“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” wrote poet Mary Oliver.
Much of the news, and sometimes much of our heart, is filled up with frustration, not least when we look at the political situation in Washington D.C. But I don’t want to write about the negative stuff right now.
The picture above is a composite of two images, both taken the day after President Trump took office. One shows the U.S. Capitol Building at night viewed from Pennsylvania Avenue. The other shows Carly, age 6, sitting on the shoulders of her mother Sarah as they walked down Jefferson Drive during the Women’s March earlier in the day. I love Carly’s smile, and the possibilities inherent in the sign she holds: Future President.
These are not the best of times in American political and civic life. But I love how easy it is to pick up a book and read about, for example, Abraham Lincoln. He once, while angry, wrote a letter to General Meade. Doris Kearns Goodwin explains: “Before sending the letter, which he knew would leave Meade disconsolate, Lincoln held back, as he often did when he was upset or angry, waiting for his emotions to settle. In the end, he placed the letter in an envelope inscribed: ‘To Gen. Meade, never sent, or signed.'”
I love, too, that people like Carly are out there, carried on a mother’s shoulders, holding a sign of optimism and hope.
And though Mary Oliver passed away last week, aged 83, I love that her many wise words are still with us, including the ones with which this post began, and now ends:
Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
- The quote from Mary Oliver is in her book Evidence.
- The story about Lincoln is in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.