Partings connote a finality of farewell that signifies completion of a relationship. We may part from a stage of life, depart from home or college, or say farewell to a person, process or project. Partings signify the end of a story that has been told and reached conclusion. The Japanese tale of Princess Moonbeam illustrates the importance of accepting a necessary ending: those who could not do so were turned into statues, fixed in eternal stasis.
The refusal to part or devaluing its importance may indicate a lack of the selfhood necessary to suffer a loss and move into a new, even uncertain, future. Conscious parting honors meaning and connection. It allows us to honor the spring and summer of growth, celebrate autumn’s harvest, and accept the quietude of winter. Ideally, we can embrace the depth of feeling in a farewell and fall upon it willingly and with grace.
“I was sitting behind a table in a narrow and small room. The placement of the table made it difficult to reach the only door out of the room. In the doorway was a reasonably pleasant African man, dressed in a uniform with various decorations. On the table, however, was a huge, dissected tarantula. Also in my possession I had some sort of file that warned me of the danger of the poisonous spider, apparently it had killed a man. I felt quite disturbed and claustrophobic in the small room, then I woke up.”
Sexton, Anne. (1999). The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton: Mariner Books
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