Snow on the browser has ceased for the winter, but here in Amherst snow and wind are “Like Brooms of Steel”.  This poem by Emily Dickinson not only mirrors New England weather conditions.  Also, questions come to mind because the poem reminds me of truth I would rather not accept.

Like Brooms of Steel
The Snow and Wind
Had swept the Winter Street –
The House was hooked
The Sun sent out
Faint Deputies of Heat –
Where rode the Bird
The Silence tied
His ample – plodding Steed
The Apple in the Cellar snug
Was all the one that played

At various times people I love have tried to convince me of their truths, and I them. These attempts at persuasion became the basis of conflicts between us, leaving communication frozen. Like medieval servants fastening shutters on manor house windows to defend against “The Snow and Wind”, we each became “The House was hooked”.

Our love is real, but intellectual conflicts, diverse ambitions and emotion-ridden mysteries rule outcomes. Attempts to bring confrontations out in the open where grievances can be aired, “The Sun sent out / Faint Deputies of Heat —” seldom suffice.

I have resolved that much of my discomfort is due to conflicts within my own person. “Where rode the Bird” of honesty, tolerance, acceptance, “(t)he Silence tied / His ample — plodding Steed”. The silent oblivion of abusing alcohol, food, sex, work, or becoming tied in obsessive relationships can seem to work for awhile to keep the sun away and truth at bay.

Learning to distinguish between honest differences and power plays has diffused much anxiety about how to relate to people I love who seem at odds with me. A few relationships that caused me outrageous confusion in my young years are now a bit like “The Apple in the Cellar snug”. I can now recall without fear, or impulse to retaliate out of hurt, aspects of their personalities I am free to love. A contented relationship between myself and myself, or between another and me, “Was all the one that played”.

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way

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