“In the sense that there was nothing before it,
all writing is writing against the void.”
Mark Strand, 1934 –
American poet, essayist, and translator.
Sitting in front of the blank computer screen on a particularly wet Sunday afternoon I could not think of anything to write about today. So I am writing into the void. No wonder the blank page or in my case, the empty computer screen, is so frightening. This void is not my usual habitat. I am a creature of city streets, beaches and bush. My inspiration is born in these things, and of course, family and grandchildren.
And as is always the case, I did think of something. Today I thought of a book I have entitled Lilian Too’s Book of Gold. It is subtitled “Wise Ways to Health, Wealth and Happiness” and contains 365 daily reflections. I haven’t even thought of this book for ages but looking for enlightenment I opened it and saw the reflection entitled “Life is a Sacred Dance”. And thinking about it I know that “when movements are coordinated and sure there is so much grace and when there is also music life becomes a celebration!”
Life is supposed to be a celebration but so often we get mired down in all the things, both small and large, that upset us and work together to spoil our days, so that we forget to be thankful and celebrate all the good things in our lives.
Most of us have so much for which to be grateful. Oh sure, there are those aches and pains that we have to deal with; those pesky neighbours or workmates; that rude clerk in the store or any one of a hundred things you can name. And certainly, there are those things that really drag us down. The death of a friend; a family member with a terminal illness; an unexpected bill to be paid; or the end of a relationship. And further afield war, earthquakes, devastation and riots. Many of the things about which we worry do not impact us personally, and in most instances, there is nothing we can do about them.
Death is something we have to face whether our own or a loved one’s. Relationships will end either by us or by the other person involved. Health whether ours or somebody else’s, will be compromised, and we have to find a way to deal with all of these things. But we also have to find time to celebrate our lives. To remember all the good things for which we have to be thankful. So today I am making a pact with myself to celebrate all those things for which I am grateful.
And to prove that Pollyanna is alive and well and living in Wellington, NZ here are some of the lyrics from a favourite song:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes,
I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance; I hope you dance.
JB November 27 2022
On a cold wet “Summer” day in