Sunday, September 30, 2012

...experience, strength and hope

Interior of fallen redwood
Muir Woods 2010

The fallen tree lay beside the trail, dimly lit beneath the forest canopy. 
I don't remember why I took the photograph...possibly a composition that caught my eye. 
But I didn't see the color, not until I downloaded the digital image.  

Earlier today I read a post by Jeff Goins entitled "Why You Should Tell the Ugly Parts of Your Story". Honestly. Without self-indulgence and flattering edits. Aware that, as Jeff wrote, "there is a difference between transparency and exhibitionism." I listen for invitations to share appropriately: some people are safe while others aren't; my story won't resonate with everyone; the feelings, needs, and privacy of others who intersect my life must be taken into consideration. The idea is not to overwhelm with details or dazzle with drama but to share my experience, the source of my strength, and my hope: the blessings of brokenness.

But words aren't required. When I listen, you feel heard. When I'm kind, you feel accepted...just as you are. I can best say "thank you" for the grace and mercy I've been freely given - through no merit of my own - when I extend the same to you. The miracle of redemption echoes in the silence of a caring heart. 

The photo of the fallen tree trunk was an instance of transliteration...the transcription from one alphabet to another. Frost's poem, "In Hardwood Groves", came to mind: Before the leaves can mount again to fill the trees with another shade, they must go down past things coming up. They must go down into the dark decayed. They MUST be pierced by flowers and put beneath the feet of dancing flowers. However it is in some other world, I know that this is the way in ours.

I know that this is the way in our world. The detritus of one life can feed another. Or crush it. Gayle Forman wrote, "Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." And  sometimes I make a choice that makes/frees/grows us both. 

In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark,
art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice.
We're each of us our own chiaroscuro,
Our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid,
something real.
We've got to forgive ourself that.
I must remember to forgive myself.
Because there is a lot of gray to work with.
No one can live in the light all the time.

Libba Bray

If you liked this, you might want to read this: The Journeys We Would Never Choose.

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