Our collective and personal holding patterns, poetry and letting go

Thought Cookie, Edition 6: Volume 2

Thought Cookie, Edition 6: Volume 2

250 Words of This and That

There’s this thing going on among us right now: it’s a feeling and it’s a wave and it’s a vibe. It’s a sense that this is going on a long time, and yet we are far from the finish line. After a friend (thanks, Jen) shared this article about working moms in America dealing with the pandemic with me, I realized the phrase “on the brink” holds a lot of descriptive relevance right now. We are on the brink. We are holding our lives in patterns, which we have held since a year ago. A year ago, we saw this thing coming and either didn’t want to believe it, or were skeptical (hand up!) or underestimated it (hand up again!). And yet, we established new patterns. You know the physical and behavioral patterns: mask-wearing, staying home, hand washing. But in these days of retention, I am curious about the emotional and intellectual patterns we established. The numbing patterns, the isolating patterns, the hold-it-back-and-in-and-together patterns. The denial patterns, the cockeyed optimistic patterns. What patterns did you establish? I have been in and out of all of them. And I am curious about the side effects of long-term holding, of soulful retention. What have we been holding on to? How tight? Can we let go of it? Do we have to hold it longer? Do we have to ease up on our grip or give it to a trusted friend to grasp onto for a bit?

  • Reminder from the soul of truth: A year ago, you went into a holding pattern. This was a courageous thing to do. It was a protection, it was an act of care for your fellow humans. You’ve been holding this posture for a year -- and there is not an end in sight. It may be time to account for and become aware of what you have been holding: especially emotionally, mentally and creatively. 

  • Takeaway: Get curious about what you are retaining, and how. Observe yourself as you hold. Consider what you might let go of. Holding, ultimately, is a choice.

Inspiring Morsel

Poetry inspires me. Always has. Always will. It embraces me. Poetry befriends me when I feel most alone. It gives me back the voice I lost. It connects me to that thing I know is always there running from within me to the greater world, the thing I continually forget: the soul of the universe. Amanda Gorman’s words three weeks ago acted as tethers, as kite strings, to so many of us who needed the balm of poetry to once again find that connection, just as Maya Angelou’s did on that same January stage 28 years ago. Poetry, our soulful time piece, telling us how far we have traveled and how much further we have yet to go. Do you have a poet, or a poem that speaks to you? Do you have poems you revisit at certain times or moments? If not, may I suggest a highly relevant collection to thumb through these days and see: Good Poems for Hard Times, selected by Garrison Keillor.

From my bookshelves

I did not know Cleo Wade until my friend Misty introduced me to her a couple of months ago. Now Cleo is one of my favorites. And what I love about this book is her artful wisdom and the pick-it-up-get-something-simple-and-profound-put-it-down nature. Enjoy! (and thanks Misty!)