Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Wishing You

On my New Year’s birthday, I read this poem by Ana Lisa de Jong that spoke to me, really spoke to me. For it’s been some year. Not just any old year. Not a typical year for anyone on the planet. You know what I mean.

Maybe you too have suffered trauma, a disquieted soul, deep grief. A dark night. A dark and stormy night. I joked with my friend Meg yesterday about cliches and how, yes, it was the best of times and the worst of times. The worst of years for obvious reasons.

The best of years because God and I together moved this mountain – mountain-moving: a cliché I couldn’t outdo because of the magnitude of progress this old packrat made decluttering a whole monstrosity of a house, upstairs and down. The silver lining in confinement.

But back to grief and loss, and why Ana Lisa’s poem matters. It matters because she so eloquently expresses what we all know deep down. That the little things, things we often take for granted in our everyday existence, are infinitely the most important. And only through sorrow does this revelation arise. Here it is, Ana Lisa’s poem about letting go and holding on, words to ponder this new year, words that comforted me this side of my deepest grief. 


I wish you better.

Whatever you didn’t get,


Whatever in this last year

you would hope to forget,

I wish you amnesia.

If not forever, just for the time it takes

to imagine, to place new hope

step by step.

And, whatever in this last year you did not receive,

or rather lost as something unable to be

kept in the hands -

I wish you better.

And if not better,

then a balm for your former pains.

A new view,

out through mist dissolving,

curtains drawn back to receive the sun.

Yes, I wish you that thing,

wish you whatever your heart,

if it could find a name,

would place its value on -

that illusive prize

which makes us hope in every new year’s


as though this year might

be the year we arrive at it.

And yet, I think it’s not until

in hindsight,

when we look back,

we see how all along we owned it.

These treasures of the heart


And that it’s our losses,

the things that have strummed the heart’s strings,

that were the important things.

Which is why I don’t wish you

amnesia, at least not as much as I do

memory -

and wisdom to treasure,

and recognise again

what are the main things.

That we might not leave them



Ana Lisa de Jong

Living Tree Poetry

January 1, 2021

 Art: Andrea Kowch

What little things have you come to recognize as infinitely the most important?




  1. Beautifully written post!
    Ana Lisa's poem wishes us a better year and the wisdom to recognize and cherish the important things ( 'the little things' according to her) in Life.

    1. t's been an axiom of mine
      that the little things are infinitely
      the most important.

      ~Arthur Conan Doyle

      I'm with Arthur. And with Ana Lisa.

  2. There are scarce few, whose every word I hang onto. You are at the front of that parade. I imagine by now, you know that.

    I was just listening to Sonny and Cher. Now, I will have to go back and listen to their recording of "It's the Little Things." (Sonny died on this date, in 1998, in a skiing accident. There was a news mention. That is why I was listening. All things can be explained. Some just explain them better. Like you.)

    1. Michael, the feeling is mutual. You have an amazing gift for words yourself, a way of creating narrative poems that few in this day can master.

      How about that? The synchronicity of this date and the mention of 'little things?' As wordsmiths we pay closer attention to these synchronicities, don't we? We must. It's the artist's way, mindful observation.

  3. Such a beautiful poem and so timely shared, Debra! May we treasure the good memories and let the not-so-good fade away like shadows in the darkness.
    Blessings and Happy Birthday!

    1. Thank you, Martha. I look forward to talking with you soon. We really should catch up. What a crazy time we live in - you and I both know.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...