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Canham, H. (2003). Life Time ‘Es ist der alte Bund’ (JS Bach, Cantata BWV 106). J. Child Psychother., 29(3):279-280.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(3):279-280

Life Time ‘Es ist der alte Bund’ (JS Bach, Cantata BWV 106)

Hamish Canham

Yours is the impossible story beyond all stories,

the journey whose end cannot be told by the traveller.

So few have spoken, even from the jetty

where you stand now. Fewer without bitterness.

Time is the narrative thread our joy calls for

and your plot ought to be a printer's error

or like a novel we re-read, wanting it to end

differently this time, against all reason;

you're young — death too heavy to entertain.

We are atoms that fuse as miracles in time,

then fly apart: the bond, the covenant,

that links us all; the bind we must face alone.

The present — soon the past, once the future —

is the unique ‘now’, the vital instant

when we can practise freedom. And you do,

steady, rich in insight; even rarer

is your capacity for openness

that lets us — not share, for it's unshareable —

but see what you can lucidly face while yet

not tearing current happiness to shreds.

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