Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy 1st birthday, Josie Simone - repost from 6/30/12

Josie Simone, birthday girl, and her mother Meg.
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


susan t. landry said...

what a dear face that child has. a bright light.
how wonderful to have her in your familY!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - It is SO wonderful to have her and her lovely mother in the family. I await reports of the birthday party for our newest bright light. Thank you. xo

Lisa H said...

these are words of ancient wisdom from you, one so young.

Your perspective continues to sharpen with laser clarity....and I have NEVER seen you breaking out or ooozing although I Get the metaphor....yes, I really really do

Marylinn Kelly said...

Lisa - Oh, there has been oozing, let me tell you. Not pretty, there are no photos. Thank you and thank you for young, for there are days...A new life, a new family member, just The New may help us to remember that we need to let go of some of The Old. xo