Hidden Clearing

I found a hidden clearing in the woods

Where the noise of the world fades to silence

Only interrupted by the soft lull of breeze through treetops,

The grating, incessant ticking of our clock of life

Momentarily halted, transcended into present awareness

Of sensing, being, observing, feeling

Dredging out the hurts concealed, bringing them into sunlight

Where they are seen as they are, without shame.

Can you imagine what life would be like

Without a place to pause and breathe, process and grieve?

The untapped potential for healing that would evade us

Had we chosen to stay immersed in the robotic numbness

Of mundane, dissociated, barely-awake existing?

**I’m still trying to get the wording right on this – going to post anyway! 🙂

Harmony in Dissonance

In this cacophony, I am calm

Willingly allowing this crescendo of noise

To fill the tranquil spaces where my soul resides

Permitting but not absorbing the rise of discord

As it crests and falls rhythmically in waves

A dissidence of notes in need of a score,

So I will listen, I will endure, but I will not cower.

This harrowing symphony will reach its destination

When the last, melancholy note rings out into the halls

Piercing, but final, only a breathless pause remaining

Before that tearful sigh of relief at the bitter end.

Then I will stand, and with reverence

Applaud what this clash of melody and dissonance

Taught my vulnerable heart:

That even in the most unbearable times of upheaval,

There can be a peaceful harmony singing within.

The Wisdom of Hobbits

Each January for the past two years, my kids and I have followed the annual tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s not a secret that this is my favorite trilogy of all time, and that I GEEK OUT over anything remotely resembling it (as evidenced sheepishly by my pen name).

The love for the movies came first from the books, which to me are a masterpiece of intricate world-building. I also appreciate how even more three dimensional the characters became when I saw the movies. There may be a great deal of inner nerd speaking here, but to me there is nothing better than getting lost in a well-written book or an emotionally compelling movie due to our investment in the characters, their development, and their overall journey!

January is one of those months that can leave us feeling bleak and hopeless, which is why The Lord of the Rings is a must watch in our home. I think it brings out the archetypes of dark versus light, with that strong and unwavering hope that the good will conquer over evil in the end. While life is anything but dichotomous, I think there may be a deeper part of us that invests some measure of belief in light overpowering darkness. It’s the stuff our hearts aligned to as kids; it’s what we forget but still resonate with as adults.

My favorite scene of all three movies is Samwise’s speech in The Two Towers, which we watched tonight. So full of wisdom, empowerment, and hope.

Music: "Dear Happy" by Gabrielle Aplin

This beautiful song was recently released and I think I’ve listened to it on repeat about 25 times since yesterday.

So, so, so relevant to themes of overcoming depression, where sometimes happiness feels like a pipe dream but becomes achievable as we begin to heal (at least in my interpretation). The magic of music is that it speaks to us all differently!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

The Place of Dreams

There is a place I often visit in the imaginary cove of my mind

When the cutting callousness of life begins to ensnare

An ethereal place filled with thousands of glowing lights

Where I can wander through the deepest forests, unafraid

Climbing up the snowiest mountain peaks without tiring

Dancing pirouettes in the soft, azure glow of moonlight

Making wishes upon wishes to numberless stars in the sky

Scattered on a glittering palette of deepest blue.

In this place, I am free to speak my truth, unashamed

Without fear of retribution, ambush, or abuse

Where only kind and genuine hearts are allowed

Dissolving all reasons to feel afraid, inspiring hope

In this world of possibility where no barriers exist

And we are safe, unbroken, whole.

Compassion Fatigue

I am walking asleep

Heavy shoulders, eyelids drooping

Worn straight through to my very core

Enduring, surviving, while inwardly collapsing

From the weight of my responsibility

To offer unconditional counseling support

When I am only one person, so inadequate

Wishing I had the superpower to remove mental anguish

Knowing I must help others to help themselves, instead.

This work is my element – the natural fit for my soul

An honor, yet not without the price

Of that downward spiral of compassion fatigue.

I know I cannot reach them all,

Though I wish I could, I wish I could,

Each person on the verge of giving up

I wish I could save, I wish I could save.

Wondrous Chaos

Peace was the unexpected friend who greeted me

Once I laid down all of my weapons of inner war

Accepting myself just as I was: contrite, breaking,

Resilient, awakening.

Learning, painstakingly, the beautiful paradox

Of remaining capable of goodness despite faults

Valuing the honor it is to be a living, breathing human

Imperfect, teachable.

Life is a limitless opportunity to savor sweetness

While the bitter still remains, in a needed contrast

Ever-challenging, ever-changing, ever-growing

Chaotic, wondrous.

Reassembling a Broken Heart

Here is a tray of broken heart pieces

Only 5,000 components or so

That I’m attempting to reassemble

From the ground up of my soul

But I can progress only so far

Before a wave of guilt seeps in

Infusing feelings of doubt and shame

That I do not deserve to mend.

There is no perfection in this pile of shards

I am flawed, but at least contrite

Wanting to expose my endless mistakes

Before I can merit a trace of light.

So I’ll continue to rebuild these fragments

Gently encouraging my heartstrings to feel

As I wrestle to accept that I’m worthy enough

To finally begin to heal.

(Edited the first version because the words weren’t quite right.)