Whenever I watch the little drummer boy, I don’t stand a chance. I’ve cried every single time I have seen it as far back into my childhood as I can remember. I tried to be strong. I vividly remember that awful literal lump in my throat. But at least one tear always snuck out. That is because It is an extraordinarily beautiful tale.
The lesson is powerful. The boy wants so very much to offer a gift, but feels he has nothing. He offers the only thing he can think to offer. He does his thing. He has no idea that his little offering would yank so many tears from my little eyes (OK I know he is fictional but still…)
Sometimes we lose hope because we feel like we have nothing to bring to the table. Sometimes I have felt terribly undesired as if I might actually have nothing left to offer to others, that perhaps at the end of my life I will have taken far more than I have given.
Sometimes this is an understandable conviction because not everyone has people in their lives who see them as gifted… or just as a gift. I think, for instance, of my friends who are disabled and how some of them spent most of their lives without someone believing in them or their beauty.
Six pieces of paper hang on my refrigerator: a picture Camilla drew of her and I holding hands, two birthday cards made by Lev and Anya and three “get well soon” letters from each of my nieces and nephew. The Louvre hasn’t called yet to ask to hang them in their gallery, nor the Smithsonian. But I personally believe these to be six of the most beautiful pieces of paper on earth.
The truth is that you are gifted. You are so gifted that it is not even up to you to decide wether you have gifts or not. You just need a place to put them. Its ok to be rusty.
I have found that sometimes just playing our best for others, even if they don’t ask for our gifts, is beautiful. Every attempt to offer something of who you are to someone may look like crayon scrawlings at first, but to someone it is one of the most beautiful things on earth, even if it is not the person you intended.
In fact, if you try, let us know. Take a picture or write me a note, and all of us outpatients will cheer you on and hang you on the refrigerator of our hearts… Promise. Think I am not serious? You have no idea.
parum pum pum drum