The Way it is

The Way It Is
By William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow.  It goes among

Things that change.  But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die: and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

My thanks to Karen Jackson, Ed.D, a wonderful facilitator, for introducing me to this and many other great poems in the Circles of Trust™ program, an eight month training I attended last year on  Parker Palmer’s Clearness Committee process.  This process and the women in my committee gave me the clarity and courage to launch the Luminous Woman Weekend, which ties together everything I have learned thus far about being a woman.  Karen’s commitment to helping people connect role and soul springs from her own life experiences and the profound work of Parker Palmer, who encourages us to live undivided lives.  She can be reached at

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