I read your letter again today, smudged handwriting but the words - they are a quiet comfort in this cold night.
To the lady in grey at the bus stop, to the little girl - bruised and crying - huddled in the corner, to your red silent wounds of yesterday, life is still beautiful.
Even if it all feels so wrong, even if we almost lose it all, even if there is nothing tangible anymore, life is still beautiful.
Even when my heart refuses to be grateful, even when I forget to remember, even when I cannot forgive myself, life is still beautiful.
Even if there remains this empty space beside me, even if there is no hand to hold, even if all the colour fades from these days, life is still beautiful.
It wasn't what you dreamed - the dark detours and slimy pits slowed you down, it wasn't all your silent hopes answered - you had to forgive without an apology, it wasn't the perfect gift you envisioned - you went back because you realized you loved more than you hated, but it was still beautiful.
After reading your letter, I need to tell you, after all your ugly scars have been laid bare - you spoke the pain aloud and let the memories exist outside your head, after years of running and hiding - shadows never leave your side, you are still beautiful.
Even when you've cut me deep - and I am slow to heal, even though some moments can't be erased - the pain sometimes overcomes the joy, even when I know you are leaving - and you won't tell me why, you are still beautiful.
"You start wherever you can. You see a greatneed, so you thread a needle, you tie a knot in your thread. You find one place in the cloth through which to take one stitch, one simple stitch, nothing fancy, just one that's strong and true. The knot will anchor your thread. Once that's done, you take one more stitch..."
"Hope is a conversation"
"Where is meaning in the meteoric passage of time, the speed in which our lives are spent? Where is meaning in the pits? In the suffering? I think these questions are worth asking."
.."troubled times help me find my way once again ot what T.S Eliot called 'the still point of the turning world'"
'Hope insires the good to reveal itself." - Emily Dickinson
"Beauty is meaning" - Anne Lamott
"Beauty is a miracle of things going together imperfectly."
'Discipline, I have learned, leads to freedom, and there is meaning in freedom."
If I am a violin, you are the bow that lovingly pulls out heavenly emotions from my wooden body, that brings me to life. If I am the wood, you are the match. If I am the bread, you are the butter. If I am the morning, you are the sunshine that announces waking hope to the world. If I am the tree, you would be the soil that gives me the nutrients I need and supports me quietly. If I am the sailboat that drifts and wanders, you are the wind that blows me home. If I am the starfish that washes ashore, you are the kind soul that notices and throws me back into the sea. If I am a lonely bird coasting the air drafts, you would be the branch that I can land on to rest for a moment.
I am a whirlwind, a tornado of force, destructive and meaningless, I am a waterfall, constantly flowing forward, but not reflecting on the moment, I am a fountain, that seems to be stuck forever doing the same thing, whether yesterday or ten years from now, there will only be water coming out, I am a flood, that rises with sudden strength and anger, but leaves all in ruins, I come raging out with such certainty and break onto the earth without any clear purpose or direction, so I eventually dry up leaving the wreckage, I am the promise that shines so brightly, but never comes to pass, the sun peeking behind the clouds but never showing its face to all below, I am the turtle in the shell, I can curl and hide while all stare down at me and wait for me to come out again, I am stuck in sunsets, dreams, inbetweens, songs, lost in the moment, in the movement, in beginnings, in middles, in uncertainty, in disbelief, I am the bird that flies into the window and falls to the ground, wishing for a second chance, hoping my wings will lift me again, that I won't smash myself into illusions again. I am the little child staring at the stars in the sky and feeling so small, the one who wanders in the fields alone, humming to herself, full of breakable hopes and fragile expectation. I am the sled flying down the snow powder hill, past trees, moments, hurtling forward, speeding up, but to what? I am the book that you read distrustfully, cautiously, you wonder if the writer will place a sudden twist half way through. The end is unknown.
I will be that mysterious lady in black, the one who comes and goes like a shadow, where people whisper behind her back, She's been looking like that for years, doesn't care about colour, that strange creature,
You will see me on the street corner, at the cafe, through the windows of the department store, people will shake their head, wondering at why I'm always alone, why I wander the streets, where I'm going with such determination in my step, why there is no colour in my life,
I will wake every morning and open a wardrobe that is a black sea, I will refuse to think about what matches with what, so I will only wear the same top and pants, owning twenty sets of each, my mind will already be on something else,
I will be past the point of caring for the temporal, the every day tasks, my mind will be wrapped in words, in metaphors, similes, imagery, there will be coffee and writing, no matter whether what comes is comprehensible,
No one will ask me the usual questions, about holidays, work, or weather, they will be polite and curiously observe me when we first meet and then treat me with a slight disdain, I'm the that little lady that only wears black.
It's the song on the radio filling my car with sound, my hands on the wheel, eyes looking into the dark, but what I see ahead is a door, Music opens the door of memory, it leads down stairs, to rooms where secrets were shared, where stories were told late into the night, it leads to shelves with books that hold more truth than I can face, as I leaf through the pages, I wonder whether these are memoirs or autobiographies, are these personal pieces of the past, or are they an overview by a stranger, it leads down halls to rooms full of people that I once called friends, I can observe and pass through but they don't see me, it's when I want to reach out and say something, but they look through me blankly, so I follow Music on through another corridor, to closets with boxes with photographs and letter and keepsakes, the images,the words on paper, they begin to blur together to gray, and all that comes to me is this strange sense of a constant passing away, it all passes, the Music whispers in my ear, whether you were present or not, whatever your intentions, this moment is quickly becoming the past, Music nudges me in the dark with questions, what are you doing in this life? When my heart begins to forget, the music remembers.
I won't judge raise the volume on the music so no one will hear your cries let the sobs break the darkness follow the yellow lines on the road through the night you will meet another stranger at dawn
Those tears don't mean you have lost to your lesser self it means you have been holding on for so long that you had to release the weight you've held for all this time The pain you are feeling doesn't mean you have become feeble it is merely proof that you are human, that you have a beating heart
I know the music doesn't take away the loneliness but it is a warm covering in the dark it is a blanket in the cold when no one is at your side sometimes the most comforting touch comes from the night the dark is so forgiving, tears flow quietly unnoticed, the notes envelope you in gentle grace
The music rings its wordless promise, the present is a colourful conundrum and the future is a beautiful mystery You have let go and forgiven but that doesn't mean the scars don't sting to touch doesn't mean they have become a pretty sight
The scars seem to burn the most past midnight and the night, the music, the tears, they teach you to be a river not a reservoir at dawn you will meet a stranger the person you've become
Like the oil to my wheels, the caffeine to my morning, the sunshine to my day, the pillow for my head, the things I cannot imagine life without. All those things are invisible in my day because I assume they will be there, the blanket I wrap myself in each night, the sun to greet me in the morning, the beauty of the light warming my bones, I forget to be thankful. But more than the gratefulness that should be a part of my daily vocabulary, there are the things that should be felt in the breath, somewhere between my heart and my head.
I am trying again to surrender to the light, to rest in grace, to trust in Your plan, when all I see is the fog in the path ahead. I have spent too long not seeing the soft and sweet blessings that have fallen on my face like blossoms, knowing but not perceiving that all good things come from You.
The beauty of today is that it's a gift that can't be measured, the good things cannot be counted, and I need to live in that reality. Not in the things that I let steal the stillness and peace, but in the glory of the promises. When I face You, all words fall away into silence. The victory is for the taking.
I never knew that this cello bow would be a weapon for war, but here I am poised to strike, calm on the exterior with a trembling heart, I know you are seeing this, I hope you know this is me making a point, I will not be defeated, I play my intentions, my fearlessness before this audience, let the strings ring up to the high ceilings, I let this instrument speak the words I could not say to you, do you remember this song? Do you hear my heart? I build my walls, my stronghold, my armor is only this, these notes surrounding me, but I know it will be more powerful than anything I could say, any sword I could wield. I am unbroken, these wounds you gave me, they are not slowing me down, they are spurring me on, they have reawakened my determination to live. I hold my bow and dig in, my fingers press against the strings, my mind focused on this one thing: this beautiful creature that will speak for me, that will say what is unspeakable, this moment where I have become the bravest, the strongest, the girl that would not hide away, or fall for your lies. Hear my battle cry.
We dance through this white, sugar dusted, sparkling cold world, The purpose of movement is to reach somewhere, forward, looking ahead to our destination, I will stop looking back over my shoulder, Though the music still reaches my ears, your words are loud enough to hear, Through the soft silence of the snow, the feathery cold brushing my face, Press forward, press, press, one foot fall after another, one white imprint, You had your opportunities and now wisdom is whispering in my ear that your time has passed, There is much in front of me, I am choosing life, choosing the future, Accepting the fallibility of things, the brokenness of human promises, The emptiness of apologies, the self-respect that failed to come alive in me, Death and cold are behind me, life and hope ahead. I feel fear biting my heels, but I will not stop or turn, The pen, the bow, the keys, the tongue…they fail often to speak what is inside me, I am now ready to let go and let it flow out, I see lights ahead, only flickering like candles, But it is enough. I choose something better. I have become the choices I made yesterday.
I am choosing what makes sense. I am choosing the plans laid before time. I feel the bow in my hand, the music in my hands, the emotion swelling in my soul, The bittersweetness of this late hour, the powdered sugar snow, covering the landscape with a reverent stillness, the music continues to well up inside me, The small lights, they comfort me, The hardest lesson I must learn is how to be alone, How to be honest in the mirror, How to live truthfully with myself,
But here, I am happy. There is nothing like this, the forte settling into a pianissimo, The gentle sweetness coming to rest and the faint echoes that fall around me, There is always more to learn, but I pray for the dedication to persevere, There is always more work to accomplish, but I ask for the grace to overcome frustration and the meaninglessness that can overwhelm,
Even this music…it teaches me that it is worth it. It acknowledges the pain, the grief, the loss, but underneath there is hope, grace, and the promise of brighter tomorrows. Your beautiful colours, they show me that there is vibrance and richness that I have yet to uncover, these words, they humble me, they show me what I can still do, that there is still possibility, there is healing, there is something you cannot even fathom around the corner, And sometimes that surrounds my heart and I can only let the tears flow in the dark. There is great suffering, but there is even greater joy.