Yes. Those 3 letters brim with promise.
Yes can encompass zest
courtesy, courage or compromise.
Yes can mean guilt,
or quiet acceptance—
depending on when and how and why I say it.
Yes may mean “I’m afraid to say No.”
“To allow oneself to be carried away
by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit oneself to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything,
is to succumb to the violence of our times.”
So said Thomas Merton.
Then I read this:
Violence and devil’s bargains—isn’t this hyperbole? Spiritual hype?
Johnson’s meddlesome “how much” question chafes.
How casually I attribute my productive pace to:
- Birth order
- Childhood’s family work ethic
All gifts, I would add … that can be abused. When ticking boxes off lists I feel heroic, almost prolific.
Currently, I’m packing for travel. Bustling ensues. I toggle between fast-forward and pause.
There must be fresh ways to sanely pursue the essential—lest I mortgage my reserves into the next decade.
“Listen deeply to your body’s longings for movement and stillness, saying yes to them in whatever way is appropriate for you,” writes Christine Valters-Paintner.
Discernment sometimes begins in the body.
If amid hubbub I can wait with expectation, discerning my “Yes” may also entail speaking a holy “No.” Perhaps out loud. Perhaps, repeatedly.
The words yes and no even trigger arguments among grammarians trying to classify them into conventional parts of speech. Small and slippery, they can be nouns, adverbs, interjections, even minor sentences.
No wonder I’m conflicted.
While I’m away (sans laptop), I hope those of us pondering this will more easily discern when and how and why we say, “Yes.” And “No.”
Meanwhile, you might enjoy my offering in Jenneth Glaser’s winsome Poetry as Therapy celebration. Daily, for the month of June only, Jenneth features stunning photography, music, meditations, affirmations, poems, and prayers. Click the link below to catch up on earlier posts.
You might also enjoy my e e cummings photo mediation: Natural … infinite …
I’d love to get your take on saying Yes and No. I’ll respond as soon as I can, depending on computer availability.