Michigan. January. 2014. Grey. Minus 6 this morning.
Visiting my brother. My sister-in-law died – unexpectedly.
We often learn about ourselves through other people’s lives. Compassion. Anger. Grief is an unexpected guest that stays as long as it wants. There is no bargaining with it, no way to get it to leave your house until it is ready.
I have been here before, to this place of mourning. A husband, a mother, on and on as it is for all of us as we age and at this moment it does not matter because this is theirs. This is their winter and all I can do is be here for now until I am the guest who leaves. Unlike grief, I will know when to go, when to shake off my boots and let my feet breathe again and possibly even run them through sand. I can do this. I can re-invent the days, see the buds on things that grow and smile when I think about the egrets in Florida and the street people in Los Angeles and know – in my mended heart – that nothing ever dies.
I have been here myself in other ways. As a patient. As a person who questions God. As a woman who closed her eyes and did not expect to wake up whole. You go into an abyss. Your bravery taunts you. Will you cry in front of everyone. Will they know your fear.
I loved her. She was a sister I would have chosen. We say of some people “She was a saint”. She was. A sweet woman who opened herself day after day. But nothing changes fact. Nothing. It could have been me and it wasn’t – not yet but it will be one day. It will be all of us. My emotions are like the trees. Uneven. Often contained and harsh. Mostly focused – on a mission. I want no waste, no useless action. I want to rid myself of everything and accumulate more. I want to live in fast forward and slow motion at the same time. I want. I want. I want.
Love must be without judgment. It can be a component of all things. But not judgment. Otherwise it is not love. Yet, my feet itch and my hair wants to be free again, knotting in the wind in the middle of a warm day. It will happen. There really is no permanence…
We are all things at the same time, ripples of energy, connected by a core so thick that it will never crack open. We are anchored in our souls. Spring will arrive. Snow will melt. The edge I have is that I have learned that this will happen. It has, time and again. I believe in it. I rely on it. It is all there is.
Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out. ~Rumi