Just An Image

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day 13

Just An Image

What does one say
of an image like this,
presented as a gift
filled with a lifetime
of meanings?

Memories explode
like wings unfolded
with fierce focus
of singular intent
and purpose.

Gentle hands that
reach to embrace
wild trust surrendered
in willing act
of acceptance.

Twenty years later:
I am once again
swamped by feelings
and completely

Elizabeth Crawford 4/13/2019

Process Notes: Yesterday, I went looking for a book on one of the many book shelves, here in my office. Was drawn to a manila envelope standing against its end wall. Opened it up to find this sketch, done over twenty years ago. She suffered with Multiple Personality Disorder and it was one of her alters who had come to me asking if I could show him how to draw hands. Something I was very awkward at doing. I showed him what I knew and then got out an instruction book on how to draw certain things. He took it and several days later brought me this sketch, telling me it was about our relationship. It was she who had shown me how to find the hawks that populate much of this region, and spent untold hours as we tried to get a photo, most of which were no more than black dots against endless blue sky. Later, when I was teaching, many of my students thought I called them to me simply by being present to the moment. Many years later, long after she left my household, she sent me a photograph, taken in her backyard.

Photograph by J.G.

When I came on this morning, as is my new habit, I went in search of an image for inspiration. And immediately found that sketch. Although the hawk is my totem, a spiritual messenger come to guide and teach, for the first time, as I wrote the poem, I realized that sometimes ones totem animal might come in a human form. 

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: https://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to Just An Image

  1. neil reid says:

    an amazing drawing, certainly Elizabeth. impressed. gotta sit with your poem more, get more clear about what I read. thanks.


  2. Marianne says:

    A remarkable drawing, Elizabeth, and your words are a perfect compliment. I’m wondering about this story. So many questions. Were you a psychologist, treating this woman? It must have been so difficult to help her. I’ll never forget watching the movie, Sybil, starring Sally Fields, years ago. I’d never really been aware of this mental disorder before.

    Oh, Marianne, it is a long and complicated story. No, I wasn’t a psychologist. Just another student in college, working as an advocate at the newly created Women’s Center there. I made friends with her but her perp. was stalking her and she needed a safe place, so I took her home. She lived with me and my two youngest daughters for ten years. I had about the same amount of knowledge as you. But, I also had created my Personal Mythology by then. And, I believe because of that, about a year and half later, together we discovered the MPD. And you best believe, that after we did that, I read everything I could get my hands on, in order to help her. She graduated a year after I did. And went on to get a degree to do Paralegal work.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pamela says:

    I love your poem and that drawing is fascinating.


    I’ve always thought it was, Pamela. It was stolen for a time and I never thought I’d get it back. Might be some of the reason why it is so important to me.



  4. The drawing is amazing….the caring, sheltering hands, the “wild trust surrendered”. Memories. The stories at the center of our hearts.

    Yes Sherry, exactly. She trusted me as no one ever had.



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