January 2007

Gloom and darkness pervade
Water falls from the sky
Like tears of sadness,
Alone ’til they shatter,
Collecting on the ground,
Joining other bodies
Of Broken Solitude,
Running down the cold road…

The winds moan in sorrow
As lonely travelers
Take the long road to work – 
No companion except 
The gloom, rain, and the self.

The darkness grows darker – 
A tunnel looms ahead.
Soon the gloom is replaced 
By utter nothingness – 
Nothing but the sound of
Bump.    Bump.    Bump.
As the wheels find the grooves
Carved deep in the road’s face.

Minutes of nothingness pass
Slowly as if time stopped…

But soon, a beautiful white light appears.
The shadow of the lonely tunnel has
Been eclipsed by the light of this new sight:
Whiteness all around – on trees, hills and fields – 
A snowy perfection drives away gloom.
Nothing has changed, save only the color – 
The solitude, rain and desertion remain,
But the colorless white, so strong and so bright
Has killed off the sorrow of loneliness.
No touch of blackness can be seen here now. 
Now there is only the self and Nature,
Communing as one, enjoying the peace
Of their solitary companionship.

While I was living in Japan, my husband and I lived in two different cities. I usually drove an hour over the mountains every night to his apartment, and left early the next morning to get to work. One morning, I left in the cold rain and gloom. On the way, I had to pass through a long tunnel. When I emerged from the tunnel, I was greeted by a world of pure white snow – it was amazing! Completely different from the world on the other side of the tunnel. I wrote the poem in my head on the way to school/work and wrote it down as soon as I got there.