cushioning the hard

by Kristen

Some days are hard. The intangibles of the world’s incivility, the crescendo of chaos in the news, the crashing waves of heartache—they all pile on at once.

And when those days thread together to weave weeks of discomfort one after the other, the air itself begins to feel heavy.

This is one of those months . . . one of those seasons.

Under this weight, words seem so inadequate. They slip unformed off my tongue and elude my fingertips. My usual method of working out all the thoughts and frustrations falls away. Yet I notice my hand involuntarily reaches for the words of others, for the inky stanzas of hope painted by poets past and present.

I didn’t know how much the words meant until I glanced above my laptop and saw a wall of poetry framing my workspace. The unintended result of weeks of accumulating words—printed and jotted down on scraps, pinned and taped—to cushion all the hard.

And there on the corner of my desk—the place I store the books I slip into my purse each morning for stolen moments of reading while walking or eating—a Bible and a slim volume of poetry.

I don’t know when my words will return. I don’t know if civility will claw its way out of the ashes. I don’t know if love will overwhelm the hostility. I don’t know.

But for the first time in days I took a deep breath. A crack of light cleaved the darkness. A moment of peace shattered the noise.

Because beauty finds a way.




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