There is a phenomenon in grammar known as the oxford comma. What is it you may ask? Well, it is a wishy-washy comma. It can be included or it can be left out. When you have a list ending in “and” and you can add the comma before the “and” or leave it out. That is known as the cunning oxford comma.
With: Tacos, boot, string-cheese, friendship, and tongue-tied.
Without: Tacos, boot, string-cheese, friendship and tongue-tied.
I tend to err on the side of including the comma. I would just hate for a comma to feel left out. My natural bent is to include what could be excluded, comma or otherwise.
Sometimes I treat myself like an oxford comma. In the pages of my journals I just throw it in, felling obligated to, but not really needing it. The poor comma doesn’t always seem to fit, but I just drop it like a hat into the mix of flowery words. Even though I include it, I don’t want it. Even though it is there, I don’t appreciate it. It’s worth decreases and my heart slumps down a bit. The comma is barely qualified, I don’t extend a pen of grace, but rather a pen of obligation.
Well, today is the day that I kneel next to the oxford comma. I extend some grace and love it for what it is and not for what I want it to be. It is qualified because it exists.
In the lines of words and pages of journals I believe the oxford comma can find comfort. One list at a time it will be there because I want it to be there, I invite it to be there. It is out of choice and not obligation and that is what true deep love is.
Be gracious to the parts of yourself that don’t always seem to fit. Those parts are there and they are wonderfully crafted into the sentences of life.