I know I wrote a morbid-sounding poem last week, but I haven't fallen into a pit of despair. It was a bad case of Mondayitis, with a bad little haiku to mark the occasion. (Thank you, though, for the supportive comments and bloglove you sent me! I took a great deal of comfort from them all)
Although I'm not sad, I have been feeling very emotional. I've been gazing at the tiny freckles on Laura's nose, with sheer adoration. I've been thinking of my younger brother and sister, and how I love them more than they may ever know. Benjamin's cheeky attempts to boss me around have made me grin, and tell him, "Good try!", while we both fall about laughing. Tears run down my face when I watch news items about tragedy and loss. Every emotion seems intensified just now, but it's not unpleasant. It's like my world is programmed for high definition.
In a music store today, I listened to the album recently released by the Choir of Hard Knocks - an Australian choir comprised of homeless and disadvantaged people. Many of the choir members struggle with addictions to alcohol and other drugs; many have mental health problems. I had seen programs about this choir in which I heard them sing, and have read articles about the group. Yet despite this, I found myself listening today, transfixed, with goosebumps rising all over my arms. The music wasn't technically perfect, but it was sung with such intensity. And when the soprano soloist's voice rang out, the notes were so true and clear and unadorned that my throat went tight with the beauty of it.
I know the world can be a nasty, scary, awful place. Things happen that are sickening, sad and soul-destroying. And yet ............ flawed though we may be, we as people also have the most incredible capacity to bring joy into each others' lives. It doesn't take much to make another person feel cared for, feel loved, feel noticed. A wave, a brief conversation, a smile of commiseration, or lending a hand for a moment - these small acts become amplified, like ripples on a pond, radiating outwards and spreading happiness to all those around.
The future can be brighter, because we all can be kinder to each other. We may show kindness towards our own family and friends (well, for the most part!), but what about the mother who no-one ever talks to at school pick-up, or the cashier who looks exhausted, or the elderly man who looks unsure of his bearings on the street? There are so many opportunities for us each to make a difference. I'm trying to remember this.
It seems to me that life can get so busy, it is easy to race along in the current, never stopping to consider where we are actually going, or even to notice about what we are doing, day by day. So I relish these days of high emotion. Because what could be worse than not feeling anymore? What could be worse than ceasing to weep at sadness, ceasing to hoot with laughter, and ceasing to tingle at every nerve-end at the sound of voices sung from heart and soul?