Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions...amended

The day after Christmas, I listed my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Remove the word "should" from my vocabulary.
2. Live in community, in honor of Ben Horne.

Then, on New Year's Eve, as I was enjoying a delicious bowl of beans, rice, soya, and guacamole with nine other PCVs--the day after an extremely adventurous 80-km ride to one of their sites, which itself followed a whirlwind tour of three other PCV friends' sites in Luwingu district--I realized I needed to add one more.  I looked at Erica O. and said,

"I want to draw a larger circle."

She understood instantly, as we had discussed at length the quote I was referencing, and the situation for which it is a metaphor, three nights prior at her house.  Her smile and nod warmed my heart and filled me with encouragement.

The reference is to the poem "Outwitted" by Edwin Markham.  I found it--or some paraphrased version--in the book Apples of Gold, a quote collection of sorts, that found its way into the assortment of books my mom and sister brought in their suitcases to Zambia to be used in my reading promotion work with my pupils and community.  The first time I read it, I knew that this was the answer to a wound I've been letting time heal (slowly) while I've been here.  I haven't known exactly how to draw a larger circle, and I still don't, but I love the idea that this poem implies--acceptance, forgiveness, and inclusion.  This idea seems to be a good approach to any hurt that may linger from 2012 or may come in 2013.  Cheers to that!

Outwitted  by Edwin Markham

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

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