My prompt was:
What quote, or line from a poem or a song, most captures what this year was for you?
I’m actually totally flabbergasted by how hard this is for me to answer. I have books and books of quotes, compiled over years (since 1985) and filled with my own handwriting. I regularly walk through my days with particular lines of poems or songs running through my head. And yet, sitting here, trying to pick one, I find myself stymied and frustrated.
Life gives us what we need it when we need it. Receiving what it gives us is a whole other thing.
-Pam Houston, In My Next Life
I think this is what I have to go with, on the shortlist of my favorite quotes, ever. It’s kind of a boring choice because I know I’ve shared it many times before. But it’s also just so apt for 2011. What is true is that I recognize in a new way the gifts that every day life holds for me, even though they are painful almost as often as they are glorious. But I’m still not receiving these gifts, at least not gracefully. It often feels more like life is forcing them down my throat. I write so much about letting go, and learning to do so; I even wear those two words around my neck. I have made progress on that front in 2011 – loosed my grip, maybe – but I’m nowhere near there yet.
But maybe there is no there at all. Maybe it is an endless process, this acceptance, this receiving, which, paradoxically, only happens for me once I’ve fully let go. I have to let go in order to receive life’s copious and overwhelming gifts. Which brings me to the other quote that’s sparring for the title of quote of the year. You knew I couldn’t just pick one, right? Same theme, different words (and another that I’ve shared many times before).
I will try to give thanks for gifts strangely, painfully, beautifully wrapped.
-Rebecca Wells, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
I’d love to hear your thoughts here, on this: What quote, or line from a poem or a song, most captures what this year was for you?
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