Image by Swamibu via Flickr
Written by Karen D. Swim
I awakened this morning to darkness. Momentarily confused without the morning light to guide me, I got up and padded to the window. I peered out into the darkness silently willing the dawn to break. I gave thanks for the day as I carefully stepped through the darkened house to prepare for the day. I stopped for a moment to breathe in the peaceful stillness. I wanted to hold on to that feeling of calm serenity for as long as possible.
A few short hours later that peace was challenged as I read about the man who hung an effigy of US Presidential candidate, Barack Obama from his front yard lynching tree, the newscaster beaten in her home, and the mother gunned down while walking her daughter to school. My heart lurched and I clutched that peace close as I prayed for those with such hatred in their heart. As I wondered about the state of our world and what I could do to make a difference, I stumbled across this poem.
O Me! O Life! —by Walt Whitman
“O Me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”
My heart regained hope as I clung to the answer – I am here and I can contribute a verse. In this world filled with negativity, I can write words that inspire and uplift. In my encounters with people today, I can allow my smile and cheery greeting to be a love song. I can listen to those forgotten, hug those in need of affection, speak up on behalf of injustice, offer water to the thirsty. I am here and I can contribute a verse.
How are you feeling today? What verse will you write?