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On The Edge of a Smile

On The Edge of a Smile on the edge of a smile mona lisa liver cirrhosis
Mona Lisa Smile

When it comes to the year end, there are a lot of  ways to look at things. Sometimes, I look at it from the Merry Christmas! side of life. Trees, lights, food and music are involved. Other times it’s all about the Happy New Year! side of life with endings and beginnings. No matter how I approach it, emotions are always strong. I’m a listener. When my heart speaks, my mind slows down. It looks like stillness, but emotionally feels like…. Everything.

Our emotions can range from quiet desperation to peals of laughter. The evidence of our inner thought life are not always easy to detect. Elle, my youngest “grand” was with me in a very tense moment recently. We were exchanging glances, reassuring each other that all was well. (somehow, eye contact with someone who understands, makes everything tolerable)

Anyhoo, she leaned in and whispered, “You always look like you’re getting ready to smile really big”.

On the edge of a smile.

That particular day, I had a lot of concerns. Some were about her and her sis. We always worry about our kids. A work situation was running in the background for my dh. I was figiting with back pain. While my mind needled around all of those things, outwardly I managed to look, well – I looked smiley.

December is somehow a good month to represent that moment when we are on the edge of a smile. As adults, we laugh at the whole Santa thing. Yet deep inside, we remember a slice of innocent joy from our own childhood. The image of a baby in a hay strewn food trough in a barn may stir up an ancient and deeply held faith. Then, at midnight on the last day of the year, a miracle occurs on the calendar – and in our hearts. Through the layers of December, we feel it all.

Awe, wonder, tenderness, comfort, laughter, joy, tranquility, generosity, lively, and silly.

Fatigue, distress, shut down, ashamed, tired, angry, defensive, hurt, alone, wronged, and ranting.

Is there a smile at the edge of your lips tonight?

On the Edge of a smile peace holiday liver
That Grand

Expecting things to always feel good is nonsense. Somehow, my heart still looks for it. In every interaction, I hope to come away with peace. Situations need to “feel” right for me. I use prayer, meditation, and yoga to feel my way into a smile.


I’m smiling right now. Won’t you join me? Comfortable friends making eye contact through the internet. It works. I love you so very much. Xo Karen