Elizabeth Gilbert and the Future of Hope

I have been on crutches for over two months now from a serious knee injury I have mentioned in previous posts. Ten days ago I was given the green light from my doctor to ditch the crutches and begin weight-bearing around the house.  Sadly, after 3 days the pain returned.  Instantly I went from hope to a state of despair.  How much longer will I have to endure this?

By “chance” I tuned into an episode of the OnBeing podcast called the “Future of Hope” an interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, who happens to be one of my heroes.  During the interview by Pico Iyer, Gilbert speaks of how she navigated the pandemic and also the death of her life partner, Rayya from cancer.  Here are two excerpts from that interview which I needed to hear…

“if there is one thing that I, if I had the chance to do it over again, could’ve done differently, would’ve been to walk into it in a stance of surrender — arms collapsed, no clipboard, no agenda, no cherished outcome — and to have almost gone limp into it, which is not the same thing as hopelessness, but it is a very powerful stance to take in the wake of something that is bigger than you are.”

“And a friend of mine gave me a tip: to lower my standards of gratitude, to lower the bar and to catch the low-hanging fruit so that it’s not — it doesn’t have to be these huge, epic, grandiose gratitudes. The more physical they are, the more I felt it in my body. My gratitude for these slippers that I have that have an insole that you can put in the microwave and you can warm up your feet, that’s on my gratitude list almost every day. And I feel it neurologically. Even when I say it, I remember how comfortable those slippers feel, and remembering that doesn’t necessarily send me into despair over the state of the world, and it starts to kind of rewire my brain.”

Such good advice in tough times be it a pandemic, death of a loved one, or an injured knee.

Surrender

Gratitude

Every day I have to relearn those lessons.

I highly recommend listening to this episode.

Missing Me

I miss you

she said

Do you miss you too?

Yes, I miss me

I said

I miss those walks we had

at the orchard’s edge

philosophical conversation

keeping pace with our breath

passing the lonely llama

hoping for an apple

the kestrel on the wire

the lambs frolicking by the red barn

the crows flying overhead

the fields now plowed

waiting

huffing up that hill

sighing at the view

of woodland and vineyard

yes, I miss it all.

The call ends

I turn my chair, roll it up to the computer

and resume typing

Illustrations from my doodle dayplanner

Tune into my blog on sustainability at onesweetearth.blog

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth Gilbert and the Future of Hope

  1. This is such a lovely poem, Alanna, discussing with two (of probably many) parts of yourself, offering kindness to both. I want to thank you two for referring to the On Being interview. I started it over a week ago and got distracted, then had to reboot and never pulled it up again. I will make that a priority before the next On Being is published. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful words of wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert AND from you. I feel guilty, now, for missing the lovely natural areas I used to have for my walks. I should just be happy and content that I CAN walk reasonably well. Be well, Alanna!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Becky. I am fortunate to live in a rural area and have nice scenery out my front door. I usually walked around these country road several times a week and I really miss it!

      Liked by 1 person

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