Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've been going through a sad and confusing time lately, a time of much change, much transition. Along with all the heartbreak, though, there is the rush of new beginnings, and I am trying to say YES to my future with a wide open heart.

A couple of weeks ago, I wore the YES necklace that my sister gave me for my birthday. When my friend and colleague Judy Kronenfeld saw it, she asked if I had read Muriel Rukeyser's Yes poem. I hadn't--which surprises me, given my love of Rukeyser and all my YES research as I wrote Self Storage--so she whipped out a copy. Here it is:

It’s like a tap dance
Or a new pink dress
A shit-naïve feeling
Saying Yes.

Some say Good morning
Some say God bless-
Some say Possibly
Others say Yes.

Some say Never
Some say Unless
It’s stupid and lovely
To rush into Yes.

What can it mean?
It’s just like life
One thing to you
One to your wife.

Some go local
Some go express
Some can’t wait
To answer Yes.

Some complain
Of strain and stress
The answer may be
No for Yes.

Some like failure
Some like success
Some like Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes.

Open your eyes,
Dream but don’t guess.
Your biggest surprise
Comes after Yes.

Life is full of so many surprises right now. I am trying to approach them with curiosity, with open eyes, instead of fear; I am trying to approach them with an attitude of YES. Not always easy, I admit. I find myself weeping at the oddest moments. But then that passes and I feel clear and strong and eager to see what will happen next. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.

7 comments:

Michelle Tandoc-Pichereau said...

Whatever it is you're going through, Gayle, here's sending lots of yesses and hugs your way. =)

gayle said...

Thank you so much, Michelle. :)

xo
gayle

Laraine Herring said...

Dearest Gayle,

I love the necklace! :-) I am thinking of you. Hold each emotion that passes through you long enough to acknowledge it & the gift it brings & then let it go its way. Your body is a conduit for the feelings. You're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing, and the YES you can give to sadness is just as important as the YES you give to joy.

xoxo
Laraine

gayle said...

Thank you for your wise words, my wise friend. I tend to shy away from negative feelings, and I'm really trying not to do that now--I want to feel everything so I can process it, release it. Thank you for all of your support.

xoxo
g

Caroline said...

Oh Gayle, I know it seems like the last thing you want to do, but someone once told me in my own hard time, that you have to dive into the sorrow and strange feelings in order to come out of them. I, of course, said, "But what if you drown?" But you don't drown, and your "yes" actually gets much stronger. Just know your friends are all here as liferafts for you.

love,
Caroline

gayle said...

Thank you so much, Caroline. I'm lucky to have such amazing liferafts. :)

xo
gayle

Kit Stolz said...

I'm late to this posting, and to the Rukeyser for that matter, but thanks for putting it up. Fascinating poem.

I've been saying for the last couple of years, even before "Self Storage," that there are people who like to say yes and "no people"...I hope to become a "yes person" someday, but in the meantime at least I have someone to look to for inspiration.