Saturday, June 30, 2012

...even from your humble hand

If we tell ourselves the truth, they are ALL days of miracle and wonder, aren't they?  Somewhere within, under or beside whatever fakakta C.O.D. parcel has been randomly dropped on the stoop reside gems.  Pearls.  Gifts.  If I tell myself the truth, I can probably not name any day ever that did not bring one welcome, valuable contribution.

Today, at the top of a list that will continue to grow, is word that my nephew Griffin and his wife Meg are now the over-joyed parents of Josie Simone, born in Shanghai, bestowing light all around.  Welcome, beautiful girl; international congratulations.  Miracle and wonder.

In my Baptist Sunday school days we sang "Brighten the Corner Where You Are."  Over the past several weeks there have been hunched and shadowy forms - and not entirely without cause - perched on my head, shoulders, the foot of my bed, selling their only product, gloom, with the zeal of mattress retailers on a holiday weekend.  During some moments I lost track of those deeply-rooted instructions and became hunched and shadowy myself, not who and how I wish to be.  Sing along if you wish:

  1. Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
    Do not wait to shed your light afar;
    To the many duties ever near you now be true,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
    • Refrain:
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Brighten the corner where you are!
      Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
      Brighten the corner where you are!
  2. Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
    Let not narrow self your way debar;
    Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
  3. Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
    Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
    Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
    Brighten the corner where you are.
When something is weighing and waiting, though I may be able to quiet my mind temporarily, my body still unmasks me for the charlatan I am.  It breaks out in patches of unsightliness - eczema, cold sores, eye inflamations.  Yet, when I get out of myself, truly step away from thoughts of what might or might not happen, I am not beset, not afflicted.  For all their immeasurable flashes of illumination, our minds have that other side, the so-called friend who delights in sharing bad news.  And she always drops by when we are already twitchy and fragile.

Twelve-step programs have to be among the best advocates of reaching out, of pouring balm on our own aching hearts by being a beacon for someone else.  No better way to forget one's troubles than to be the ear for what another is going through.  We all have the potential to be sources of light, it is the mandate; at the very least it is one of the assignments.  As one of the truths, it is also easy to forget.  One can become awfully wrapped up in woe, real and imagined, gathering speed - and reinforcements - on that downhill roll.

In opposition to the far-flung imaginings and forecasts of those internal wet blankets that would snuff out our attempts at a fragile glow arrives Josie Simone, bright and unflickering.  A rocket, a reminder to make room for, to seek out the distant lanterns that tell us respite is at hand, is always at hand, though it may be temporarily disguised.

I feel I have weaseled and wriggled out of my way-lighting duties for too long. We are all needed on the front lines.  While I coax my flame into, I hope, useful brightness, Josie Simone gets to do the heavy lifting.  How grand that she is more than equal to the task.  Then it will be your turn.  Do not wait. xo


Marylinn Kelly said...

Angella - Your comment didn't show up here but I got an email that you'd left it. Thank you. I do forget that we have options to brighten our own corners and, by extension, others. xo

Penelope said...

Beauitful post, Marylinn. And to think we come into the world pure radiance like Josie. Had to go to Youtube to hear the tune of the song. Excellent sentiments, a timely reminder. I light tonight's candle from yours.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penelope - Thank you. Is she not pure joy made manifest? I am so touched, your lighting tonight's candle from mine. How easily we forget or under-value our potential for blazing brightness. xo

Anonymous said...

"Yet, when I get out of myself, truly step away from thoughts of what might or might not happen, I am not beset, not afflicted"

when i hear from you, this is what your words help me do. thank you!


Marylinn Kelly said...

Sherry - It seems little enough to remember, yet we wander so far away. Thank you. You reassure me. xo

beth coyote said...

Beautiful baby, welcome.

And Ella Fitzgerald singing Brighten the Corner...

Beautiful Saturday.


Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - Each new round of photos, she becomes more wonderful. Thank you and thank you so much for the Ella referral. I just listened to her, truly carrying the message. xo