April as a month can be cruel, full of contradictions, harsh as it straddles something gray and wet , and manages to eek out signs of exciting opulence. The shoots of life come out in droves,
and yet I stumble and rise again…
This past week, exhausted in my own reflections and responsibilities since returning from my trip, the changing of the hours, of the light, of the petulant spirit inside of me, of losing a dear friend…
I am waking from a dream…..and trying to piece together what is eternal in me and what is capable of change.
And with grief and glory, the epiphany emerges in kindness, but with the full force of unexpected sun, or a snow that goes unforecasted….
realizing that I have frequently THOUGHT I was loving…but really I wasn’t.
I FELT I was living,
but couldn’t have been.
In avoiding anything intimate…. messy! and promising failure!, in not needing grace because of self-censorship,
I may have favored, I may have mimiked the expectations laid out for me…I may have given affection, attention, adoration.
Not so much.
am quite skilled at
my own existence
I could medal, PhD in, achieve honor it
Hoping that if I hurried enough, that I wouldn’t have so much so lose….
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
I think I’ve been amazed.
But did not LOVE.
There are people who feel more love than they show it.
Maybe that has been me.
Maybe I have felt love moving around…and I had decided in so many moments not to give myself up to the desire in the moment to become lost. To stake a claim. To say THIS IS WHAT I WANT. and take it. and live with the consequences, that loving means losing.
So this is the season of actually showing it. Sure, it takes strength to love. Martin Luther King wrote entire sermons that inspired a revolution, collected in Strength To Love. He asserts that love requires nonconformity, and he barked that death is being silent about things that matter.
In China, when I freely roamed and relaxed and just inhaled the rain on that last afternoon, I stumbled into a shop where a man was hand painting small bookmarks, intensely humming along. At his right, was a book with Taoist teaching, from around 500 BC
He painted a flower that rarely blooms…only in the middle of darkness…
“and alone, or with one that can tolerate its closeness” and is rarely tamed.
At the end of the day, at the end of this 31st year of life, at the beginning of a new season, at the beginning of something undefineable,
I am moving from strength to courage.
To love something
and hold it close to the blood and bones that is me
and realize that I,
and know that my life depends on it….
and when the season ends, to honor it.
and let it go.
when it goes.