[*A free-writing journal piece prompted by Week 1 of Mark Nepo's newest book, The Book of Soul. The writing prompt invites us to explore how we sit with Possibility and Disappointment.]
I hang out here, mostly, in the chance choice that comes with Possibility.
Optimism. Opportunity. Direction toward change, growth, development. There’s wonder and awe in Possibility. Curiosity too. I mean, didn’t we grow up believing anything is possible? All we needed to do was put our mind to it. Try.
There’s dreaming and whimsy in Possibility. And a beautiful not-knowing. Chance and risk abound, but in bright colors and rays instead of shadows.
I spend more time avoiding Disappointment than I care to admit. And I certainly don’t stay there longer than I have to. Unless being there is constructive. Unless there’s information there and resources I can use to rebuild toward Possibility.
But so many people want to do their time in Disappointment; prove something to themselves, or to others by staying there. Like an indignant silent protest. I’m not leaving until I’m proven right or until I feel better in someone else's wrongness.
Disappointment can hurt the soul. Dreams can whither, there, and all the proverbial sails lose their wind. Giving Up can show up too. Doubt and Fear prove they were right all along. Self Love gets called into question. It can all come apart, beat by beat -- until there’s no will and the heaviness sets in, tethering us there for the long haul.
It takes heart and strength and people who love us to grab a hold and pull us out of there, toward light, levity. Toward joy.
Yeah, Disappointment can crush Joy, man. Squeeze its buoyancy out dry.
No, thank you. I choose Possibility. And Hope. Even though I know Hope is a story I tell myself to put the next foot down in progression toward next -- be that forward through Covid, the precious minutes with my kids, a breath between phone calls to save our democracy, a breath between ideas on how we’ll grow, change, reach to goodness first, then greatness.
Possibility made peace marches and works of art; the Pyramids. Hiking trails and the internet. Wind turbines. The intricacy of virtual schooling, hip hop and microwave pizza.
Don’t get me wrong. Disappointment has contributed too, by showing us the mistakes, faults, foiled plans. A flashlight. Hey, look! Here’s something that needs attention! Climate change, racism, wrong policies, wrong choices, disempowerment, inequity...Check it out. There’s Possibility here in this mess of Disappointments!
But we have got to do this together, y’all.
We are an inspiration, alone. And we’re a movement in community. A collective of world views and stories; ideas, opinions, experiences. Variances at every level. And it’s awesome.
So here we are. Hold my hand and we’ll do the next thing.