Shutters, blogging, failure, grace

I saw these shutters in Amish Country last week.  And if I could select an image to represent how I feel at this moment in my life, this would be it.  I know some of you are there too.  A bit worn.  A bit blue on occasion. Ready to weather any storm, angled and open for the light.

This blog will be about common graces, the things we see and experience every day that make us more gentle and brave, somehow both at the same time.  It’s been a while since I have done this, made a commitment to daily writing.  But I know when I see the world through writer’s heart, a soft heart, I fall a little bit in love with living again.  And that, my friends, is good.

About a week ago, I suffered a downfall.   Simply stated, I wanted a position that was not awarded to me.  I am not sure downfall is the right word.  A disappointment, to be more accurate.  And while I’ve suffered disappointments, this one seemed to be staying around longer than most, chewing on my brain.  You may have had that experience too – a gnawing that just wouldn’t leave you.

Last night I figured out its purpose.  To narrow and define my truest intentions.  This thing I did not get?  Well, I don’t think I really wanted it. I want writing.  I want a wider community that feels like a kinship, perhaps found and built here. I want this: eyes to see, grace to recognize, words to express.

Today I am grateful for the gifts of failure.  How it made it get in there, where the heart is gooey and slippery.  How it made me hold my heart, comfort it a bit.  Then ask, as Elizabeth Gilbert once said, “What do you really, really, really want?”

Thank you, failure.

Now go be gentle and brave,

Jean