The Interim Time

Sometimes in our lives, we traverse what I like to call the “interim” time.  This can be many things – between relationships, between jobs, or at the ending of something significant, such as a graduation or a retirement.  The interim time is never easy.  I remember when I moved back to the United States after having lived overseas – in Haiti and in South Africa – for six years – boy was I in the interim time.  My old world of having and loving my exotic job and life  was gone, yet I did not know what was next.  My support system had changed from a wide group of friends and colleagues to one made up of my immediate family and a few close friends.

 I have a dear friend who is between jobs right now.  Another has just left an unhappy marriage, and yet another is feeling very restless with her life.  They are all in the interim time.  We ALL pass through this.  For these friends, and for all of us, really, I am posting something I had partially posted on Dec. 25.   I like it so much I am reposting in its entirety.

for the interim time


When near the end of day, life has drained

Out of light, and it is too soon

For the mind of night to have darkened things,


No place looks like itself, loss of outline

Makes everything look strangely in-between,

Unsure of what has been, or what might come.


In this wan light, even trees seem groundless. 

In a while, it will be night, but nothing

Here seems to believe the relief of dark.


You are in this time of the interim

Where everything seems withheld.


The path you took to get here has washed out;

The way forward is still concealed from you.


The old is not enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.


You cannot lay claim to anything;

In this place of dusk,

Your eyes are blurred;

And there is no mirror.




Everyone else has lost sight of your heart

And you can see nowhere to put your trust;

You know you have to make your own way through.


As far as you can, hold your confidence.

Do not allow your confusion to squander

This call which is loosening

Your roots in false ground,

That you might come free

From all you had outgrown.


What is being transfigured here is your mind

And it is difficult and slow to become new,

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become

For your arrival in the new dawn.

-John O’Donohue

Benedictus:  A Book of Blessings


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