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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Being Bigger and Better Requires Being Open

Recently, Ty and I watched "The Life of Pi." A young boy traveling on a ship from India to California watches the ship go down with his family. The sole human survivor, he floats on a lifeboat for almost a year with a tiger named Richard Parker. Being in such a small space, he learns how to survive and navigate the seas while dealing with a Bengal tiger occupying his space. Only a few days into his journey, he finds a survival kit that includes life vests. He abandons the boat and creates a homemade float with the vests. He is terrified to co-exist with the tiger he believes will kill him. Bobbing in the sea, he looks to the sky and prays, "God, I am your vessel. Whatever comes, I want to know. Show me."

This scene caused me to think of two things: loneliness and connection. Loneliness because in our most painful moments, it feels as if we're hanging onto the tip of a mast. Simply trying to survive. Connection to something bigger than ourselves.

Sometimes, when I write stuff, people tell me they like it. That it touches them. Oftentimes, when they do this, I look back at what they're referring to and almost always, the words I've written don't seem like my own. The emotions, experiences, and things that resonate in my words are only a breath. I exhale and words appear on my computer screen.

I write this only to say that the words that end up on my computer and in my poems and books aren't my own. I'm just a vessel. Fingers that allow something from somewhere to appear. I'm a 42-year-old suburban Mom who spends her days driving kids around and making sure homework is done. Yes, I've experienced loss. Experienced life. But at the end of the day, I'm just a vessel. A vessel of love for my kids. A vessel of support for my honey who works incredibly hard. A vessel from wherever for the words that find their way into my fingertips.

We're all vessels. We all have the ability to open ourselves up to the possibility of showing someone something they haven't thought of before. We all have that thing within us that lets us be bigger than ourselves and show someone else how big they can be. How big we can be.

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