“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.” Vincent van Gogh

I’ve struggled with how to use my voice in my blog and in my work over the last several years.  In my social media spaces, I try to pay attention to moments, to beauty as it comes, to take note of hope ~ but it often doesn’t feel like enough.  I don’t always know how to say what I feel in this time of ours that is so mixed up and full of pain.  Van Gogh was right, at least in my experience ~ it’s not always easy to put the poetry on paper… especially when poetry encompasses the lovely and the lament, the delight and the distress of the world.  Today, for instance ~ violence between nations, protests, a continent literally on fire, the uncertainty of the future on so many levels ~ here I am, one person, with a runny nose that won’t quit, hair in desperate need of washing, and a teething puppy destroying a chew toy at her feet, wondering how my little experience can speak to anything.

But then I listen to a clip of a song on repeat because it reminds me that humans make grave, awful decisions but also music so beautiful that it brings tears to my eyes… a poem reminds me on a gray, frustrated day that there is more outside of this 2-week viral infection that has me cooped up with Boy Meets World episodes and undone chores and worry I’m spinning like a top… a pharmacist’s extra dose of compassion makes me feel cared for and understood… the simple encouragement of friends is enough to motivate me to keep working until I cross the finish line….

And it feels so simple ~ when other people give of themselves, it brings something good into my life that I didn’t have before.  It matters to me.  It propels me to love more deeply, to appreciate the gift of the day I am living, to tell my kids that their dreams are possible, to pray with conviction, to look for some way to help the world from where I am, to finally get up the gumption to put away the laundry that has been sitting on my dryer for three weeks.

This is no unique revelation, but a reminder that I needed: we give the best we can with what we have been given.  That is what we can do.  And, maybe, it is not up to us to judge its worth by our pre-set categories of what is or is not important.  Maybe it’s up to us to just do the giving.

It’s different for all of us… but maybe it’s in the faithful, loving offering of what we have ~ whether it’s words, music, painting, knowledge, food, company, laughter, or whatever is in our hands ~ that we can push back the darkness, bit by bit.

I still believe, with all my heart, that Light always has and always will overcome darkness.

I haven’t done any sort of recap of the past decade or even the last year ~ it has, honestly, felt too exhausting to even try to attempt it ~ or set down a list for what I want from this new year… but I’ll say this for 2020.

My words and my experiences might always feel small in the face of the great big everything-out-there, but they are what I have.

And this year, I’m doing my best to give freely… without pretense, without perfectionism.  I’m doing my best to give with the love and the grace that has been so kindly given to me.

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