Happy Birthday, Colleen J. McElroy
Today is Colleen’s birthday. I want to refer you to my History Link article about Colleen, and to her essay in English Matters (Spring 2011) about post-retirement travels. And to share a poem from her latest book, Here I Throw Down My Heart (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2012):
Crossing the Rubicon at Seventy
we do not know the name
of the river that roils
beneath us until we arrive
at its shores — until we give
reason to pass along or stay
there where waters sound
like uncut jewels swirling
in a tide pool — until the little
boats we’ve made fold like kites
in a storm — until we’ve come
to that point where turning mid-
stream is outside reason and staying
lays sour on the tongue — know
you have shaped a raft before
floating with the current toward
another long day’s journey — know
you have yet another reason
to reinvent yourself before
you take the last route home
Love this poem, she spoke right to me, as if she’s part of my world this month. Thanks for posting, Bethany!
Teri — so glad the poem resonated with you. Colleen’s travels and sense of herself in a unfamiliar geographies is an inspiration to me, too.
The poem is lovely and so is the author – reinventing ourselves means always changing and learning and having time to do so – Our speaker at church today had the sermon title “Falling into Grace.” She is turning 65 this month. She is Judy from Las Vegas and rides a Harley. She is full of life and wears a lot of bling. I wore a necklace today just cause she likes bling. She married two bikers in Las Vegas last night – Halloween night, she asked them where they wanted to be married, the only place was the biker’s club. Judy told them to turn off their bikes and turn off that profane music, and get away from the bar. And 65 bikers in Halloween costumes behaved and made a sanctuary. Her alter was in front of the pole, but the pole dancer was not performing.
What a great wedding story! Colleen would appreciate it 🙂
Although I came upon this site more than a year later, indeed I enjoyed the wedding story. The miracle is that we can make the ordinary extraordinary.