“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” Zelda Fitzgerald
Keep your face to the sun and you cannot see the shadow. That’s what the sunflowers do.
I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that trumpets life more than the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason for its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.
they won’t be here for long
they still choose to live
their brightest lives
We currently have a big bunch of sunflowers in residence on our coffee table, and they are exquisitely glorious. Like sunshine, poured into a glass vase, smack dab in the middle of our living room. September sunflowers. Really, sometimes all one can do is whisper a quick “thank you” to God.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers the fear.
My dad, who was one of those troops so many years ago, once told me that only fools are never afraid. Being afraid doesn’t make you a coward, he told me. Brave people learn to go ahead despite being terrified.
This applies to all of us, he made clear at the time, and now I can see what he meant…me dealing with trauma therapy, my friends and family who have faced cancer, my friend who was suddenly widowed when her husband died of influenza several years ago…countless painful and scary situations, that so many of us from somewhere, deep down inside, find the wherewithal to face and overcome. I think that we are, all of us, braver than we realize.
Courage is not simply having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.
The most irresistible beauty is the radiant glow from a kind and gentle heart.
–Richelle E. Goodrich
And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.
Snow was falling
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was
“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.” –Neil Gaiman.
The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.