Especially in the non-stop world of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, it seems like everyone is always rushing around. There's little time for connection, rest, or play, as we pass by hundreds if not thousands of other lives each day. Lives which tell glorious and difficult stories, all unfolding all at once.
Through a curious series of events, I've joined my good friend Mark in the art of on-the-spot typewritten poetry. What a surprise it has continually been to connect with strangers, hear a bit about their story or their sense of humor, and then to write them a poem celebrating, as best I can, whatever it is that's on their minds.
There's something strangely beautiful and wonderfully human about connecting with another over a typewritten poem. To get a glimpse of their story - perhaps their marriage, their cat, their uncertainty, their hobbies, their dreams - and then capture it in a poetic from is a humbling and joyful experience; sometimes hilarious, sometimes healing.
Even when writing poems about a topic of which I know very little, such as baseball or eastern mysticism, there's an interesting challenge in discovering common ground, in connecting with and honoring someone with a very different background or belief or worldview. What happens when we ask questions that lead us to affirm the human longings about which we all can sing? Perhaps differences and disagreements can be set aside for a minute, for all of us need the gifts of encouragement and kindness.
Slow down and see the stories being written all around you. Search out the goodness and the glory amidst the struggles and the triumphs.