Beverly Maier and the Importance of Holding Onto Hope Through Poetry
This month’s spotlight features poet Beverly Maier as she seeks to shed light on a topic that helped her navigate the darkness of her circumstances: hope.
Beverly Maier: “Hope is the thread that holds all of our brokenness together. I’ve dealt with childhood trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, mental health issues, anxiety, depression, etc., and at the end of the day, hope is what saved me.
Our hope can be as simple as a better tomorrow, or that longing that we have buried deep within our being for a brighter future. You can’t have darkness without light. You can’t have pain without healing. Hope is what takes all of the bad stuff and sets it to the side. Some days we might have more than others, but it is there. I think a poem that I’ve written that really describes this would be “When It Stops Hurting” from my book, Detaching Roots. I wrote this after I had finally come out of my darkness.
It took me a very long time, but I made it. I wanted to let others know that they can too.”
Hope looks different from person to person and even from day to day. It gives us a light on the horizon that allows us to ache and to feel the depth of the pain that we’re in, while also knowing that the darkness we’re immersed in is not the end of the story. There are glimmers of light and healing gently illuminating our hearts and encouraging us to keep going.
Maier reflects on how our reservoir of hope may fluctuate from time to time, yet it’s always there. Some days it is palpable and easily captured and held onto. Other days, it takes real effort, courage, and perseverance to seek out. We all need the reminder to hold onto hope, especially when our hearts are hurting. We all need the reminder to help others hold onto hope when their strength is waning. Through her writing, Maier encourages readers to never stop searching for hope, even on the most painful days.
When It Stops Hurting
“One day you wake up and it no longer hurts. The pain is no longer stacked on the shelves of your rib cage.
The words are no longer packed inside the bags of your eyes. You wake up and somehow you feel alive.
Your heart that used to pound so harshly, will beat slowly and rhythmically. You will fumble through the rubble and find bricks and pretty dandelions.
You will build a new castle and carefully plant gardens around it. Only to remind yourself how beautiful it is to grow.
Next to the garden you will move your ocean of tears. They will flow smoothly, and create a beautiful moat.
Then you’ll paint a massive drawbridge so you’re in control of who comes and goes. Your smile will become a permanent work of art displayed upon your face.
Your soul will shine so bright and you won’t care if others don’t see because it is yours, and you’re so glad that you do. You’ll realize that some can only handle a spark of your flame. You will scrub the walls of your vessel and tell her you love the way she looks.
You will walk out of the darkness, breathe in the fresh air, soak in the light of day, and wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner.”
Maier gently reminds her readers that it isn’t a question of if the pain will stop hurting but rather when it will stop. When we are in the thick of a painful situation, it can be impossible to remember that the pain is temporary. But poems like this take the little glimpses of hope and craft magnificent castles and blooming gardens out of them. It is pain transformed into purpose, through a million little moments that we refuse to give up. Those moments will come back to us someday as a picture of a resilient heart that found the courage to stay.
I hope that this poem makes you feel the same way. Hope isn’t always a grand sweeping gesture, but a subtle whisper of resilience woven into the tapestry of your every day. Maier’s poetry seeks to encourage readers as they weave strands of hope into their hearts, little by little, poem by poem.
For more poetry from Beverly Maier, be sure to follow her on Instagram.