Hurt enough to heal

Jennifer Simpson
3 min readMar 26, 2021
Star, a Koan Kreature, mourning. © A Bolder Vision

I live in Boulder, CO, just up the street from the King Sooper’s where 10 people were murdered on Monday. I was in the middle of writing a blog post about the Atlanta shootings and the many other ways in which the violence of our history in this country needs to be reckoned with when helicopters started whirring overhead and my many devices started buzzing with the news of an active shooter.

The store where it happened has been “my store” for over 20 years. It is the first place my children were allowed to go and hang out with their friends unsupervised. I have a lot more to say and suspect I will in the weeks to come, but this week I’ve been feeling the loss of full feeling as much as anything — wishing I could recover the anguish I felt when the Columbine shootings happened or the worry and outrage I felt after Newtown. I have been sad that my kids aren’t more sad, or surprised, or bewildered by it all.

As I have driven past the still-gated-and-guarded lot that has now become a makeshift memorial on one side and a media circus on the other I have wondered what might happen if we all felt less compelled to immediately do something and might, instead, just let ourselves feel our hurt all the way for a bit.

Could we allow ourselves to hurt enough to heal? That wondering gave rise to this poem:

Hurt enough to heal

There are moments, sometimes,

When my mind is still and my heart open

When, I wonder

Whether any of it

Matters at all

After all.

If, moment to moment,

Any meaning

We might make

Of any of it

Isn’t just

Another hiding place

From feeling

All the feelings

That make us fully alive;

Less likely, maybe

To have to contend

With it all again, again.

But, then

Fuck if I don’t feel

That all this

Waiting, hiding, seeking, striving

Jennifer Simpson

An artist, poet, leader, lover, daughter, sister, and mother living in Boulder, Colorado. Owner and CEO at Integrated Work. Author of the KOAN method.