Who are the important people who passed through your life?

Life review asks us to reconsider people that have played an important role in who we are today.   We are surprised that with the passing of time there has been an unexpected shift in opinions about people we were sure would never change.

Some say it is the heart’s compassion reminding us how hard life is for everyone and the messy footprint we all leave behind.  Perhaps it’s an expression of the Franciscan belief that every step of our journey is sacred and designed to enhance our spiritual growth especially in the art of forgiveness. Or it may simply be higher wisdom that comes with our last years.

And this is why I love Marge Piercy’s poem The Visible and the In with its diverse and beautifully phased inventory of people who pass through our lives and the impact of that experience on all aspects of our life.

The visible and the in-
by Marge Piecry

Some people move through your life
like the perfume of peonies, heavy
and sensual and lingering.

Some people move through your life
like the sweet musky scent of cosmos
so delicate if you sniff twice, it’s gone.

Some people occupy your life
like moving men who cart off
couches, piano and break dishes.

Some people touch you so lightly you
are not sure it happened. Others leave
you flat with footprints on your chest.

Some are like those fall warblers
you can’t tell from each other even
though you search Petersen’s.

Some come down hard on you like
a striking falcon and the scars remain
and you are forever wary of the sky.

We are all waiting rooms at bus
stations where hundreds have passed
through unnoticed and others

have almost burned us down
and others have left us clean and new
and others have just moved in,



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