For Those Hurting and The Not So Perfect

It’s a daring thing to acknowledge hurt, which of course, turns out to not be so isolated. If you are human, and awake even just a bit, you likely have known some hurt.

What’s also true in that is that it is perhaps daring and disciplined to acknowledge joy, which of course, turns out to not be so isolated either. If you are human, and awake even just a bit, chances are you have known some joy.

It’s an interesting time of year in the United States. Thanksgiving proper is tomorrow. Turkey dinners will abound. Many family gatherings. Black Friday will follow, a shopping and commercial extravaganza that is quickly taking on the tone of “the week of black Friday.” All of this kicks off a holiday season for many that leads up to Christmas and December celebrations and rituals. The messaging in American television at this time of year tells many tales of perfection. Perfect families. Wealth. Opportunity.

It’s a great story for many people. Except for those who it is not. I celebrate the kindness and invitation in the stories. I’m glad to have grown up in a family system that brought out this kind of connection in me. And, beyond charades of perfection pressure, there is also need to acknowledge the not so perfect. In that there is kindness and celebration also.

A friend encouraged my to share more of my poems recently. The one below comes from a time during the year when I felt I needed to be daring enough, and human enough, to acknowledge some hurt and pain. I offer it here, for the “not so perfect” that is also present at this time of year. And for the beauty that the “less pretty” might surface.


Be In Nothingness

What could I do today
that would take away pain,
more than just numbing it
and temporarily dulling it?

It’s not vodka or beer.
I’ve tried those
enough to buzz,
drawing surrogate spirit from bottle.

It’s not football on TV.
I’ve tried that too,
but that mostly shows
yards I have not gained.

Maybe I should be noble
and say that taking away
others’ pain will surely
take away my pain.

It’s true,
but this one is dodgy.
Taking care of others
gets me out of facing myself.

Maybe I should take a slow walk,
with my dog,
rambling among autumn trees
and fallen leaves.

Maybe I should light a candle
and stare into it,
searching for meaning
that surely comes from flame.

I don’t know.
And part of me doesn’t want to know.
What I could do today
is just be willing to be in nothingness.

Maybe what I most need
is patience and kindness with myself.
I’m hurting.
Hurting needs healing, and rest.

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