Won't You Celebrate With Me?

Dear Henry,

Last night, I had one of "those" dreams. You know the type I'm talking about. The dreams where you are transported back in time and once again find yourself face to face with one of the demons who almost broke you.

It's almost as if the demon is demanding a do-over.

Over the years, I have struggled tremendously with all the terrible things that have occurred in my life. (Please read "Can Anyone Cry Job's Tears?" if you need background.) And I thought I was doing quite well, all things considered, yet here I am this morning, pacing around the house, trying to get my heart rate back down and repeating, "Everything is fine; it was just a dream," like a mantra.

Some months ago, while reading Bishop Robert Barron's "Evangelization and Culture," I discovered Father Michael Casey's article "How Qoheleth Contextualizes Suffering," its information has been simmering in my mind since then.

While everyone knows bits and pieces of Qoheleth (also known as Ecclesiastes), The Byrds made a great song out of it. We also all love to (mis)quote Ecclesiastes 9:7 by saying, "eat, drink, and be merry." Still, for the longest time, I couldn't figure out what Father Casey was trying to get at, and, quite frankly, I was a little irritated by the whole article, as if "eat, drink, and be merry" was genuinely going to solve the haunting nature of PTSD and chronic pain.

Then I stumbled across Lucille Clifton's poem "won't you celebrate with me." I think I've gotten the point.

We are in a fallen world, where terrible things happen all of the time, and life is often nothing more than surviving from one catastrophe to the next, yelling,  "I'll bite your legs off" in the manner of the Black Knight.

And when we aren't in the midst of a catastrophe (or maybe, even if we are), we should celebrate.  We should share meals and wine with our friends and be grateful that we are alive another day, another minute, another second, and grateful that, at this moment, there are people to celebrate with.


I think I'll have some cake.

Come celebrate with me.

xoxo a.d. elliott


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, photographer, and storyteller currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

Her online photography gallery can be found at shop.takethebackroads.com


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