It's a reminder for me on those days . . . in those times when things fall apart in the microcosm of a single moment . . . when I imagine a catastrophe that's not . . . when I've underestimated one that comes hurling back at me like a boomerang on a random Tuesday in June . . . or when there's just no mistaking the soulshatter . . .
In the worst of these (and they're coming for all of us) I want to remember that being human is to open our hearts to the pain . . . to agree to the suffering because we understand there is something better on the other side of it . . . to know that what we do with the pain might be the key to our own or someone else's heart and healing . . .
And so I begged, stole, and borrowed to write . . .
On my very last day I found a note with this key waiting for me when I arrived home . . . As I pass it along to you, I'm reminded that it's not what happens to us that makes us brave, but what we do after . . . when the shock and grief and awe have the power to paralyze . . . and after, when it's only necessity that pushes us forward, and we find, like a discovery, that necessity is still important to us . . . and after . . . when we look for joy and purpose and other things that had lost their importance at a place in time . . .
For your worst days . . .
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones, and when you have laboriously conquered your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
~ Victor Hugo
On your better days . . .
"Go back?" he thought, "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So he got up and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall and his heart all of a pitter and a patter.
And on those days when your courage overtakes and exhilarates . . .
I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.
~ Charlotte Bronte'
My friend, I am inspired that you've arrived at this place. Go forth with adventure and a lion's heart.
p.s. Keep the key. I have one for both of us.