Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When William Faulkner won the Nobel Prize for literature, he said there were only six things worth writing about: love, honor, pity, pride, compassion, and sacrifice. These are the pieces of the human spirit, and these pieces allow the human spirit to not only endure, but to prevail. (The whole speech is here. It's short, but wonderful.)

We find the Faulkner six, first within ourselves, and then in relationship with other people. Those six pieces define our relationships, first with ourselves, and then with everyone else. If our spirits are not only to endure, but to prevail, then those relationships with ourselves and with other people are everything.

Relationship is everything.


Every. Thing.

Most of us understand this on some level, but take it for granted until something big and overwhelming happens. I will carry the image of my family standing, sitting, and kneeling around my mother's death bed to my own. We held each other, and we held my mother in love, and her passing was easier because of relationship.

Sometimes clarity comes in the small, quiet moments. I was blessed with two such moments today. Early this morning, when school had been called off and no one was awake but me and young son, we sat and talked while he played with the dog. The snow outside and the cozy darkness inside lulled us into real conversation.

At lunch, I sat around a table with my two best friends, and we shared the pieces of our lives that matter.

Love, honor, pity, pride, compassion and sacrifice...they are the only things worth writing about because in the end, they are the only things.

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