Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in
— Leonard Cohen / Anthem
One of the few things we all have in common is that we’re not content with the way things are.
The most important action within each of our grasp is to continue to ask the question, What if?
That’s how we imagine possibilities. That’s how we rise above present circumstance. That’s how we honor loved ones who are no longer with us. Those who are suffering yet and still.
As long as we keep the candle of our curiosity lit and fed … fear, hopelessness and helplessness don’t have a chance.
Share your truth. Your story(-ies). No matter how cracked and broken. It just may be somebody else’s bread.
Had someone recommend Anne Lamott’s delightful Ted talk, which I will also commend to your care (https://www.ted.com/talks/anne_lamott_12_truths_i_learned_from_life_and_writing).
One of her comments in particular stopped me cold. She referred to the act of writing as “a debt of honor.”
I discovered this truth a couple years ago as my Mom slipped deeper into dementia.
I’ve had no greater encourager in my life than my mother. She always believed in me. Told me time and time again that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.
The shame of it is that for years, I didn’t believe her. Dismissed her praise. Her encouragement. Never thought much of myself. Or my writing. Have always struggled with any sense of self-worth. For most of my life, I’ve been really bad at receiving compliments. Never trusted or believed them.
Until my Mom stopped being my mom.
It was only then that I saw things differently. That it had nothing to do with me. And had everything to do with her.
And, without exaggeration, it was an epiphany.
I stopped worrying about whether I was any good (at anything) or not.
I was Anna Margaret’s son. And she believed in me.
So, my debt of honor is to bear her light to the world. Her beautiful light of encouragement.
So I write to honor her.
To honor her wit. Her orneriness. And her keen eye for bullshit.
What a gift it is to forget your perfect offering. To accept our cracks, and realize that it’s only because of them that light shines through.
Whatever your gifts may be, ring the bells that can still ring.