Finding Hope–a guest post by novelist Normandie Fischer

March 15, 2013

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Finding Hope

Our worlds narrow. As we focus on the now around us, on our limits and our needs, it’s hard to look past them to see the more that graces us, just out of reach.

The news threatens us with joblessness, with homelessness, with the falling dollar and the possibility of war. Politicians sit in their cushy chairs and make promises, but the reality of their world barely touches ours.

We forget to look outside. We forget to take walks or just sit, listening to the bird sounds, to crickets at night, to the call of a loon, the hoot of an owl. We forget to stand in a drizzle and let it wash down our hair and over our face. We forget to let the sunrise welcome the day or the sunset ease us into night. Our surroundings pale because we’ve stared at them so long: at the grind of job or home or health. The people sitting across from us at the table—or missing from that table—no longer offer what we need. Their blandness equals ours because we’ve forgotten to look beyond the fear and the hurt and the sameness.

If we live in the city, we forget that there are stars in that night sky, not just city lights. But even the city holds wonders: the subway street musician blowing his horn, the smile of the vendor when we bother to look and offer one of our own, the bustle of humanity with stories so different from ours. We forget to sit and sip and watch, because there’s always that worry, that need to hurry. We forget to listen to someone else’s heart—not just a lover’s.

I spoke with my daughter this morning. Her first baby is due in a few months, and she has the normal fears of impending motherhood. So many of her friends experienced post-partum depression. Will she?

Depression happens. Deep, debilitating depression needs more help than merely an attitude change. Don’t think I take that lightly. I’ve known depression, and I’ve known of those captured by it to the point of suicide. But for most of us, we can recognize the state and consider our focus.

I grew up in the sixties when we were just coming out of the Jack Kerouac “beat” era and becoming flower-children. We wrote and spoke a lot about self, especially in the art world I frequented. Self-actualization. Self-awareness. Self-self-self. It’s very easy to get caught up in that: we want it all. We deserve it all. We can and should be able to control it all.

And then something happens, and we discover we can’t. Someone gets sick. Someone loses a job. Someone fails. Someone leaves. And we want to know why, how, what? Even if the bad doesn’t happen (and, honey, if it hasn’t happened to you, well, I’m thrilled for you), we can still lose sight of the bigger, glorious world. The one in which our Creator beckons with that sunrise, that fish plopping, that bird singing, that wrinkled smile on the subway flutist.

Let’s try to look at the horizon a few times every day. To take that walk and let the endorphins do their work. To look around and see past our tiny little world to the one that offers hope. And let’s reach out. If you’re not the one hurting, maybe someone around you is. If you hurt, someone around you wants to listen. And if they don’t, I will.

No matter what happens. In time of sickness and pain. In time of loss and loneliness. In time of war and disaster. There is hope. There is joy. We just have to look up.

–Normandie

You can find out more about Normadie’s novels on her web page at: http://www.normandiefischer.com/, and if you’d like to communicate with her, there’s a contact link on her site for just that.

Also check out Normandie’s upcoming releases Becalmed and Sailing out of Darkness on her Amazon author page at http://www.amazon.com/Normandie-Fischer/e/B00BSIF2NI.

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Also, if you’d like to check out my own releases–Hummingbird, Renaissance, and others, they can be found on my Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/David-Stearman/e/B008EKIOZG

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22 Responses to “Finding Hope–a guest post by novelist Normandie Fischer”

  1. Great post! Makes me want to go outside and enjoy the first blooming flowers of spring in my back yard. Believe, in fact, that I will!

  2. Normandie said

    David, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog. Your banner is so evocative. Lovely.

  3. I wish one of us had known that my stepson was depressed. No one had a clue–not his mother, his sister who he was so close to, his roommate or workmates, his best friend. I wish someone had known so we could’ve told him, “look up, there’s hope.”

    Terrific post, Normandie. Thank you.

    • Normandie said

      I know, Linda. It’s hard isn’t it? My step-sister’s son killed himself recently–and no one knew that he was at that point. I hadn’t seen him for probably ten years, but I wish we’d had a hint.

  4. Great encouragement to slow down and observe, Normandie. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Normandie said

      It’s much too easy to keep our focus on ourselves, isn’t it, Mary? Whenever I’m guilty of it, things look a lot worse than when I’m looking out the window at the sun glinting off the water or when I’m bowing those knees.

  5. Great post, Normandie. You gave us much to think about. Taking the focus off of self, looking at the bigger picture, and finding joy in the little things is something we all need to work on. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Beautifully written Normandie. In those darkest of times some people can look out at the horizon while others become much more insular.If you can give a glorious dawn or fabulous sunset to one of the lost you’ll have created a miracle.Believe me when I say sincerely you DO give people signs of hope and I’m sure you’re responsible for more than one glimpse of dawn for some.
    I’m also sure your daughter will have your genes and be fine as will mine who is due to give birth in August.
    xx Hugs xx

    • Normandie said

      Let us celebrate together then, David. You and Julia and Yvonne (speak I, with hope and prayers) on your side of the Atlantic, and Ariana and I on my side–because she, too, is due in August (the end of the month). So, we’ll be grandparents together and rejoice together as Michael and I continue to hold you and yours tightly in our prayers.

  7. That was beautiful, Normandie. Coming during a dark time for me, so a helpful reminder. Thank you.

    • Normandie said

      Bless you, Deborah. We all have them, don’t we? Sometimes we need to be Aaron and Hur, holding up another’s arms to keep the glory flowing. Thanks to you, my friend.

  8. Good post, Normandie. Thank you. June

  9. Dee Yoder said

    I love that we can gather our thoughts, subdue the crazy chaos sometimes, by just taking time out to look beyond our own troubles and cares. And by observing the way nature reflects God’s peace and colors. Thank you for reminding me today that the Creator is at hand–very near–and how dear we are to Him.

    • Normandie said

      I’m glad the reminder helped, Dee. It certainly does me good to look up and out and beyond myself! Water does the trick for me: gazing out at it, watching the life that flourishes there. For some, the mountains give that sense of awe, or the fields of grain or the voices of others–if only we stop to look and listen.

  10. river said

    What a beautiful post. Thank you.

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