You stand at the window.
There is a glass cloud in the shape of a heart.
There are the wind’s sighs that are like caves in your speech.
You are the ghost in the tree outside.
The street is quiet.
The weather, like tomorrow, like your life,
is partially here, partially up in the air.
There is nothing you can do.
The good life gives no warning.
It weathers the climates of despair
and appears, on foot, unrecognized, offering nothing,
and you are there.
~ Mark Strand
This letter is late today. Perhaps because this is the last day of 21 Days of Hope. And perhaps because saying goodbyes to anything, including a bunch of letters sent out in the ether, is hard.
I am not sure how many of you are out there reading this. I am not sure how many you will be reading this in the time to come. I don’t know if any of these words matter at all (although I pray, every single day, that they do) to anyone.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter. It hasn’t mattered in a long time.
I had made a promise to myself that I will keep writing so long as there is even one reader out there willing to read what I put out. Eventually, I realized that even one reader may be too high a cap. I will keep writing, readers or not. Because I can’t not write. Not anymore. And for what it is worth, I have to come believe that even when nobody seems to be listening, the Universe is always a willing audience. Every piece of art, every word, every emotion, every piece of our own soul that we carve out to create, gets added to the eternal fabric of the Universe.
Do I wish for the tribe of my readers to grow? Of course I do. Do I wish my words touched a few hearts and changed a few lives? Well, who wouldn’t want that honor, that privilege, that blessing?
I wish for all of these things. But I don’t hope. I don’t hope for meaning in my art. I don’t hope for readers. I don’t hope for fame and accolades. I wish. I don’t hope.
What I have learned to hope for is a will and an eternal love for writing, for the joy of watching the words unfold on a blank screen, for being eternally grateful to have writing in my life, and be able to call it my own.
Because hope is tricky force, a tricky tool to wield. And while hoping for bright and shiny stuff is always tempting, I have realized that bright and shiny things tend to be mere corollaries in the larger scheme of things. If we learn to hope right, to hope for the things that truly matter, to hope for happiness in its truest sense, maybe everything else just follows.
Just like the Good Life Mark Strand talks about.
The Good Life is one of my most favorite poems. Mostly because it celebrates hope the way it should be — quietly, subtly, warmly and affectionately. Because exuberance of a great life may be tempting but it is the quiet comfort of the Good life that is priceless. Because exhilaration and extravagance and any other momentary highs are by definition temporary, and bound to be alternated by equally extreme lows. But the balance of the Good Life is level and calm and resilient in ways few fluctuating highs can be.
I love how Strand describes the Good Life as something that just walks in unnoticed. Because it gives me hope in ways no grand promises of greatness and wealth and whatever it is that humans are currently craving for, can ever offer. It gives me hope that the Good Life is available for us all, that one day we will open our windows and there it would be. No fanfare, no confetti and no parade. And yet, we will know.
To all my readers, present and future, I wish you realize all your dreams and fulfill your destiny in the grandest way possible. But what I hope for you is that irrespective of where you are in life, your windows are always open for the Good Life. What I hope for you is that one day, when you need it the most and don’t expect it all, the Good Life will just walk into your main door. And stay.
This series is coming to a close. I hope that you took away, and will keep taking away, little nuggets of hope from these letters. I hope that you will always find hope when you need it the most.
The series will end, but my newsletters will stay. I will probably write to you once a week, or maybe twice. I don’t know. Tomorrow is a brand new day, and a brand new beginning awaits. And I am not just talking about these letters.
I am excited to discover where these beginnings will take us. I hope you are too.
Until next time
May You Find Your Good Life!