"What do I do, what do I do".. words from one of Mary Oliver’s poems which I have been consuming so much of recently. “The rain is slow. The little birds are alive in it. Even the beetles. The green leaves lap it up. What shall I do, what shall I do?” She asks, in her poem titled, 4 Early Morning, My Birthday. My birthday is next week, and so, of course, I am looking back at what a year it’s been and pondering as to what I want to do in the next one. This year, I’ve read so many books, seen many forests, mazed through different relationships with people I love, people I’ve struggled with, people who have been in my life forever and those who are dearly departing. What shall I do, now that I am here? My first inclination is to make sure I write more. To defeat resistance and do what I have to; write with somewhat of a reckless abandon.
Sometimes, I am afraid to write, and that fear becomes like a wall that presses on my chest making me feel smaller and smaller and farther and further away from what I am meant to do with my one small and precious life. “The world doesn’t need more words,” says the wall. “People will judge you, people will look down their noses at your style, your imperfect grammar, your lack of education, the books you’ve read and the education you have already received. You, as you are, are not enough and you don’t deserve the key to unlocking the door to the world’s acceptance.” I raise my middle finger and rebel because it’s the most satisfying kind of rebellion. To show the negative forces in life, that regardless of their subtle truths, I will not give way to the cynic.
Expression comes to me in the form of thoughts, manifesting through the voice of my words. They are my strengths and also my weakness. And oh, how they have caused me much grief and sorrow due to their half-truths, their fears and their ability to expose who I really am and have become. Words hold so much power. Did you already know? They hold the power of death and life, and they all stem from our thoughts. This is why, in the Bible, God is continually reminding us to pray and focus on “whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy..” etc. Remembering to focus on what I am thankful for, filling my mind with stories of hope and remembering the meaning of life, which goes something like “love one another” is the best way for me to produce a life worth living and to prevent negative thinking.
Some days I falter which is so easy to do when living in a society whose news thrives off of devastation and wrongdoing. It is not my first impulse to react with hope and faith that everything will be okay. Somehow though, I was given a sword of truth that cuts through the thick stench of negativity and cynicism. I call it faith and hope that things will work out the way they should despite the way life looks on the outside in the present moment. My guide book, the Bible, will take me to that place of experience working out for myself and the greater good as it fills me with words of hope, stories of great faith and unconventional acts of love.