Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain
The resilience of the human spirit never wanes but increasingly glows with an effulgent light. As long as there is a day, a tomorrow, a future, we will face it and do so with inexhaustible ardor.
Life pushes us in many directions, asks us to make sacrifices, it gives as much as it takes, but it continues to give as long as we have the one most precious gift of all, life. Though some shoes are more worn and weathered, lacking luster and polish, making the walk painful, difficult, and a humbling experience, still the triumph is that those of us walking in these shoes, continue to walk until their soles are scraped raw and their bare feet are calloused.
In their honor, we stand with gratitude for their sacrifice, for bearing the burdens of life that sometimes is unfathomable, and we extend a conscious mind with a helping hand to show them that they are not alone; that we stride together in times of difficulty and celebrate in times of joy; that their footprint continues to impress our minds long after they walk out of sight and we will cherish this memory of once walking together.
This is what the holidays mean to me. When I see the greatest in need with tattered clothing and a tarnished visage making an effort to smile despite their circumstances, standing with brittle shaking legs, and grasping their own shoulders to conserve warmth that rapidly escapes them. If they continue to stand, what can possibly knock me down and defeat my spirit?
When everything is taken away from you, even the cloth off your backs rendering you bare against the elements, the instinct is to curl up into a fetal position to cover yourself…until a kind stranger walks by with a blanket, lifts you up to your feet, and wraps you with the warmth of love. Every day reminds me to be that stranger, and especially the holidays when the disparity of joy and neglectful sadness are at their greatest. But I can be better at this…I can always be better…and so I strive to be.
I don’t need to compare myself with others and use that to modulate my sense of kindness. As long as I give until the point that I myself have the same needs, then I can never stray too far away from love, because the intimacy of the experience will always humbly remind me that, I too, am human; I am a part of this beautiful panorama called existence and my life is a spectacular speck of light on this unending reel.
what gravity tears my chest open
to reveal a lover’s beating drum?
for i swim wounded and bleeding
in the seas of eternity
to find one i have sworn to love
in millennia past when i first
saw the design of my soul
reflected in your eyes
and from our union
my purpose was born.
the cruel contortionist
fearful of love’s divinity
weaves our tragic parting
soon you were stolen
from my woeful sight
leaving me in darkness.
I followed you
to the great abyss
returning each time
with a borrowed cloak
and you in another;
displaced in time
and separated by distance
as we wander lifetimes over,
seeking what we were
cursed never to find.
however our destiny was written
with the embers of the stars
by the one delicate hand
that draws our fate intertwining,
and even should time forbid
this cosmic embrace
our divine affinity
defies all impossibility
i have been asleep
under the spell of the grand illusionist
drowning in the sea of my own blood,
do i wake gasping for that holy breath
to save this cloak from ruin
because i have found you
nature inspired by our resolve
rebels against the tyranny of law:
our distance bridged by sympathetic space
our collision fixed by merciful time
here we are, two bodies, one soul
peering through our effervescent cloak
to see the reflection of our same design
our contrast renders fascination that
ignites the spark of a tender passion
what is a soul mate
but the mating of one soul?
strip away our flesh
and drain our blood
burn the veiling cloak
with our celestial fire
let our essence shine
through to all worlds
and the mending of our soul
be the destined reunion