it's been awhile.
but fall and ushering in of winter (which happens a little too quick here in brockville, ontario IMO) beckons me to write down any thoughts, to document, to entertain my big feelings for a sec, to hopefully encourage you.
it felt like my creativity was stunted the past few months. squeezed out of the room by more "pressing" matters, i.e. how to make money and how to establish a routine in a new place (thank you, st. lawrence river for being a steady companion in my floundering).
it wasn't wrong. it was needed.
but it did have me panicked. because if i wasn't sharing my deep thoughts on my blog or on IG, what the heck was i doing? who was i without it? what even was my creativity? who was i w/o the affirmation of the 3 people who read my blog?
(oh yes, God and i talked a lottttt about my misplaced identity, thank you for asking. i'm a work in progress.)
i became an angsty and irritable about all things social media. about all things sharing.
thank you, ben (AND friends. AND family.), for listening to every one of my wild and rambling rants while i paced back and forth across the room at the foot of our bed mid-existential crisis.
it's unnecessary to delve into every potentially harmful consequence of using social media and every beautiful and powerful thing about it.
in my angst, (oh and i'm still not out of this mood btw #stillwrestling with how to engage the world via social media) the more i was reminded of how much we long to be seen, heard and understood.
how much we long to know who we are.
we're looking for God to tell us who we are because of who He is, but we look everywhere else instead.
and the danger is (here i go again) in our pursuit of our God-given desire, we become clones of each other. we become obsessive over what each other has. and we get after those things. we grow in a deep (and dare i say unhealthy) admiration of strangers and of each other but it's consequence is only ever self-gratifying.
we're soothed for a moment. then the incessant scrolling, searching, refreshing begins again. anxiety, discontentment, the pulling away of the present moment begins.
oh, the irony of this post that i'll share on facebook, maybe IG, and every thread and twist of my inner struggle. don't worry, i'm aware.
this isn't a warning. truly it's not. i needed to unravel my tangled thoughts in a blank google doc. and i figured i'd share in case any one feels the same.
every time i have this conversation, i do walk away with one solid piece of self-advice: be intentional about how i engage.
when i engage.
who i engage.
what i engage.
how i engage.
there's no one right way to be creative. we all fill our creative cups differently. for some, it's curating images. for others, it's decorating spaces. for others, it's scrapbooking. for others, it's writing (it me). lots more.
well, this blog took an interesting turn.
i wanted to write about the freedom to create or not create. how neither is right and neither is wrong.
how every day, we can blow the top off creativity and instead of doing what "usually" fills our creative cup, we can infuse creativity in a conversation over the dinner table. over a game with our two-year-old. over an outfit choice. over meditating on scripture or a song.
instead, i indulged in my rant. but it's good to get out. to straighten my spine. to say, yes, this is how i feel about it.
cheers to intentional engagement + freedom, creativity in any form + boundaries.
a sopping wet
into a dusty
of my heart.
i keep it there
i do not
i walk around
i am only
of its weight
reach for it,
wring it dry
in safe company,
over a lazy day
in the living room,
and in so doing
my rag of regret
becomes the soil
a story shared
is a seed of hope.
after i finished reading “the year of magical thinking” and “blue nights” by joan didion, i watched her documentary. if you haven’t read joan didion, you should. apart from being one of the bravest voices to write on grief, her honest words instill in her reader a hope of living well what we still have yet to live.
she writes as if she has nothing to lose in sharing what she does. she speaks openly about her regrets, airs them out for the reader. normalizes regret by owning hers. and i didn’t understand the magic in her doing so until i sat with hers and examined mine.
in her documentary “the center will not hold” she says,
quintana and i were talking one time about what kind of mother i’d been and to my surprise she said, “you were ok but you were a bit remote.” i didn’t
see this at the time, i didn’t think it was possible because john and i so clearly needed her. which is the way we tend to deal with our children. later we
realized that maybe we hadn’t listened to them at all. we’d been listening to the very edges of what they say without letting it sink in.
hearing that, i thought to myself, gosh. she is so free.
and it stirred up some tears as i sat alone in the living room because joan was gracious enough to share the pain of what she wishes she could do over with people who maybe still can.
in some way. not every way.
we all have moments we wanna do over. that’s ok.
but there’s some moments we maybe still can.
in some way. not the same way.
some moments are gone. that’s ok.
it’s ok to feel their grief. sit in them.
and when we’re ready,
it’s ok to look at today.
who can we call? turn our full attention to? check in with? listen to? share with? celebrate?
joan is partially to thank for why i’ve stopped hesitating and just picked up my phone to call, much more now than i ever have in my entire life. thank you covid and thank you joan and thank you grace. and she’s partially to thank for why i’ve left my phone in the other room so i can give my full attention to ben. her story of regret has become the soil for my growth.
she’s why i don’t wanna wait to ask : “what do you need right now?” or “what can i bring?” or “how can i help?” or “do you wanna talk about it?”
and it’s interesting because no one actually likes to share the moments they regret. i’m sure joan is no exception. we much prefer to focus our attention towards the gossip of another’s history instead of our own. we’re more comfortable that way.
but it’s not always the best way.
sometimes the best way is to tap into our inner joan and invite each other into the less than lovely parts of our story. i bet we’d feel a lot less alone if we shared in safe company the 1% of our story that’s rarely if ever been told. the part, the story, the “rag” that’s stuffed in a corner of our heart and needs to be wrung out so we can live more free. and it’s not always a big moment. small moments, too, hold the power to produce hope.
and maybe when we do, we’ll be more attuned to the moments we still have.
the moments where we still can listen to more than just the edges of each other.
while we maybe still can. not in every way.
but in some way.
“it means more than i can tell you. so you must not judge what i know by what i find words for.” - marilynne robinson // gilead
these words capture the loss and grandeur of living, the mystery and transparency of being human and being in relationship. it captures the moments we miss. the moments when we speak for each other and over each other. it captures the challenge we face of sitting still enough for long enough with each other.
we live a limited existence. we cannot begin to fully understand and know each other no matter how hard we try (contrary to my last post…but i think both are true…alas, we are all — almost always — walking contradictions). we cannot fully wrap our arms around each other’s stories, contexts, souls. we can reach out, but we will not be able to touch the curve of every soft and subtle emotion, every form of robust desire, every invisible current of grief that plows through the center of our story.
we will fall short of knowing each other because we cannot always find words for our stories, for what we know.
words fail us.
take, for example, ben’s and my kitchen.
if you walked in, you’d probably notice a fridge, a table, white cabinets and green countertops. i might try and tell you that our kitchen means more to me than what you see. that it represents healing. the slow to unravel kind.
i might try and tell you how i know this to be true.
how the sunlight announces itself at the start of every day and waltzes in through the wide window above the sink. how some cabinets are empty and how some are full. how almost everything is second hand, which we love (most of the time) because it means every thing was someone’s before it was ours and each one carries with it an odd character and charm, especially our kettle with its clumsy and frantic screech. how i love our kettle and do not want an upgrade.
i might try and tell you how our kitchen has held every good, every full, every bad, every hard conversation over the past few months. how it’s held the tension and apologies. the hugs and the dance offs. how it’s heard “the blessing” by kari jobe and kygo’s album one too many times. how that, too, is a kind of healing.
how i often feel the most at peace when i’m washing and rinsing dishes in the porcelain sink because the act itself is a kind of loaded and hopeful prayer.
(i'm linking "the blessing" here because it's just too good not to share. listen to this while you wash the dishes next and i guarantee a better dish washing experience : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9VL7AhXBKY)
i can try and tell you all this, but the time spent in the kitchen means more than just those words. there's an ocean of meaning beneath it.
what i’m trying to say is, there are no words fully capable of capturing what it means to be alive and to be in relationship.
what it means to love.
of course this is more than just about a kitchen. it’s about how we cannot tell each other fully what it means to lose a parent, receive news of a diagnosis, move away from home, live with depression, suffer anxiety, graduate, get a job, lose a job, welcome a new baby, walk through a miscarriage.
and this is where it’s hard and limiting because i will never fully know what you cannot find words for in your particular story. we’ll miss each other in this life. we’ll fall short of fully understanding, of wholly honoring each other in our becoming.
our stories hold meaning that extends to the heavens and yet our words hit the ceiling.
you see why we need patience, kindness and grace for each other? how we just need to hold more space for each other?
because there will always be more to what we cannot find words for.
“always more beneath the surface” “you don’t know the full story” and it’s true.
instead of throwing labels at each other
“she’s not capable”
“what’s wrong with —"
might we always and ever stay curious and stay seekers because in this life, seeking and pursuing each other even when we cannot fully understand is the closest we’ll come to becoming more like Love.
sometimes the best way to process is through writing a letter to yourself. i believe a pen has eyes and the practice of writing penetrates the soil of a soul and reveals our roots. in other words, the act of writing heals and reveals what we otherwise might’ve missed in our rushing from one thing to the next.
you are trying and you are striving to grow into many things. in the past few months you have become painfully aware of the parts of yourself you were blind to before.
marriage and change unravels a heart and redefines growth in a way you didn’t know was possible.
and with that awareness comes an ache. it’s uncomfortable. take for example how you are acutely aware of your sensitive heart. this is your strength. but sometimes it throws you in a pit of self-pity. you find yourself too busy tending to your own pain that you lose the ability to see another’s pain. you want to become the person who’s sensitivity is always your strength, and never your weapon.
you are strong and sometimes afraid. resilient and fragile. stubborn and always sensitive.
when you show up this way, you represent the whole of you, not just half of you. it is messy and it is stunning when you show up as the whole of you, not just the half you want people to see. you know, your safe half.
sometimes your aim is to be chameleon-like, to adapt, to blend, to be who they want you to be in the given situation, conversation.
this should not be.
because when you do, you steal from yourself. you soften the creator’s design.
but when you show up as all of who you are, trusting that every part of you is on purpose — your opinions, experiences, mistakes, beliefs, grief, why’s, convictions, all on purpose, you embrace abundance. an abundant way of living because it offers a passageway to your heart, towards being fully known.
lately, insecurity has been suffocating you. it has sunk its teeth into your whole and you’ve shown up this way. you often leave conversations feeling down, frustrated, misunderstood, rejected.
but it’s because you kept a handful of vulnerable parts of your whole behind your back. a handful that holds your whys, grief, beliefs.
(note : you may leave a conversation feeling down even when you were vulnerable. that's ok. as long as you showed up as the whole of you.)
it’s kinda like when a child comes up to you and you realize they’re holding something behind their back and you might ask them “hey, what do ya got there behind your back? show me!” and they might show you, or for one reason or another, they might not.
and sometimes you show up like this child. hiding your reasons for things. how you really feel.
i know, you’re scared. to be vulnerable is to risk. but sometimes you show up and you have your handful behind your back after someone asks in so many words and ways
“beth, what do ya got there?”
"what do you think?"
“how are you?”
because you’d rather be impressive than known. you’d rather prove something than be embraced as a human becoming.
but it’s part of you! remember? all the parts of you are on purpose. 100% of them. and to love is to be vulnerable. and you can either be impressive or you can be known. and the way to abundance is through the undoing, the breaking, the connecting, the embracing, the exposing.
you believe that.
what you need to remember is that whether you choose to show up in whole, or show up in part, there are risks to both.
to hide your handful might make you impressive.
but to be vulnerable opens up the possibility of being fully known.
and you know the risk worth taking, you do.
strength is showing up with nothing hidden behind your back. it’s showing up with all the parts of you, whether you say them or not, you show up as a whole, inviting every part to the conversation. you show up with nothing to prove. nothing to earn.
this is the freedom in becoming. the freedom in contentment. the freedom in abundance.
it’s the ability to hold out our hands to the people we love, to the people we trust, the people who’ve told us they want to know us, who've told us they aren't going anywhere (bc of quarantine but also bc of love) and exposing our palms that hold our why’s, grief, beliefs, mistakes, and in honesty — because that’s all we have — say : this is me. unfinished. in process. and i’m choosing to show up this way because at the end of my life, i wanna live known by you rather than live striving to impress you.
in the early 2000s, p.v. park was the lake to be at in the entire tri-state area.
okay, okay, maybe just in the mind of the people in pompton plains, nj, where i grew up.
okay, actually, maybe just in my mom’s mind.
we’d go quite often & i remember the feeling of paralyzing fear mixed with the slightest courage swelling inside my pale & freckled body upon arrival to the park as the thought of jumping off the middle diving board — what a crazy thought — entertained itself in my mind.
all it took was a couple snarky comments from my POTD (playmates of the day) who were a tad more ambitious & much more dangerously curious than me at that age to call me something along the lines of freckled wimp or middle diving board loser (i’m totally kidding, no one ever called me either of those ever)
& i’d march right up to the long, white board towering over the dark, murky lake, glance up at the lifeguard & send the message with my eyes if this goes bad you better be paying attention.
i’d saunter to the edge of the board & only the lord knows why, i literally would play the jaws theme song in my head duh nuh… duh nuh…. duh-nuh, duh-nuh, duh-nuh-duh-nuh until i flung my body into the water — graceful & composed, i’m sure of it — & then picture the shark, alligator, whatever creature with an appetite for timid doggy paddlers, right on my tail all the way until i reached the ladder.
believe it or not, i was never eaten. i swam too fast.
(side note : i’m genuinely curious, did anyone else think like this as a child? asking for a friend.)
i don’t know what age i eventually grew out of that. i’m still scared of sharks (not the ones that live in lakes anymore but only the ones that live in the ocean) but rarely do i think of them & if i do, i’m able to calm myself down, reassure myself everything’s ok, it really is.
don’t worry, i’m not gonna, like, totally get carried away with this shark analogy.
okay. maybe just a little bit.
my sister’s a therapist & she’s been doing these coffee talks with her colleague, alison (i’ll link it at the end, shameless plug) & in her last chat she mentions dan siegel, a psychiatrist & author, who has this activity he calls "shark music."
in this exercise he shows the participants a video of a really peaceful neighborhood that winds down a path that leads to this beautiful scene overlooking the ocean. after the scene is done he asks everyone how that made them feel. lovely. beautiful. relaxing.
after they reflect, he shows them the same scene, this time with shark music in the background.
duh nuh… duh nuh…. duh-nuh, duh-nuh, duh-nuh-duh-nuh.
in other words, the participants are experiencing the same scenery but it’s totally different. what they’re experiencing is a feeling of panic.
dan (& kelly) make the point that sometimes we live as if there’s shark music playing in the background, when really, everything is okay. it’s not to dismiss the worst case scenario, it’s to ground ourselves in what’s here, in this moment instead of getting ahead of ourselves.
sometimes we get tangled in a web of what ifs, when all that’s really happening in this moment is i’m eating a bowl of strawberries on my couch.
that being said, shark music is scary, unhelpful and worth exploring.
because a lot of times, what’s underneath our shark music is real & worth paying attention to. there are excruciating things we’re walking through. darkness. grief. wounds.
we need healing.
God’s getting to that.
here’s what my shark music sometimes sounds like :
what if my family & friends reject me? what if all of my emotions suddenly become too much for ben to sit with me in? what if i find out i’m actually not capable? what if this virus never ends? what if during my next zoom workout, my friend asks me to do 10 burpees & i pass out?
again : scary. unhelpful when it’s the only thing i hear. worth exploring.
when we invite in our what ifs & listen to our shark music before we turn the dial down, our anxiety actually decreases when we choose to explore it with a kindness & gentleness while we stay grounded in what’s actually happening around us.
we just gotta pay attention.
kind of like this :
bethany, why are you scared of being rejected right now?
oh, why hello beautiful bird that just flew by my window.
bethany, why do you believe your depth is too much to handle? what’s making you think that?
hello, sunshine, covering the grass in light & warmth.
this is no action call to abandon & dismiss our hard & heavy things.
it’s an invitation to pay attention to our pain, our anxiety, our what ifs & engage ourselves in holy curiosity & reflection.
we are seekers of sacred abundance when we do.
(here’s that link i promised you : https://www.anchorandbellcounseling.com/blog-1)
growing up, on any given saturday afternoon, my friend lyndsey & i would grab our pens & notebooks & make our way to the lookout tree that hung above the moderately busy road behind my house.
more exciting, i suppose than the cul-de-sac in the front.
we’d sit — excuse me, spy, for hours at a time reporting to each other & our notepads the color of the cars that passed & whether the driver was a boy or a girl.
we’re talking tally marks of highly classified data.
red car girl driver.
it was our way of taking deep breaths, of coping with whatever school year stress lurked in our minds. i imagine we’d run out to the lookout tree whenever there was grief, big or small, that we couldn’t ignore & count the cars & boys & girls.
our way of buying time.
we paid attention (at times maybe a little too much attention) so we could swallow our stress, honor our grief & listen for one car passing at a time.
blue truck boy driver.
& i think of that & i think of now because there’s everyday grief & there’s breaking grief. there’s the dull & steady grief & the sharp & screaming grief
& it’s everywhere.
it’s on our run when ben & i pass a family of four on an afternoon walk, but the dad is circling & screaming at his stiff & vacant teenage son who keeps his head down & walks one foot in front of the other while the daughters trail a few steps behind with the dogs.
it’s at the dollar store with a 93 year-old man in the check-out line who keeps looking over his shoulder to smile at ben & me, tells us he was married for 61 years, how he “loved every single minute of it." it’s the grief of leaving a loaded world between us unsaid. of standing six feet apart on different ends of a covenant.
the grief of holding that space for time passed & the memories that seep through cracks.
white car girl driver.
it’s on instagram, reading about a three year-old little girl with a brain tumor & a 0% chance of survival & how her mom writes about her tender & gentle God.
it’s a shooting in nova scotia, an accident in buffalo, ny.
it’s hearing how my brother-in-law had to hold up the phone to an elderly patient at the hospital as she lay unconscious & her husband, children & grandchildren said their goodbyes.
how they pleaded with jordan — & asked to make sure someone, anyone — held her hand as she passed.
what do you say to your wife, mom, grandma in that moment?
“your husband loves you.”
“mom, mom, it’s me, thank you for raising me.”
“we love you, grandma.”
white car boy driver.
because really, how do we honor the grief — lean into the kind that sprains & splits our heart & eventually manifests itself as all too much?
first, we let it happen. give in.
then, we do what we can.
last night it looked like ben pointing out the window at the silent sky that settled into pinks & purples after a storm. looked like throwing on a blanket & beanie & sandals & following him outside, stepping over the puddle, walking out into the middle of the street & breathing in that post-rain musty sidewalk smell & taking a few deep breaths, watching my neighbor pull into his driveway across the street. throwing up a wave. hugging my blanket tighter. asking ben if he’d want some tea inside.
i can’t remember
i can’t remember
we do what we can.
so many years!
are the morning kisses
or the evenings
or the in betweens?
all i know
is that “thank you” should appear
or like the other month when we drove up to the cottage & i became thoroughly enthralled with watching the geese on the water & their interactions. such funny birds.
why, you ask?
so, just in case
i can’t find
the perfect place --
“thank you, thank you.” (~mary oliver)
grief is no luxury, but what we make of this moment here, is.
one of the most sacred moments in my life thus far was in the last year when my family & a few friends threw me a surprise bridal shower in denver. part of what made it so special was how small of a gathering it was (my circle at the time wasn’t large, so it wasn’t hard, per say, to pull off) & because of that how altogether safe, seen & embraced i’d felt.
we sat in a small circle & one of my sisters presented a mirror they’d bought for me with a thick bronze rim & reminded me how whenever i encounter change, words are my anchor.
& because of that, they all wanted to write a word on the rim of the mirror that called out part of who i am, so that when i married & moved, this mirror would be a home, those words, an anchor.
of course i cried. & just received. & knew that i would be better because of that night & because of those people & because of the mundane magic of being known.
having those words called out of the shadows & raised up with voices into light, i decided then i would always wanna live in a small world.
because i’d rather know the details of few (be it people, towns, people, artists, people, books, people, hobbies…people.) than have my hands, mind & heart always on the move for more. & more. & more.
i learned that night that breadth has its place but depth truly creates this sacred space & something lasting blooms there.
& i wanna build my world on truth & intention, on friendship > fawning, on pausing for & pursuing my people.
is this making any sense?
lemme get a litttle more concrete with this idea (for my sake & yours).
living in a small world means :
+ i know which book my friends are reading, which ones they’re loving & which ones they’re loathing
+ i can tell when my sister’s mood is off by the sound of her voice
+ i ask for & allow time for conversation
+ i call the old loop around the block our next adventure
+ i know all the ins & outs of ben’s latest hobby & know exactly how to find the nearest disc golf course when asked to
+ i can read my mom’s demeanor from a mile away
+ i memorize the time of day the sun shines through our bedroom window & we are blissfully blinded
+ i know the ways every member of my fam feels the most heard & celebrated
+ i can name what my friends need from me in their respective seasons
+ i can recite all my nieces & nephews ages & bdays
+ i can predict when the old man who lives across the street from me puts on his hat & takes out his bike (w/ a basket) & rides albeit slowly but every. single. afternoon. (this ones borderline creepy-neighbor-esque but it’s just so dang cute & inspiring)
it’s a journey - this building a small world.
someone wise once said : the journey is the destination.
a guy i respect a ton said it best to his wife as they chatted through their values when it came to social media (perhaps a post for another time) but it’s what originally sparked this idea in me :
“that’s not our world. that’s not our world. remember, keep it small. keep it small.”
keep it small.
remember, breadth has its place but depth creates sacred space.
that mundane magic of knowing & being known.
of building a small world.
i wanna know what makes our world, our world & also know what lands outside of it.
that magic in the mundane study of one another. of waking up. of life.
magic = mundane.
ok. i’m done. you get it.
so, who in our little world needs our attention while perhaps our screens can wait? (…as i type on my laptop & hold up my hand when ben asks me a question… oh the irony & the fool wisdom makes of us all. *face palm*)
who in our world could use a little burst of unwarranted celebration?
remember, words anchor.
& unwarranted celebration matters. & blooms something inside the one who receives it.
keep it small. keep it small.
love it well & keep it small.
if you can celebrate it,
celebrate it! --
Hymn. ~ tess guinery
a few tuesdays ago i scratched up a long mental list of my goals + expectations for the day.
you know, all the per usual tuesday expectations :
+ figure out career
+ deep clean entire house
+ read three books
+ catch up with friends
+ make a healthy & impressive dinner
+ write a book
+ & some poems
+ bake some bread
+ learn something new
+ read & respond to all emails
+ oh & find some time to really rest & refresh yourself, ok?
the hours came & went & after realizing how little i managed to accomplish by noon (shocking, truly), i sat myself down in a chair, devastated, & wrote up a second draft with a single goal : be kind at the grocery store.
granted, that’s a pretty good one to highlight for the day as we’re all a bit on edge & the grocery store is probably the last place we’re storing up all our good vibes & positive energy to pour into. but i couldn’t help myself from thinking i should’ve accomplished hm - maybe 120x that.
anyways, i returned from the grocery store & realized that i wasn’t actually spectacularly kind while i shopped & probably came across as a bit of grump as i pushed my cart down each aisle. blame it on the overpriced produce.
kidding. that’s no excuse.
regardless, the day ended & a new one began the next day. isn’t that always the most beautiful thing?
& i got to thinking about this quote i wrote at the beginning of this post & yes, most days the world feels like it’s spinning out of control & people are less than lovely at the grocery store (not me, of course) & the unknown is truly terrifying & we may feel like we’re losing our footing & control on our plans so we clean a few extra closets & strive to gain some kind of grip on the areas we can,
yet, we can celebrate.
heck - if you can celebrate it, celebrate it. thank you, tess guinery.
so, allow me to take a moment & toss up three cheers for :
the books we’ve read, the hard conversations we’ve had, the dinners we’ve prepped, the pictures we’ve sent, the hobbies we’ve tried, the films we’ve watched, the apps our parents — i mean we’ve figured out how to work, the connections we’ve made, & all the things we’ve learned.
i’d like to celebrate how, even now, we’re seeking & understanding, almost or almost always breaking down (both are ok, i do them frequently), paying attention & actually slowing down.
for now, that’s enough.
if i do more than celebrate in a day, it’s a good day.
but if all we get done in a day is celebrating the moments in a hundred different ways, by waving to our neighbor across the street, writing a letter, painting a picture, hugging our kids, it’s a really good day. & at the end of the day, it’s the spirit behind it that matters.
we’re slowing down & we’re paying attention & we’re trying to be kind
& that’s a prayer. a hymn. a life. a swarm of moments worth celebrating.
i don’t know exactly how to describe it, but these days i feel there’s this looming sadness, this widening gap that’s settling into not only our history, but also into my head & my heart. maybe yours, too.
this gap of what was & what will be — what was for sure in june & what might be in 2021.
& no amount of scrolling, sleeping, reading, watching, heck, screaming or weeping can fill it. it’s like this gaping silence roaring in my soul — the uncertainty of right now is on fire inside me.
there’s a short little poem by mary oliver called “may” — it’s not may, i know, but it’s almost may & if i may, i’d like to share it with you.
she writes :
May, and among the miles of leafing,
blossoms storm out of the darkness —
windflowers and moccasin flowers. The bees
dive into them and I too, to gather
their spiritual honey. Mute and meek, yet theirs
is the deepest certainty that this existence too --
this sense of well-being, the flourishing
of the physical body — rides
near the hub of the miracle that everything
is a part of, is as good
as a poem or a prayer, can also make
luminous any dark place on earth.
gosh. i just love this poem.
& i guess the reason why i’m inclined to share it with you is because it gives me hope, the tangible kind that echoes the kind we can’t see.
flowers (the hope we can see) illuminating dark places (MILES of dark places) — & the flowers, it’s as if they hold a secret : Light will have the final word in all this deafening darkness.
darkness is what was, what is.
Light is what will be.
darkness is for sure happening.
Light is what will be.
see what hope does? what flowers do?
i can feel the sadness, the gap inside me quieting its growl. if even for a moment.
& in the meantime, we hold the royal responsibility to make luminous our little corner of the world & here’s another little secret i think mary wanted us to know : sometimes it doesn’t take all that much to light up a dark place. sometimes all you have to do is be.
the art of contentment makes luminous any dark place. just watch how the flowers do it.
i’m no flower, but i’m slowly learning the ways i can make luminous these often dark & heavy days :
+ lighting a candle
+ cleaning the kitchen
+ stirring milk into my tea
+ talking to a friend without looking at the time
+ leaving my phone in the other room
+ catching my thoughts before they spiral
+ blasting bonny light horseman
+ becoming a student of the sky & how it looks from my living room window
& really, this existence of illumination is wide & vast in its practice.
it’ll look different in the city than it does in the mountains than it does in the country than it does in the suburbs. but it can look like something & it can for sure light up any dark place on earth, whether it’s in my corner or yours.
let’s have at it.
there are a lot of voices in the room.
we’re all shouting directions, sources, & stats in a swirl of chaos. this can be good & this can be hard.
while i’m aware of the irony this presents, i’m offering another voice.
we are in constant convergence with one another - maybe not in person, but online & depending on where we fall in the chaos, it’s clear we all need different things. some of us need a reminder to rest & some of us need a reminder that this is urgent. some of us need a break from the news & some of us need to tune in. there’s a wide spectrum of needs.
these past few days i was reminded of what the world needs from every one of us - it needs our heightened awareness & sensitivity to others. before you speak, think. before you post, think. before you share, think. we’re in this together & that also means we’re coming at it from a billion different minds. we owe it to each other to be sensitive.
to the ones who do not have the option to stay home because you are working to help keep us safe & healthy, thank you.
& for those of us who can, please, let’s stay home. from my days at home to yours, here’s a heart reflection:
how we are healing
from hustle and heartache,
how we are learning
how we are admitting
how we are reaching
for each other
instead of reaching
only for tomorrow.
to the heartbeat
inside your home,
to the voices,
to the celebration
to the flow
to the whispered invitation,
give your attention
to the ones that you love,
to the tender pull
that brings calm
to your mind,
hold them close,
hold them close,
hold them close.
for the pull
towards quality time,
for the pause
that beckons you
to know & be known
by the ones
in your home.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.