Skip to main content

Before the End Draws Near: Poem By Lu Sobredo

Before the End Draws Near

by Lu Sobredo

Only four days ago on Sunday, June 20, 2021, my best friend and literary sidekick wrote this in a message: "Sis, one of the best ways to rest after completing a first novel is to write a poem--or two---or three---or so I've been told---besides restless spirits never listen to our entreaties for rest and calm. No matter how humble or earnest they may be . . . much love to you . . . "

My friend and brother Ken Miller sometimes knows me better than I know myself. And here I am, on Thursday, June 24, 2021, having finished writing a poem that would not leave me alone, stunned about what else is left unsaid. It's only fitting that I dedicate this poem to him, and to the shared paths of our common journey.

Before the End Draws Near “To be or not to be” was not a question I entertained upon waking. For years such question was comforting only when illuminated in a play by Shakespeare, from a soliloquy I could parrot since age ten yet was ignorant of its meaning for years. “To be or not to be” conjured not a perplexed state of mind but an audacity I possessed not at all well into adulthood. Spurts of rebellion manifested periodically as my dear mother now in Heaven could surely attest. But the rebellion was often situational, short lived, momentary and hardly natural. To ask, do I do this or that, purports huge freedoms of choice that neither beckoned at me nor lived in me. Something that would have taken courage. Courage I surely did not have even when life confronted loss, spiritual drought, hunger for something undefinable. I rejoiced burying myself in work with a false sense of excellence when accomplishing milestones for fulfillment. But fulfillment so unlike the sense of movement in dance when innocence cared not if swaying and leaping to idyllic tunes in my head or from a phonograph gained recognition or reward. The adult reward I had come to know were words from diplomas, certificates of accomplishments and public accolades from powers to be that left a hunger. The conscious self was oblivious to the malnourishment I nursed. The unconscious self of its adolescent spirit took years to take the reigns to relocate to a vantage point of no return. Its timing uncanny. A life-altering event redefined the self. Sad that it would take life’s remaining years to be threatened to wake up or else, and to dare to dream before the end draws near. Before the end draws near, and decades into the making I have gotten to know the self. I have forgiven, accepted and rejoiced in all the imperfections. Heart wrenching lesson learned that kindness applies to kindness to self, first and foremost. The rest of humanity are simply benefactors to such act like the dewdrops on the grass that at first might look like tears glistening in the sun. Tears like no other moistening, nurturing and quenching
a parched Earth; tears uplifting and comforting the soul. My dewdrops in the grass are those friends who are fully present without judgement and even strangers taking the time to nod, smile and wave without expectation. Acts of unconditional love from family
have sustained me cushioning minutes, hours and days of psychical and physical toll brought on by age, immunodeficiency disease and so-called medically prescribed assistive solutions and simply of those called life’s circumstances. In my advanced years the pain is real, not hurled by ill-equipped, abusive and malevolent bosses in the workplace, or false friends and foes with their incidental or purposeful insults. The pain of age and illness made life real. Made courage necessary. Made dreams something of urgency. So, I dream. In both daylight and the hauntingly deep darkness of night before the soul tires altogether. Before any of the glow that remains grows dim. To you, the awakening self, I salute thee who achieved much while sleepwalking it seemed— As though the universe opened up the heavens to rain dreams, spark joy and raucous laughter. Before the end draws near much poetry oozes out from the heart. Some pirouettes and a distinctive three-step sequence as in a waltz— there are remnants of those left in me. With love and courage, I will do my small part to shine the light on social injustice and the need for our world to respect the Earth and honor its People so they could live in peace and in days not marred by violence or excruciating uncertainty. And I swear I will appear on stage in a concert and unabashedly render songs I’ve long embraced and guarded closely since my youth. And the Heavens shall smile in triumph—the ancestors and elders all shall ask, "What took so long?" I shall share poignant and meaningfully pulsating moments with my beloved—our toes wading in the cool waters under the moonlight by the shores of the Bay of Biscay. And more poems will leap out of me. And the written words with all the life I’ve breathed into the many pages whiling away the pandemic will become the novel
it was meant to be before the end draws near. Poem ©Lu Sobredo June 24, 2021



Popular posts from this blog

Travel and Why Not?

By Lu Sobredo WELCOME to LuTravelsAbroad Website! What's new with me? TODAY I am exploring possible format/design for my LuTravelsAbroad website, for my Blog and Facebook page. Tickled to be launching a new venture. I have this incredible feeling of drive from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A similar feeling that came over me when I finally realized I will travel abroad again. Travel while disabled, you might ask? Why not? Mother & Son: Midnight in Paris, ©James Sobredo 2004 WHY A TRAVEL BLOG The Travel Blog and Facebook web presence is meant to be a self-help travel corner, and a vehicle for opening up about my personal health journey. When preparing for the 2016 travel, some websites and travel blogs were a great help. While in Spain as I focused on the moment and less and less on what discomfort to anticipate, I gradually experienced the thrill of traveling. It was then that I began to envision creating a one-stop self-help corner for peopl

Ten Essentials for Autumn Travel to Spain

TEN ESSENTIALS FOR AUTUMN TRAVEL TO SPAIN By Lu Sobredo The warm weather hasn’t completely waned, but there are signs of the new season including a little chill in the early morning air. As of September 22, 2021, North America is officially into autumn and I am thrilled! A year and half of waiting for COVID 19 infection cases to decline in the U.S. and other parts of the world has been challenging. But survived, I did! So did my circle of friends and family. I feel for those who did suffer much and lost loved ones or colleagues to the indiscriminatory virus. Diligent adherence to health protocols have helped and I wished many more would take the risks seriously by getting vaccinated, continuing to mask up and limit exposure by distancing or gathering responsibly in small crowds. I feel fortunate to qualify in the late summer for a third vaccine. Being someone diagnosed with an autoimmune illness renders me high risk to infection. On August 31, 2021 I walked into a pharmacy and took con

Finding Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum

by Lu Sobredo Viewing Philippine Art at the Asian Art Museum. ©Lu Sobredo 2017 "Celebrate the rich diversity of Philippine art with 25 compelling works recently added to the Asian Art Museum’s collection. Expressive indigenous carving, jewelry and textiles; Christian devotional statues from the Spanish colonial period; postwar genre and landscape paintings; and contemporary works come together in this intimate exhibition to tell fascinating and complex stories of the Philippines.” ~ Asian Art Museum Introduction I’m surprised to be hanging out on a Thursday afternoon at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in the middle of summer. Most times, I am there either appreciating some permanent exhibit or being drawn to a special exhibit or event. Sometimes, I could be found simply sitting at the museum Cafe sipping green tea and lingering over an apple almond tart. It is at these moments when I am moved to write. The writing I do these days is for my blog.  

Through His Camera Lens: Lights, Landscapes and Life Abroad

by Lu Sobredo ~Celebrating the many dimensions of my husband James Sobredo: his interest, talent and heart as reflected through his camera lens. Introduction Yes, my son and I, and sometimes our friends take very good pictures with our mobile phones. But the person, whose camera lens I totally rely on to document life's moments and special places, is my husband James Sobredo. Being around him and his photography partner and close friend, Steven Montalvo when on their photography shoots, is both meditative and exhilarating to watch. As if their eyes are connected to their hearts. And after many hours and enormous patience, they might be happy with the outcome. I know I am. Folks have asked me why I find blogging so much fun? Other than the fact that: My family actually have visited the amazing places I write about. I get to meet fascinating people and who have become part of my family’s life.  As strange as this sounds, it’s even fun to awkwardly attempt speaking a d

Great Friends Make Great Medicine

GREAT FRIENDS MAKE GREAT MEDICINE By Lu Sobredo There is a new drug in my health journey: a daily dosage of friends. When added to my pharmaceutical regimen, it seems to magically expand the time between flare-ups. Closest Best Friend, My Beloved: Our 26th Wedding Anniversary at The Kitchen in Sacramento. ©James Sobredo The stores were about to close when I was struck with a yen to pick up bowtie pasta at the Italian Deli in my neighborhood. It’s not every day that I make an impromptu dash to the store. Once there, it’s never just bowtie pasta that finds its way into the shopping cart. Just ask my young, adult son who drove me there. It wasn’t going to be a quick trip after all. I ran into my primary care doctor and his lovely wife at the grocery store. She has a PhD and rightfully has the title of Dr., I thought to myself. My M.D. asked about my recent visit with my neurosurgeon. Aside from a chronic illness, I also had a mass in my r

Walking the Camino de Santiago: Pilgrimage on My Terms (Parts 1 & 2)

By Lu Sobredo PART I Introduction Walking near the border of France and Spain through the Spanish Pyrenees to the city of Santiago de Compostela was not the vacation I envisaged, not for my first trip to Spain in 2010. However, my husband James, the avid adventurer had other ideas born out of an earlier visit to Madrid and Seville in 2006. It was a decision that turned out to be monumental for the family and deeply personal for me. Mother and Son Bonding on the Camino. ©James Sobredo This essay is sprinkled with practical hints from lessons learned in the pilgrimage. It is a personal reflection of the whole experience. It is about the physically challenging, emotionally invigorating, and spiritually uplifting journey. It was an experience made increasingly significant because of a life-changing diagnosis that followed three years later, a diagnosis that has rendered me chronically disabled. I sincerely hope this serves as an important reminder to all: act no

Top 10 Restaurants We Love in Spain

By Lu Sobredo Gastronomy and Spain have become synonymous. Writing this photo essay makes me think of scrumptious meals. My mouth is literally watering with great longing to return.   Since starting my blog in 2016, my husband and I are often asked for recommendation of places to eat when in Spain. I have given recommendations in a private message through my travel Facebook Page: Lutravelsabroad . And I do it happily. But there is no reason to keep our recommendations private. When one finds a gold mine, I believe it is important to share the wealth. My family and I have managed to partake in culinary feasts on a budget when traveling. When we do some modest splurging, it is all planned and calculated into our travel expense. Why not live a little while we still can? If curious, you can still access my first Blog post on the subject: Happy Eating on a Budget in Spain . This earlier essay takes you from the Madrid area and Barcelona, to the Galician region in Santiago de