Hope in Brokenness

by Belinda Munoz on August 16, 2011

Thrown to the edge of the grave and back
skin and spirit torn to shreds
blood, nerves, tendons
cling to bones half-crushed, shivering
not a thought paid to how the winged ones fly.
They emerge
desperate for healing
yet closer than ever to becoming whole
in their brokenness.


I haven’t endured (nor do I ever want to, let me be clear) pain anywhere near so many others have in their short or too-soon-extinguished lives. But, like anybody, I know a little bit about it. When it creeps up, I think about those who have survived unthinkable suffering. My focus immediately turns from my damn-near perfect life (in comparison) to those who are trapped in a war or some such calamitous existence.

The other day, I received two letters from a new woman I sponsor through a wonderful program run by Women for Women International. One letter is hand-written in Albanian; the other type-written in English. She’s from Kosovo, a place where ethnic cleansing, among other heinous crimes, took place in the 1990s. She asks about my family. She tells me that she’s learning about women’s rights and is enrolled in business courses. She closes her letter by wishing me good health.

These letters, though not a heart-pain-deep revelation, inspire me. They inspire me because they are a tangible proof that worlds apart can connect in a meaningful way. They inspire me because I’m reminded that actions don’t need to be big to have an effect. They inspire me because through these letters, our sponsor and recipient roles are equalized: she receives support, I receive some encouragement that we are each other’s hope. They inspire me because that hope found in brokenness is humbling.

What gives you hope these days?

for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

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Imagine You Can Make a Difference | Liberating Choices
November 23, 2011 at 6:40 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri August 16, 2011 at 4:35 am

Your conversation with the Kosovo woman inspires me. Thank you for calling attention to this program.
I live in the bubble too (and I know we’ve talked about this) and feel compelled to do more. And through the years, I’ve realized doing more doesn’t necessarily mean some grand plan in trying to help everybody all at once, but it might mean doing something despite the number of people effected. The smallest gesture will still make an impact.

Thanks for this post Belinda.


2 ayala August 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

Belinda, you always inspire me. I think you have a beautiful soul. You are always looking at the hard things that so many look away from. I hear people say all the time that one person can’t really make a difference. The truth is that even if you save one life, extend kindness to one person, then you have made the world a better place. It’s the want and need to stay engaged with others. Thank you, Belinda again for bringing a good cause to our attention.


3 brian August 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm

smiles. it is humbling ot hear the stories of others and realise we def dont have it bad off at all…but i agree in that we do what we can and it makes all the difference in the world…


4 Pat Hatt August 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Yeah most of our worries pale in comparsion to that of others. Wonderful write.


5 Talon August 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

You’re so right, Belinda. Little actions are like the ripples on the pond – they travel very far and make more impact than we could ever suppose.


6 Claudia August 17, 2011 at 12:54 am

we have quite a few people from kosovo around here in germany, some wonderful people who came as political refugees and found a way to start a new life after all that horror – and i agree, actions don’t need to be big to have an effect – great poem belinda


7 Irene August 17, 2011 at 2:23 am

Thank you so much for this very inspiring post, Belinda. :-)


8 hedgewitch August 17, 2011 at 8:25 am

Your poem touches on something that it’s taken me many long years to learn–that pain and all the things we hate and wish to avoid can be a vehicle for something more, and sometimes even the making of something better. That doesn’t mean I condone the cruelty of the world, or the senselessness of violence or illness, only that I believe the human spirit is stronger than all of these things. That comes through in your poem, and thanks also for your notes on the fine program you participate in. We all need to do more to reach out to each other in this world.


9 Jannie Funster August 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

You are such a wonderful caring soul, Belinda.

As well as a rare writing talent.

Do I REALLY know you? Lucky me!



10 Marci | Liberating Choices August 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I think your story is powerful. So true that personal connection is the equalizer, two women reaching out to connect, neither better than the other, different yet the same. This program sounds amazing- going to go share with others…


11 Peter August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Powerfully expressed poem and written for all the right reasons.. // Peter.


12 Kavita August 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Oh yea, I hear ya, Belinda…pain does have its special ways of showing up…grrr… But it does always in front of grit and determination.. no?!

Your lovely poem here says it all…. Bravo!!!


13 Cathy August 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

My hope these days? My hope is that even though I don’t do big things to help people, my little things will lead to good karma and come back to me when I need it most. Is that selfish? I don’t think so – but I do feel good when I do good – maybe it is selfish.


14 Vlad ~ Simpler Life Today August 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Hi Belinda,

Thank you for the poem and for sharing this letter with us. We often forget what life is like elsewhere. We start taking for granted the lives we live, until we get reminded of tragedies that take place every day in various corners of the world. I give thanks for having a peaceful life today, but I don’t want to forget the suffering that exists. Thank you for the reminder.



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