Disability corners me
twixt two directions –
the hurried rush
of ambition’s call
and the gentle nudge
of wisdom settling

Confined to four rooms
I am distanced from –
invisible to –
the weekend warriors
whose self-satisfied grimaces
race by my window

I remember that push –
not enough hours to the day
not enough money to succeed
never thin enough, fit enough
always grasping for more…

Legless and exhausted,
I am disqualified
from competing,
immersed in retrospection,
luxuriating in perspective –

I’ve always had, indeed,
continue to have
everything I need:
a home I can navigate,
the endless beauty of nature
and the care of loved ones.

Abundance, I’ve discovered, is attitude:
recognition and acceptance
that life is sufficiency

(I’ve derived this poem from a post by the same name, dated October 2014.
At the time, I was five months into the losses that were Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Image my own)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

33 thoughts on “Sufficiency”

  1. Oh, VJ, I love this poem. The first stanza grabbed me. Then the third stanza hit me in the face – yes, I remember those days. And now I’m disqualified from competing, and I love not competing. It is truly a blessing. Thank you so much for this poem, VJ. It makes my heart sing. I feel very much a closeness to you.

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  2. Such an affective poem, it digs deep into my emotions. And reminds me of the struggles I can only imagine you’re going through with that, even revisiting is traumatic at times. I have journeyed with friends going through ME and it is utterly awful just to observe.

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  3. Oh, wow. I was “blown away” by this image [seeing a tattered-by-wind autumn leaf thrust forward from its forest … after reading your poem, I’d say “blown out of”.] Your words describe your ME experience but also capture a slower-yet-equally-unfixable condition of aging … of no longer being able to do the many things once taken for granted … of accepting and coping with pains, coming through the transition (not speedy!) with a sense of abundance.
    Maybe life’s way of forcing us to immerse in retrospection, luxuriate in perspective? And write WOW poems!?

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    1. Thanks Jazz. Your words remind me of the time I had a breakdown, which I later rephrased as a breakthrough. It’s all perspective isn’t it? And yes, aging comes with the same challenges.

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