How The Light Gets In

Keep writing to me. I write much better and think more deeply when I am not in a vacuum.

One of my most powerful Muses in these early post-election days, one of my deepest tributaries feeding the torrent of thinking, is a longtime friend who expresses her fear and anger and concern for America to me.

For every person who is saying or writing “give the president elect a chance and let’s keep a close watch and be ready to act” there is another declaring that “history has already given us all the information we need to know that we are now at DEF con one”.

I’m listening, and I’m thinking. I’m trying to think about where I will choose to be most vigilant and active besides writing a blog.

The thought coming out this morning as I walk the trail is this.  I’m looking for examples in reality or fiction of a peaceful resolution of a conflict between a force driven by elation and vengeance and a force fueled by fear and anger.

This is not a trick question. I am looking for models and examples that can give me some insight.

You are smart, thoughtful, educated people. On both sides of the line, I might add.What do you think?

In musing about the outcome, I was wondering when in history or fiction there were any example of a peaceful resolution of an encounter between forces driven on one side by elation and revenge, and on the other by anger and fear. I have only been thinking about it for a few minutes, but so far I didn’t come up with any examples that did not have cataclysmically destructive consequences .

Then a smart, passionate friend with a soul full of social justice who has been sending me Posts and articles full of fear and anger about the results of the election in a country where she doesn’t live, this morning sent me an article written in 2004 by Maya Angelou, who was distraught and fearful after George W Bush was elected.

Here’s the link.

It’s worth reading, and isn’t that long.

Reading it reminded me of an interview with Brene Brown that I heard in the summertime. It seemed to point in the direction of an answer.


Compassion is not a relationship between the wounded and the healed. It’s a relationship between equals.

You have to know your darkness well enough to sit in the dark with others.

We are divided as people because we are not integrated as individuals. I have to understand my darkness in my life. I have to understand how both of those work. It’s this integration in our world of what’s perfect and what’s broken.

There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. And we spend our lives spackling the cracks. We spackle it with money, with achievement. We spackle up places where we need to like to come in.

The bravest among us will always be the most brokenhearted. Because if you have the courage to love, you’re going to get your heart broken.if you have the courage to care and be engaged, you will be disappointed.

If you have the Courage to be innovative and creative, you’re going to fail.

I’m not less afraid of the dark. I just know that when I go in, there is beauty in it. When you’re not afraid of the dark anymore, it’s actually not the dark anymore.

I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of uncertainty. I’m afraid of vulnerability. I have just been in there before. And I know it can be beautiful in there. And I know that the choice of going in there and finding beauty or staying outside of the dark my whole life, that I’m not willing to do.

How do you grow courage to be on the other side again, to be in the dark? Grace.Grace is the whisper that says when you’re standing in front of the door, “I can’t make this less scary for you, but I can remind you that you’ve been there before.”

~ Brene Brown


Whether my struggle is with someone else, or myself, or possibly what I might think could be half of the population of a country, what would happen by starting with compassion?

Compassion isn’t concession. And I’m still coming Ing my mental archives of history and fiction to find an answer to my question, so don’t give up on me there. But this morning, that quotation was a little bit of light through the cracks.

In other words, we as a nation have been here before. let us allow the voice of grace to give us the courage we need to join forces and rise again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s