In a matter of hours, clocks here in Washington State will strike midnight, and calendars will flip to 2021. As I often do in times of uncertainty, I again turned to poetry for hope. And, once again, Mary Oliver offered wisdom with her poem, “Lead” (refers to the heavy metal that kills birds and fish when they ingest it).
Parker Palmer, Quaker elder, educator, writer, and activist, is also strengthened by Oliver’s poetry. He explains that this one, “invites us into heartbreak because she wants to exercise our hearts—to make them more supple—so we can become wounded healers in a suffering world.”
In 2021, may we all become wounded healers in a suffering world.
*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.