Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Next Place by Warren Hanson

The next place that I go...
Originally uploaded by kateepatsch

The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar
as a sleepy summer Sunday and a sweet, untroubled mind.

And yet….it won’t be anything like any place I’ve ever been…
or seen…or dreamed of in the place I leave behind.

I won’t know where I’m going, and I won’t know where I’ve been
as I tumble through the always and look back toward the when.

I’ll glide beyond the rainbows. I’ll drift above the sky.
I’ll fly into the wonder, without ever wondering why.

I won’t remember getting there. Somehow I’ll just arrive.
But I’ll know that I belong there and will feel much more alive
than I have ever felt before.
I will be absolutely free of the things that I held onto that were holding onto me.

The next place that I go will be so quiet and so still
that the whispered song of sweet belonging will rise up to fill
the listening sky with joyful silence, and with unheard harmonies
of music made by no one playing, like a hush upon a breeze.

There will be no room for darkness in that place of living light.
Where an ever-dawning morning pushes back the dying night.
The very air will fill with brilliance, as the brightly shining sun
and the moon and half a million stars are married into one.

The next place that I go won’t really be a place at all.
There won’t be any seasons—winter, summer, spring or fall—
Nor a Monday, Nor a Friday, Nor December, Nor July.

And the seconds will be standing still…while the hours hurry by.
I will not be a boy or girl, a woman or a man.
I’ll simply be just, simply me. No worse or better than.

My skin will not be dark or light. I won’t be fat or tall.
The body I once lived in won’t be part of me at all.
I will finally be perfect. I will be without a flaw.
I will never make one more mistake, or break the smallest law.

And the me that was impatient, or was angry or unkind,
will simply be a memory. The me I left behind.
I will travel empty-handed. There is not one single thing
I have collected in my life that I would ever want to bring

The love of those who loved me, and the warmth of those who cared.
The happiness and memories and magic that we shared.

Though I will know the joy of solitude…I’ll never be alone.
I’ll be embraced by all the family and friends I’ve ever known.

Although I might not see their faces, all our hearts will beat as one,
and the circle of our spirits will shine brighter than the sun.

I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find, all the love and all the laughter in the place I leave behind.

All these good things will go with me. They will make my spirit glow. And the light will shine forever in the next place I will go.


  1. i love this book. the illustrations are beautiful.

  2. Hi Dan,

    I must admit to being a little behind on your blog with the business of the holidays (and with missing Elias so on our first Christmas without him, as was yours the first without Michael . . .), but I hope all went as well as can be expected for you and your family.

    Thank you for posting this - we have this beautiful book - the girls and I love it. It was given to us by a friend after Elias passed. I always knew my older daughter (4yrs) 'got it' a little more, but last night my younger daughter (2yrs) asked to read it, and as I started, she pointed to the picture of the clouds in the book and exclaimed 'Daddy!' with pure joy. It gave me a sense of peace to know that she actually understands at least some of what the book is about.

    We've never used heaven as the 'place' that Daddy is - nothing to do with religious beliefs or not - just that it felt a little too removed, or far away for my preference (I needed to feel he is closer to me), and from a child's perspective, I also worried it seemed as if it could be a place to 'visit', and I didn't want them to try and think of a way to get there . . . . to us, Daddy is all around us, and I appreciate how that book could be looked at either way.

    Thanks again, and I hope all is well.