I keep seeing the Apple “Contribute a Verse” commercial when we watch TV in the evenings. Snuggled into my corner of the couch, half-paying attention to what’s on the screen and mostly-playing Candy Crush, when the man starts speaking, I always look up. I stare at the screen, and my heart somewhere in my throat.
And I listen. I listen hard.
“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”
Every time it comes on, I pause. I watch the beautiful scenes and listen to the deep voice and I wonder, each and every time the voice asks me at the end: What will your verse be? What will my verse be?
I don’t write much poetry anymore. My middle school self got caught up in a love affair with the verse, with writing both rhyming and free poetry. The poetry phase lasted through high school. I remember writing one about a wife who died of a broken heart after her husband died in a plane crash; I can probably blame Alanis for that particular (bad) piece of poetry.
Sometimes my head — and my heart — think in verse. When I’m out for a run, sometimes my brain falls into beat with my feet and the words come out in a unique rhythm; I forget them before I get back to the house to write them down, get them out. I know I still have a tendency toward poetry, but my guard won’t let down enough to let me play with the words, with the lines.
Still, I wonder what my contribution to the verse will be. Is it this blog, the words that I have shared for years? Is it my parenting, the eventual sending out of two boys into this big world? Is it my marriage? Is it my journey as a birth mother? Is it my work? My photography? My anxiety? My depression? My joy? My love? My compassion? My fears? My connections?
All of these things… they exist as part of my contribution to the verse of this life. All of your things — every last one of them — are part of your verse. Together, we are writing the story that will someday be the history. As mind-blowing as that sounds, it makes me want to do more, be better, stand taller, laugh louder, love deeper so that my personal verse will tell the story of a woman who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved.