Shine and soar, anyway

  there was so much juice on that word
as I traveled around the sun these past twelve months
and opened up to fresh skies and some new ways
and began carving a bright new groove,
even if it was slow going
and isn’t half done.

But there was this enormous grace in the carving
and even as Fall turned into Winter
and circumstances seemed to mock my hope,
and this tender heart of mine got broken up pretty badly
I found that,  still,   my banged up joy is stronger than despair
and the bells keep playing anyway.

And I’ve been listening for a new word to ring clear
and quiet in the heartache
it snuggled near
like a big wet kiss
from my lab’s warm nose
and it feels like a firm guiding hand on my back,
this little word,
as I head into the nexts
because I want so much to squeeze more juice from my pens,
my camera,  my choices,  my days.

My little word for the year:  anyway.

(Brave, beautiful beginnings to you,  too,  friend,
with plump shiny hope that whatever your deepest heart is longing to do,
you go and do it,  anyway)


“I sing,
I dream,
I love,
-Martina McBride


  1. Mary on December 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Hi my friend…I was perplexed at first sight of “anyway”…but then…

    It’s perfect! Yes, anyway…no matter the circumstances…in spite of the circumstances…

    Doesn’t Jesus say to do this…didn’t Jesus do exactly that…

    Oh my friend, such a brave, selfless word! I can see oodles of blessing from this one little word, that is full of so much!

    You are loved!

  2. Elephant's Child on December 30, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Hugs. I love that your brused and battered self can stride out – anyway.

  3. Julia Bourque on December 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog throughout the year Jennifer. I just poster my Christmas Story just now. Your little word Anyway is perfect for my situation. I try to make joy and sow love wherever I can and like you squeeze the last drop from everything I do.Wishing you good health, joy, love and may all your wishes come true in the New Year.

  4. Julia Bourque on December 30, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Posted, not poster


  5. Barbara on December 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    That is a perfect word! Dang. Wish I had thought of it, but I’m glad you did and that you shared it with us. Let’s go boldly into this new year, shall we?

  6. jeanie on December 31, 2013 at 10:08 am

    It’s a iine word. Anyway. Any way. Quite perfect!

    Thank you for giving me such joy in 2013 — I look forward to ever so much more in 2014! Happy New Year!

  7. Wanda on December 31, 2013 at 11:47 am

    What a perfect word Jennifer. Much comes to push against us but we be found push along anyway.

  8. Maryse on December 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Yes, we can keep going ANYWAY and find much joy in it. It is my experience that sorrow infuses joy with a graceful and divine quality . Joy without pain lacks depth, that’s the way of life. My very best wishes to you. May you continue to explore and grow with all of your heart and soul. Happy New Year!

  9. Marcie on December 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    What a perfect word – YES!! Wishing you and yours peace and happiness in this up and coming new year – :-)!

  10. Kathy on December 31, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Happy New Year, my dear friend! You are strong and wonderful and I love you! Anyway works! Hugs, kath

  11. Relyn on January 1, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Hello, dear friend.
    I have a few wishes for you.
    May 2014 bring you much joy.
    May we all have peace in our homes,
    laughter by our firesides,
    time spent with family,
    and contentment in our hearts.
    Be well, my friend.

  12. Lynn on January 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I have not quite settled into this new year, new day. Feeling a bit shy about meeting the next. Unsure of how my feelings are reacting to the new.
    Then I read this post. So much word gold.
    “my banged up joy is stronger than despair” … is a fine example.
    This post felt so necessary to have found allowing me to feel as if, yes, perhaps I can embrace the unknown year once again… in spite of the old… I can do it anyway.
    Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry for any heartbreak 2013 has laid upon you as well and I pray we can both, we can all walk boldly into this new year with hope and faith that there is good to be found. Make that awesomeness to be found.
    May your 2014 be blessed with much love and light.
    You are a beautiful soul.

  13. Donna on January 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    What a strong word…fear something but do it anyway…now that would help me THRIVE!! I send you many blessings and such warm love and happiness for 2014!! Happy New Year my friend!

  14. Donna on January 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    What a strong word…fear something but do it anyway…now that would help me THRIVE!! I send you many blessings and such warm love and happiness for 2014!! Happy New Year my friend!

  15. Kimber Britner on January 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Beauty hidden in a small word waiting to ooze out, trickling into a river’s full roar. That’s what I saw for you. Happy New Year sweet one!

  16. S. Etole on January 1, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    A word as creative as your beautiful heart. Blessings for a wonderful year.

  17. Suzanne on January 1, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Shine and soar, anyway… sounds perfect. Blessings to you for this New Year that’s just begun. xo

  18. Anne on January 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I see the soul spa as clearly as I do the wall in front of me. We call into being that which is not through faith—go, Jen!

  19. kamana on January 2, 2014 at 4:06 am

    happy new year jen 🙂

  20. rachel awes on January 2, 2014 at 6:02 am

    “the bells keep playing anyway”…
    your senses are so beautiful/all that you hear-see-smell-andall, anyway.
    LOVE to all that aches.xoxoooo

  21. Sue on January 2, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Although I thought your word was unusual at first, the more I say it the more it rings true. You can add it to almost anything, anyway. Love it! Happy New Year!

  22. Judy Hartman on January 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I don’t know how your “tender heart got broken up pretty badly”, but I felt so sad for you when I read it. Of course you rallied and used your “banged up joy” to keep you from despair. I wish you so much happiness in this promising year of “nexts” and know that you’ll come through with beautiful bells ringing strong.
    Sending you love and heartfelt good wishes, dear friend!

  23. Naomi on January 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Perfect word! Pushing through and following your joy and love anyway is what I think we are meant to do.

  24. Jema on January 4, 2014 at 8:21 am

    We bravely dig our bare feet into the cool dirt of earth; full of flowers, full of thistles, full of refreshing water inviting us to continue moving. We go ANYWAY because we have found that the thistles are few, the flowers abundant, and the water connects all of creation.
    Love to you on this New Year.

  25. sipping gentle medicine… on April 14, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    […] disappointment so sharp that I hold it white-knuckled,  the word I chose (my word for this year ~ anyway) and it’s because of that heart-limp that I dig my heels in stubborn and choose to joy all […]

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