I recently searched for every T.S. Eliot quote or poem having to do with the New Year or new beginnings. My new search brought me to an old favorite: Ash Wednesday, and this stanza in particular:
“The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream” T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday
For one, I like the idea of taking a new year’s walk. Of meandering along a forest or a river or the ocean and allowing a bright cloud of tears wet with regrets and hopes and joys and sorrows to wash over you. This past weekend I hiked to the top of a hill that overlooks the town of Antigua in hopes of inducing my own bright and shiny new year’s cloud of tears and restoration. Turns out I can’t cry on demand and my sweat shone brighter than any tears. But this is beside the point.
I wanted tears and emotion and a literal mountain top experience. But as I heaved and panted and stared out across the valley, the next line in Eliot’s poem echoed in my head,
“restoring with a new verse the ancient rhyme.”
A new year, a new verse. But what new verse? Of what ancient rhyme?
The only ancient rhyme that matters; the call that echoes from deep to deep:
You are loved you are loved you are loved.
The new verse:
You are loved in Guatemala. You are loved when your Spanish sucks. You are loved when you confuse verb tenses and gender agreement and take forever to spit out a sentence. You are loved when you mix up salsa steps. You are loved when don’t Skype your mom as much as you should. You are loved when you don’t have much work to do. You are loved when you procrastinate even the little amount of work you have. You are loved when you’re sad. You are loved when you’re lonely. You are loved when you don’t understand how exactly you fit in here.
You are loved.
How could I forget that I need to hear it write it shout scream say it every day: