Say It With Me

Oct 19, 2012

A few mornings ago, I heard an interview on NPR with the poet Mary Oliver. Speaking of the experiences which inspire her poetry, she said, “The world doesn’t have to be beautiful to work. But it is beautiful. Why?”

Some questions don’t need to be answered in order to open our eyes. There is wisdom to be had just in the asking.

We tend to think of the world’s pain as the senseless thing. The meaningless thing. But what of the world’s beauty? Whatever did we do to deserve autumn leaves? The smell of a campfire? The honey-wine taste of a pear?

This is the view from my window. With apologies to The Photographer (who I’m sure can look at this shot and know exactly how I should have tuned my camera settings), it’s a view to make you catch your breath.

Sitting in the chair by this window, I notice just how tired I am. And I can hear the boys fighting on the other side of the house. And then the baby starts to cry, and it’s time (again!) to fiddle with formula and plastic feeder bits and bobs because my body is fundamentally broken.

But, all I can think is “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

My bed faces a set of three windows. The glass is so old it’s wavy, and the autumn colors outside look like they’ve been spun through a kaleidoscope. Sitting there, I can still hear those boys fighting, and I can see the fearsome dust bunnies lurking in every corner of this room, and, oh, I am so, so tired.

But, again, all I can think is “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Following a season of drought, my life today is one of excess. I am too tired. I am too happy. I am so disappointed. Those boys are too loud and will they ever learn to play without fighting??

But, it’s the beauty I can’t get over. The over-the-top, cup-runneth-over beauty that is everywhere in my life right now.

So, yes, I am tired and my house is dirty and I wish I had the time and energy to cook all those mouth-watering recipes I just pinned on pinterest, but I open my eyes just the tiniest bit, and the only words I can think of are these:

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



    • Christie Purifoy

      Yes, one of my favorites! And the perfect poetic accompaniment to this post. Thanks, Danielle.

  1. kelli

    oh I think you did a lovely job:) and I can’t wait to see that view for myself in a week -thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  2. kelli

    p.s. oh wow love that poem. christie, i miss poetry monday;)

    • Christie Purifoy

      Me, too, Kelli. Methinks I must do something about that … stay tuned.

  3. jamee

    Have you read Ann Voskamp’s “1,000 Gifts?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    My body is also fundamentally broken, but the Lord can overcome. The Lord DOES overcome.


    • Christie Purifoy

      Yes, love that book Jamee! I actually thought of Ann Voskamp as I wrote this post and worried that my words were too derivative, but, then realized that, of course, we should all be copying Ann in the practice of gratitude.
      I’m grateful (!) that gratitude has not felt lately like a discipline – it is simply the thing that is bubbling up in the midst of these wonderful, overwhelming days.


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