When You Find You’re Weary

When You Find You’re Weary

Most everyone is getting a bit weary these days, at least in moments. Long moments of enduring staying at home for fear of the coronavirus; tense moments of scrambling to sort out – safe to send kids to school? Safe to meet face-to-face with colleagues at work? Safe to walk on the beach? Or jog in my neighborhood? Or protest that Black Lives Matter?

Questions embedded in the larger enduring struggles of ongoing racial injustice, climate change, and increasing economic inequity.

More questions than answers these days; sometimes more heartache than hope. And poets still offer their lessons, from all of these struggles, in endurance, perseverance, determination, grit – and hope. My Advice to You by Victoria Erickson; Mother to Son by Langston Hughes; It Is I Who Must Begin by Vaclev Havel

My Advice to You
– Victoria Erickson

My advice to you
Is to soften
Into the discomfort.

Accept it.

Know that it’s gifting you growth.
Fuel, and grit.

Whatever it may be
that you’re claiming this year
as your desire and dream,
I wish you the comfort within the discomfort.

The stillness within the unease.
The softening withing the stretch.
And mostly,
I wish you the match
that lights and revives the fire
to keep you going.

Because you can.
Keep going.

* * * * *

Mother to Son
– Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’ve been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

* * * * *

It is I Who Must Begin
– Vaclav Havel

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try –
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
–to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself
–as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
not the most important one
to have set out upon that road.

Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

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