Wednesday, June 13, 2018

all is not lost...

Some days are too full for words. Some slither by at an agonizing and torturous pace while still others barely register themselves at all. And then, from time to time, beyond all control and reason, there are days replete with reverence.  I always fail to see them coming. That's probably true for us all. But these days when I am gobsmacked by grace, I like to claim a moment of quiet gratitude in my heart. It might happen in a coffee shop. Or in the car on my way to band practice. Or picking up a frozen pizza for supper late one night after everyone else has gone to bed. A silent acknowledgment for the holy ground shared with me that I was able to notice. 

The singer-songwriter-poet, Carrie Newcomer, evoked my sentiments exactly in her poem, "I Want to Tell You." Maybe it will nourish you, too.

I Want To Tell You
I want to tell you,
About the kindness of strangers,
About the young woman in the airport
Who was so exhausted and harried
By her rambunctious and restless toddler
That she finally sat down on the floor near the gate
And started to cry.
I want to tell you about the seven women
Who immediately flowed in from all directions
One pulling out a little toy from her purse,
One asking if it was alright to walk around for a bit
Hand in hand with the boy
Of course, always in sight of the mother.
I want to tell you about being breathless and worried
And running so late I was sure to miss my flight,
About the long snaking line of other weary travelers
Who parted like the sea
Stepping in union to one side.
About a man I met who makes soup and bread
And the nurse who volunteers every week with traumatized children
I want to tell you about text I got when I was lonely
When a friend took the wheel and I didn’t object.
Let me tell you about all the people I met,
Who keep extending themselves,
Braving the risk
Of being told its none of their business,
Who offer a hand, an encouragement, a couple of bucks,
To walk a fussy child down around the gate.
Because its the kind thing to do.
I want to tell you that its not all lost
I want to tell you about the graciousness
I encounter every single day
With fanfare and without fail.
I want to tell you it will be alright
Even though no one can really promise that.
I want to tell you that there is help
But often not where you think you're going to find it,
And tell you that there is always the other side of each valley
Where we will surely stand panting
and imperfect
But always
Amazed. 

The chaos around us is maddening. Frightening, too. But blessings abound every day too if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. I smile at the faux Latin aphorism, Illegitimi non carborundum, for don't let the bastards get you down. Scholars suggest the correct translation would be "non ergo in te vocabo" but that hardly rolls off your tongue, right? At day's end, I am off to play a music gig with loved ones.  All is not lost.



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