I sometimes take breaks from reading the news. It makes me feel sad, frustrated, overwhelmed and useless. And so that is when I look around for all the little things, which often add up to the biggest things.
In-laws who are willing to take my son fishing, friends who literally do anything I ask of them, a husband who is as playful and as curious as a kid, a baby doll who tells my friends, “My mom is quite generous”, a son who thanks me every morning for his breakfast and who lugs his own private library to the toilet because he just can’t tear his eyes away from the pages, parents who can still laugh even when life has been anything but kind to them.
It’s crazy the good I have. It’s so crazy that I can feel awestruck by my good fortune.
But then I also feel weak and ineffective because it feels like no matter what I do, it will never be enough to make it “good” for everyone. Maybe this is why I always feel restless.
Two things happened as I was pondering all this at The Book Shelf. I was “working” if you call chatting about books, fielding phone calls from customers who recognize my voice, and getting teased by patrons of the cafe work. A young man who is leading the charge in Winona against the marriage amendment Minnesota will be voting on in November came in and heard the ruckus. He caught someone saying my name and walked over. He was wearing a bright orange t-shirt that said “VOTE NO” in November.
“I like that shirt. I look good in orange. Where did you get it?” I asked.
He told me and then introduced himself and we talked about the work I did for ART (andrewsroundtable.com) and he said, “So, you’re Lisa Gray.” Fun and funny to feel known without knowing someone. I was invited to a planning meeting that will hopefully rally Winona troops who want to defeat this amendment and just like that! my restlessness settles just a bit.
An hour later I am invited to read an original work at an open mic night that will be held after a published poet reads and discusses her work. On that I have not settled, but sometimes the invitation is enough.
I keep this in mind, often. Sometimes, a simple invitation is enough to light a spark. Easing into the maybe of something new, more, different is a light unto itself. Emily Dickinson’s famous poem “I dwell in possibility” has always called to me.
But time is ticking. I best not dwell too long.