thought was black and white or ‘right’… like my ideal of recycling furniture secondhand next to the future you’ve dreamed of and risked so much for to having the first new furniture you’ve ever owned and chosen for yourself that comes from Kmart.  The commitment isn’t to knowing one truest truth or having one answer but committing to a way of living lightly, into answers that might always change. This poem tries to capture some of how hard that work can be but affirm also how worthwhile it is to do.  It is in our breaking we are Made.  I wish that everyone could know that it’s those moments we feel most broken that most inform out Becoming.

Smooth whorls of wood
warm under my fingers.
It is in my making I am Made
but the first step is to become undone.
How then can I begrudge you
    your moment of unravelling?
Natural and needed.
Evolution wasn’t a thing that happened once.
It’s happening now.
It’s happening.
Feel it.
Feel all of it. The fear, the wonder,
    the breathless uncertainty.
Which way will it fall?
That’s a helpful trick… distancing.
The thing that’s falling is you
but free fall, is free form, is be born.
A labour and a life, hard won.
Not fun, but necessary, never done.
Take that step.
And the next.
And the one after that.

The steps, the text of your story, I want to read.
And walk.


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