“I had begun to feel that the days that stretched out in front of me were a dark, terrifying wilderness. As I wrote about moments along the way, everything looked more friendly, and I discovered that the days are only days. I received and gave love as I untangled my thoughts through the act of writing, and discovered something wonderful. Truly, life was funny, surprising, and beautiful. I told myself the truth, again and again, and I began to believe it.”— Rachel Devenish Ford
In her book Trees Tall as Mountains, taken from the early years of her blog Journey Mama, Rachel Devenish Ford writes of a life that is so different from mine as to seem exotic, yet also familiar enough that reading her work feels like chatting with a good friend.
Juggling the challenges of caring for young children while pursuing her own creative and unique path with her “superstar husband” (an affectionate nickname I appreciate in the contemporary climate of too many snarky spousal put-downs), Ford experiences many of the conflicts and anxieties that face me and, I imagine, many others all over the world. Yet she returns again and again to an insistent optimism that enables her to press on through her most difficult days.
I think many of us who blog have made the same discovery Ford describes: things have begun to look more friendly, more funny and surprising and beautiful. The interactive nature of blogging has enabled readers and writers to enjoy the company of like-minded people from a wide variety of places, making the world feel a bit like a very large neighborhood full of potential friends.
Depressed or distressed thinking can take on a frightening authority, convincing us that things are far worse than they really are. If we talk back to our despair, telling it the truth “again and again,” we will break through the barriers created by unreasonable fear, and open our eyes to a multitude of blessings within our reach.
The next time you are feeling stressed, frustrated or sad, I hope you will find ways to tell yourself the truth about life. It’s a gift and a privilege to cherish, even though its beauty is sometimes hidden.
One year ago today:
This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.
- Posted in: Uncategorized
- Tagged: anxiety, beauty, blessings, fear, friendliness, gratitude, humor, joy, life, reassurance, surprise, writing
Thank you for sharing that link. Her poem “The Work of a Woman” includes this line:
“to shape love like bread
and feed it to others”
What an interesting idea. I like that.
Yes, I really like her nonfiction work (I have not read any of the fiction except for her first novel, The Eve Tree, which was pretty good but not as good as her nonfiction). When I read her nonfiction prose I find it easy to just keep on reading.