The road ends, but the journey continues...

MMXXiii – part one

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 4:23

It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it?

Played against the backdrop loop of escalating violence, senseless shootings, climate catastrophes, wars, heartbreaking stories of real people – multitudes – changed forever due to man’s inhumanity towards man. It’s difficult to not get overwhelmed.

And yet.

I am:

Learning to accept
That all hungers cannot be fed,
That saving the world
May be a matter
Of sowing a seed
Not overturning a tyrant,
That we do what we can.

The moment of vision,
The seizure still makes
Its relentless demands:

Work, love, be silent.
Speak.

The house of gathering (poem excerpt) – May Sarton circa 1988

I’ve been quiet of late. Not by choice. I’ve sat numerous times at the keyboard or with pen in hand struggling to put into words all that is streaming within my mind and heart to no avail.

But now as 2023 nears completion, I find it easier to recount certain of those events and revelations which occurred during the past year rather than as they were occurring!

Part of my year’s journey included the above ‘revelation’ which clearly set me up for greater freedom in living my ‘everyday life’.

That said, I hope to compile a ‘part two’ followup post which will highlight some of those ‘events & revelations’…but then, maybe not! 🙂

43 Comments

  1. Annika Perry

    Laura, how often the silence speaks … your post captures so much that has been swirling inside of me as well. A beautiful reflection and perfect poem to find harmony for us in this maelstrom of life. Here’s to planting seeds, to freedom in everyday life. Wishing you peace and joy in 2024, my friend! hugs, Annika xx ps. Condolences upon the loss of your friend Michael Chapdelaine – I’m listening to his touching and exquisite music as I write.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Annika: such a relief to hear from you! I searched for your site a few days ago and it was blanked out. I think many of us in our circle of blogger buddies have been stuck in this ‘swirling’. Here’s to planting seeds!
      Thank you for the condolences and for listening to Michael’s (he)art via his on-line music.
      Wishing you gentleness and joy in 2024.

  2. Marie A Bailey

    It’s nearly impossible for me to write while so many people are visited by so much horror. I like to present myself in a positive, cheery way in public, and so often I don’t write because I feel it would be callous of me to do so. And yet, sometimes sharing some cheer is what is needed.

    “That saving the world May be a matter Of sowing a seed.” Thank you (and May Sarton) for this. It’s a lovely reminder that a seed–whether an act of kindness or a charitable donation–has the power to change the world.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, I need to be reminded of this often or I get bogged down and am no good to anyone!

  3. Marty

    I completely understand, Laura. I’ve vacillated quite a bit on even closing down blog operations, but I decided to just carry on with lots of breaks. Every year it seems is one we’re happy to say goodbye to (2020 remains especially so in my own memory banks), and so I’m happy to be rid of last year too now. Here’s hoping to a better 2024 the world over, if that’s possible.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Whenever I get tempted to take a longer blogging break that might morph into oblivion, I remember and experience the genuine rapport amongst the blogging community and don’t want to give that up!!! Selfish? Yes!
      So you should be so selfish, too?!
      🙂
      Thanks for stopping by, Marty. I wish for you and Gorgeous great health and happiness in the coming year.

  4. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    Laura, it has been a very difficult and daunting year worldwide! I have spent much of it wishing I could do something positive about the chaos. I love the excerpt from the poem which reminds us that we do what we can. This is a perfect message going into 2024. May this be a year of peace, healing, and restoration.

    I heard today on the news that homicides and violent crimes in US cities have been declining substantially over the past two years. Home mortgage rates are down a couple of percentage points, and interest rates in general are predicted to go down this year. Those are are encouraging trends for the coming year.

    Wishing good health, happiness, and success to you and your family! <3 <3 <3

    • laura bruno lilly

      Cheryl, your comment nicely sums it up and offers encouragement for this New Year. 🙂
      May you be surrounded and filled with all you hold dear in the coming days.
      hugs

  5. Andy

    Lines I recently wrote:

    ‘the enormity of it all overwhelms you
    you can only affect your own shadow
    and then exist in separation.’

    Though we are never truly separate, are we? We just have to contribute however we can. It’s a coping mechanism.

    • laura bruno lilly

      How serendipitous – many of us are struggling with this same “Sturm und Drang” which in all irony seems to be a uniting factor for us humans in these fractured times.
      Your poetry always inspires me, Andy. “Everything is redeemable.”
      😎

      • Andy

        A poem for this time of year 🙂

  6. marissthequilter

    Whilst is indeed a good word

  7. zippyquilts

    Two thoughts: one of my favorite gospel songs, “Brighten the Corner Where You Are”, and one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs: “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering; there is a crack in everything: that’s how the light gets in.” Best wishes for 2024.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I like how you found some ‘answers’ via song lyrics…The Cohen Quote is so **earthy**!
      🙂

  8. marissthequilter

    It has indeed been a year. I have been grappling with how to open my heart to the suffering both near and far. It feels like an impossible task. To protect one’s heart seems to be wiser, if conflicting, advice. So thank you for your post. I have been thinking about how to comment on it all day. It certainly makes sense to do the small things that one can, especially sowing seeds (and sewing cloth) for the joy at what grows from that.
    In my youth I read Ayn Rand and took to heart (mind?) her philosophy, summed up in the image of Atlas shrugging off the demands of the world. Now I realise this is too extreme and inhuman. Oh to find the middle ground between being heartless and heartfelt (if that makes sense).
    I have done it again — written an essay.
    Thank you for this thought-provoking post, dear Laura. It is good to hear your voice.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Mariss: Never worry about writing an essay here. Your thoughtful consideration to what I’ve posted is always appreciated. In fact, I’m touched you feel ‘safe’ and at home enough to write such an honest response. I know you will find your own balance of heartless/heartfelt…most probably whilst (! I like that term!) handstitching your latest fiber art piece.
      🙂

  9. deborahbrasket

    I hear you. 2023 has been a troubled one in horrific ways as you’ve outlined, and 2024 promises more of the same and for the US politically much anxiety. It is difficult to write with all this in mind. And yet it’s poetry like the one you share here that helps us through it, putting things in perspective, giving us a new way of thinking about things. Thank you for sharing this. I keep returning to these old nuggets: be the peace you want to see in the world, and change the things you can change and accept those you can’t.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Flower-sister: The healing power of the Arts in full action…a gentle prod to keep on keepin’ on with our (he)art.
      And thank-you, reminders of those old nuggets as tools for living are gladly accepted.
      🙂

  10. Wakinguponthewrongsideof

    Just write what you feel…or think what you feel…but toss in a little hope that wins outnumber losses

    • laura bruno lilly

      LA – words I will take to heart as you are someone who manages to produce something on your blog each and every day. Stay curious & observant, lady!

  11. Khaya Ronkainen

    Both the proverb and poem are so powerful; and find me where I am, right now. Thank you for sharing. Keep well, dear Laura!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Dear Khaya – stay tender, yet guard your heart!
      hugs

  12. Chela

    Thank you for such a thought provoking post. It is just what I needed as I am reflecting on this past year and preparing for the new year.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re more than welcome. I know what you do everyday adds joy and delight to all who encounter you, Chela. I’m honored you stopped by and commented.

  13. cedar51

    my year trundled along with intermittent blips along the way – and then suddenly in early November, the opportunity came to me – that I could move from a rather large city of more than 1.5million people to one not even near 1million or even half that number…

    and here I am…

    I’ve no idea what will happen in 2024…

    • laura bruno lilly

      You have a great foundation set up for the New Year, Catherine…I’m excited to hear of your happenings in your coming blog postings!

  14. piecefulwendy

    Our conversations here at Pieceful Thoughts have often centered around the thoughts conveyed in that poem. Thank you for sharing it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, they are, Wendy. Your piecemaking is peacemaking.
      hugs

  15. Jennie

    Never forget that music is the voice of the heart. It always has been, and always will be. When times are troubled, like now, I find myself singing out loud, all the time. I sing in the car, at school…all the time. It heals me, and it brings great joy to the children.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, teacher, I need to sing out loud more! I do find myself humming at times 😎
      And – whenever I break through personal barriers and pickup one of my instruments to play – I am at peace in the moment!

      • Jennie

        Yes, yes, yes!!!

  16. Laura Kate

    You will share when you are ready, and you will create when the germ springs forth.

  17. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

    Lovely poem and a good reminder that we can’t do everything but we can do what we can. I hope 2024 holds many good things for you and your family, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I **do** need to be reminded that our ‘small steps’ do make a difference. I hope 2024 holds many travel adventures for you, Janis!

  18. L. Marie

    These lines really struck me: That saving the world
    May be a matter
    Of sowing a seed
    Not overturning a tyrant,
    So beautiful! A lovely way to reflect on the year and on how to be effective in general, Laura!
    Happy New Year!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Poetry, good poetry, zings right to the heart. I find this excerpt to be validating especially in light of the fact that May Sarton wrote this during other times and felt the same struggle I am right now.

  19. Wow that was so beautiful the section on

    “Learning to accept
    That all hungers cannot be fed,
    That saving the world
    May be a matter
    Of sowing a seed
    Not overturning a tyrant,
    That we do what we can.”

    That got in my heart Laura, thanks for sharing that. I hope 2024 is filled with peace for you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Tierney for letting me know the poem spoke to you. I wish for you peace as well.

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