Sometimes we do

Photo by Jordan McQueen via Unsplash

Sometimes

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:  may it happen for you. 

— name withheld at the poet’s request*

This post is for everybody who is heartbroken– over the news, over the strife in this country and around the world, or over personal sorrows, or sheer exhaustion and despair not directly related to the chaotic world outside the doorstep.

My wish for you, and for all of us, is that we take a few moments to find a still, silent place to breathe deeply and realize that even the air we take in, and the ability to breathe unaided by machinery, is a gift we did not earn.

I wish you gratitude and sanity and calm, a peace that passes understanding. I can tell you this sort of peace is possible, even for one who lacks that breath, one who is dying and knows it. It must be possible for us, too. May it happen for us.

*no, the poet is not me or anybody you know from this blog.
If you want to know why the name is withheld, read the last bullet point here.

30 Comments

  1. Gasp!! Julia! Hello xo
    I’m so excited to see you here and now I see I’m late to arrive after all. I’m just up for a little bit. Couldn’t sleep and thought I’d mosie around.
    I will swing back in the morning xo Miss you

    • Hey there K, it’s great to see you here! As you can tell, I’m not back very often, but hopefully that will get easier over time. Hope you are doing well.

  2. Good morning, Julia!
    Today is a day that I needed to read this.
    Thank you for sharing it, and for sharing the photo – clouds with a golden lining.

    • Susan, you’re welcome. We need some silver linings right now.

  3. Mary Lundgren

    God Bless You Julia, thank you for this timely message. I love all the beautiful and appropriate photos that always accompany your words.

    • Thank you so much, Mary. I am glad you like the blog and I am so happy you joined us here in the comment section.

  4. Ann

    Thanks for this post. I have been so upset and disheartened by the current turmoil in our country. Your blog provides a spot of sanity in the midst of the insanity.

    • Ann, it’s all terribly upsetting and I have to focus on other things as much as I can. I really can’t afford any more sorrow right now. Thanks for being here.

  5. Cherie

    Julia, I am in one of those solitary places. Please lift me up in your prayers, dear sister. Love and Light!

    • Cherie, Matt and I will keep you in our prayers and I’m saying a few extra ones just for you. 🙂 Hang in there and I’ll do likewise! ❤

  6. MaryAnn

    WOW! How appropriate for our times! Such sadness going on, people believing there “position” is the only correct view, stomping all over each other with hate & abuse. We know this hurts our Creator, as He wants us to be kind, loving, friendly, patient, hospitable, joyful, peaceful, good, gentle, forgiving, humble & practice self-control! What a wonderful way to view life! Thank you for this beautiful poem to ponder & remember to be a better example.
    Much love & prayers for “my” Dentons!

    P.S. I sent a photo of Aaric’s Monterey sunset to your cell phone, if I have the correct #.

    • Hi Mary Ann, I didn’t get the text of the photo, but I did get it through email – it is BEAUTIFUL! Bravo Aaric. He has his grandmother’s eye for beauty.

  7. xo

  8. raynard

    Julia,” Like the old word jumble puzzle” that use to appear in the morning newspaper, follow me here…” The Broadway Musical ” Evan Hanson. The old game shows,” Concentration and” Password”.. Arlington National Cemetary… The beginning opening credits to the old T.V. show” Ben Casey. In the background as I type this Sergio Mendez and Brazil 77 ” Rivers of March… Morale of ” the rest of the story”, your blogs encourage me and gives me hope and also to think… I believe it was yesterday. Someone asked about you yesterday on the Upper Room. Then someone came behind them and said” Go read her blog and talked about your writing and last” road trip/ Cannonball Run” Are we there yet, trip overseas…Hope will always be a good thing no great thing for me. I hope as this year closes what really matters and what doesn’t you won’t find under a tree, at Walmart, eBay or Amazon. It’s love and friendship… Thank you for all you give and continue to give. It’s like the family reunion that ” you know if the potato salad goes bad,” you know who left it sitting in the sun” lol I digress…

    • Raynard, I was so happy to read that someone remembers Sergio Mendes and Brasil 77, and then I realized that who I remember is Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. My Daddy had that album because he loved their version of “The Fool on the Hill.” Interesting trivia fact: The Beatles did not record that song until 1967, and Brasil ’66 covered it in 1968, so the must have only re-named their band every 11 years, hee-hee. Seriously, thanks a lot for your kind words about the blog. I think you know I have received much more than I have given. Why does that sentence suddenly make me think of Kung Fu? I digress…Hope really is a great thing, and on that note, I hope you and Mary have a great week!

  9. Amen, Julia. You voice many truths, that both affect the masses and the personal.
    We are where we are as a civilization, if it can be so labeled, because too few of the enlightened among us give attention to this following reality: “Be sober, be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
    -Alan

    • It’s easy to forget that, isn’t it? Until something happens to jerk us back to reality. Let’s just hope and pray for an outbreak of sanity that will spread like wildfire. Thanks for being here!

      • Yes, Julia. We can hope.
        Possibly that outbreak of humanity will be the result of a Divine invasion. As when Paul made amends for Saul.
        -Alan

        • Alan,sometimes I think that’s our only hope. But the good part is, divine intervention can take all sorts of forms. As John Adams sings to the Almighty in his wonderful opening number of the musical “1776” — “God, please get thee to it, for Congress never will!” 🙂

          • I love that musical, Julia! The difference between today’s Congress and the original Continental Congress…PARTIOTISM!
            -Alan

            • How true. Those men were far from perfect, but they didn’t get paid for traveling long distances on horseback to spend sweltering summer days in Philadelphia (wearing those horribly uncomfortable clothes) and in fact, for their trouble, they risked being hanged for treason. But apparently (if the musical got it right) they had as hard a time agreeing on anything then as they do today. I guess some things never change. 😀

              • Ben Franklin said it best to his fellow congressmen: “Either we hang together, or we will surely hang separately.”
                -Alan

                • Amen! That’s still true figuratively, if not literally (as it was in his day).

  10. Dorothy Walker

    Dear Julia, how wonderful to have you back🤗 I only picked up this morning that you were. I missed your writing so much I’d been reading back to your 2013 blogs! I hope you are now feeling stronger and you and Matt managing OK. Here we are entering Spring with all those cold winds and even light snow up from here! The jonquils have almost finished and now daffodils camellias and azaleas are giving lots of colour and the hope that Spring brings. At present my son and wife and 9 month old grandson are staying for a couple of months from India. First time I’ve seen Zeke except for pictures sent. Of course he’s beautiful and such a joy. I miss Dexter, just turned 5, and my daughter and husband, who have been living in Germany since February to be near Vanessa’s in-laws. They will come home sometime in 2018. Always in my thoughts and prayers, welcome back. Dorothy 💐

    • Dorothy, thanks so much for checking in here. I appreciate your kind words about the blog and I certainly missed all of you. Your description of your springtime blooms was most refreshing on this hot, humid, wilting afternoon in late summer. Do you get much snow? Somehow I don’t imagine it snowing very much in your part of the world. WOW, you certainly do have an international family. Next time I am feeling sorry for myself with my Grandsons three states away, I will think of you and your loved ones who are half a world away. I know you’ll be glad when at least some of them return home again. I am so happy you are HERE with us!

  11. Harry Sims

    My dear, dear friend Andrew L. who spent twenty years on “death row” in the Georgia prisons told me you could hear it ringing out at night and echoing in the hollows of the prison chambers, “Keep Hope Alive, Keep Hope Alive”.
    Even though sometimes it might be just a dim flickr
    It is absolutely true that “Hope Springs eternal in the human breast”.

    Harry

    • Thank you, Harry. If a death row inmate can keep hope alive, we should be able to do it too! I can’t imagine any place that would feel more hopeless. Sometimes I imagine hope as a dying ember that just needs a breath every now and then to keep it from going out. Then with the right fuel, it may come back to life.

  12. Ann

    I can’t remember if I commented on this earlier this week but it spoke to me again today. The anger and hatred that’s filling the airwaves and the internet are wearing me down.

    Julia, thank you again for providing a safe harbor.

    • Ann, you’re welcome. I have found great solace in reading the wisdom of others who have survived much worse. You know, the sort of stuff that didn’t get published unless it was good enough to pass through many editors and review boards. As much as I love the idea of free access to the internet, so much of it is unfiltered garbage, and hundreds of TV channels competing for attention haven’t helped matters. I’m staying as clear as possible of all the endless replays of upsetting images and words. I appreciate you being here in our little “safe harbor” which, as long as I have any control over what appears here, will remain a safe, caring and hate-free zone.

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