I want to share a poem that feels appropriate for this moment:  Lucille Clifton’s wonderful “the light that came to lucille clifton.”

I love this poem at any time, but now it seems especially pertinent.

What happens when, as the poem says, our “fondest sureties fade away”? How can we move through the relentless passage of time? How can we meet ourselves and the world? And how can we greet our own authenticity?

These seem like perfect questions to enter 2021 with.

Below is Clifton’s poem (by the way, I love it that she includes her own name in the title :))

the light that came to lucille clifton

came in a shift of knowing

when even her fondest

sureties faded away. it was the summer

she understood that she had not understood

and was not mistress even

of her own off eye, then

the man escaped throwing away his tie and

the children grew legs and started walking and

she could see the peril of an

unexamined life.

she closed her eyes, afraid to look for her


but the light insists on itself in the world;

a voice from the nondead past started talking,

she closed her ears and it spelled out in her hand

“you might as well answer the door, my child,

the truth is furiously knocking.”

These years have been difficult years of misinformation, lies, gaslighting. But, nevertheless, the truth remains all around us, and it is up to us to answer the door.

I hope that in 2021, we can individually and collectively open that door, create a world with more peace, justice, real solutions to the climate crisis, and freedom. I also have some particular ways I’m hoping to step up to my own truths and light.

What about you?

Enjoy these writing prompts inspired by “the light that came to lucille clifton”:

open notebook and candle for writing prompts

*How and when does the light come to you?

*How do you respond to that light?

*Does the light speak? What does it say? Does it do something else?

*Imagine a scene. Put in as many particulars as possible. Use as many physical details and as many sensory perceptions as possible. Use dialogue.

*What do you want to answer to in the new year? What do you want to say? What do you want to show up for, and how?

You might also like to use my free meditation recordings before you write. You can find those here in my free resource library.

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