You Make My Face Smile

olivai whit

When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well, there’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
-Jason Mraz


Songs are a form of poetry, expressing something that has deeper meaning for the author or that the author feels will resonate in the hearts of its listeners. Artists often talk about how therapeutic songwriting is for them and this is a quality that writing in general holds for many people, myself included. Getting words down on paper is a freeing process that helps heal the soul. And sometimes, if you share your stories with others, it can make an impression on their pages as well. This is why we often feel emotional when listening to certain songs. The lyrics flow through us like new blood. The ink that the songwriter bled on its pages is now rushing through us like a wave, unearthing feelings that we may have buried deep inside of us just as an ocean sifts through the sand layers to find hidden treasures. Music has a way of doing that: bringing out things that we keep submerged deep within our souls. And so does poetry.

water fault in satart

I chose to begin this post with the Jason Mraz lyrics above because they reminded me of a little poet I had recently read about. Her name is Olivia Whitman. She is nine-years old and has a remarkable story about a wish to share her poetry with others around her in order to “make their faces smile.” Please watch the video below:

Olivia has clearly been through a lot in the past year, but her poetry helped her get through those tough times. Because Olivia was willing to share her story with the world through her poetry, ours will now be touched by the words she used to heal herself. As she said, “When I was feeling sad, it helped me to feel a lot better.” It is remarkable that such a young child chose the gift of making others smile as her one wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. But then again, I have happened upon so many children like this during my time at the hospital that it does not come as a surprise to me. There are so many children out there that are going through things that are extremely difficult for even a grown person to go through and yet they still seem to find their light and want so much to spread it to those around them. Olivia’s poetry is sure to become a source of comfort for many little girls and boys battling cancer and other diseases in the world because, although they are not in musical form, her words sing of hope and smiles and new beginnings.

you make my face smile

Live your life
Shout out loud
Have some fun
And make a crowd
-Olivia Whitman


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