We can change. People say we can’t, but we do when the stakes or the pain is high enough. And when we do, life can change. It offers more of itself when we agree to give up our busyness.
How can we celebrate paradox, let alone manage at all, knowing how scary the future may be — that the baby brother will grow, and ignore you or hurt you or break your heart? Or that we may die, after an unattractive decline, or bomb North Korea later today? We remember that because truth is paradox, something beautiful is also going on. So while trusting that and waiting for revelation, we do the next right thing. We tell the truth. We march, make dinner, have rummage sales to raise relief funds. Whoever arranges such things keeps distracting us and shifting things around so we don’t get stuck in hopelessness: we can take one loud, sucking, disengaging step back into hope. We remember mustard seeds, that the littlest things will have great results. We do the smallest, realest, most human things. We water that which is dry.
–Anne Lamott from Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
Shall I tell you, then, how it is?
There came a cloven gleam,
Like a tongue of darkened flame,
To burn in me.
And so I seem
To have you still the same
In one world with me.
In the flicker of a flower,
In a worm that is blind, yet strives,
In the mouse that pauses to listen,
Shadow as well, and deprives
Them none of their glisten.
In each shaken morsel
Our shadow trembles
As if it rippled from out of us hand in hand.
We are part and parcel
In shadow, nothing dissembles
Our darkened universe. You understand?
You think dark is just one color, but it ain’t. There’re five or six kinds of black. Some silky, some woolly. Some just empty. Some like fingers. And it don’t stay still, it moves and changes from one kind of black to another. Saying something is pitch black is like saying something is green. What kind of green? Green like my bottles? Green like a grasshopper? Green like a cucumber, lettuce, or green like the sky is just before it breaks loose to storm? Well, night black is the same way. May as well be a rainbow.