I spent the day oddly attuned... to the candle flicker and the dough under my nails and the way Margot brushed her forehead back and forth repeatedly across my face... to the way I could feel certain burdens of dear friends as if they were my own, and could sense my whispers for them being heard. Can you be both buoyant and heavy? Hemmed in behind and before by both gratitude for your life and a bitter cry against the pain that accompanies it?
We've been reading through the story of Joseph, which reads like a Dostoyevsky novel (the family drama! The long winded papa!) and the kids are on the edge of their seats each night trying to keep everything straight (the dreams! the trips back and forth!). I can't help but be amazed by how Joseph saw the arc of his life with such grace and grit. Like he too was attuned... to every betrayal and every long year and every way the pulse of God was keeping time alongside him.
In the evening, after our reading and teeth brushing, we sat for awhile longer, because I had suggested a family poetry circle, and the kids were eager to give it a go. It made me smile to see each of their personalities in turn as we read our scrawls aloud: a clever rhyme with a twist of humor, a sincere but cliche stanza heavy on the Jesus, a startling free verse with introspective depth. In their own way, each taking the stuff crammed into their heads, their bones, and letting it worm it's way out in words.
It's said that poetry is life distilled, and to write it is to pay life close attention. So that poet-Joseph sings a song to his brother's both true and sad but bound in hope. And I can hope to walk the wayward paths of friends and kids and unknown days with the same kind of grace and grit. Every crack a place for filling. Every bend and break a place to know the mend of God.