Some more from Anne, so good when your own words are just clumsy and feel like felt in your mouth.
I particularly like the lines ' I'm just a regular screwed up sad worried faithful human being.
and 'Everyone is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together; stories and compassion."
Frederick Buechner wrote, "Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
But it is hard not to be afraid, isn't it? Some wisdom traditions say that you can't have love and fear at the same time, but I beg to differ. You can be a passionate believer in God, in Goodness, in Divine Mind, and the immortality of the soul, and still be afraid. I'm Exhibit A.
The temptation is to say, as cute little Christians sometimes do, Oh, it will all make sense someday. Great blessings will arise from the tragedy, seeds of new life sown. And I absolutely believe those things, but if it minimizes the terror, it's bullshit.
My understanding is that we have to admit the nightmare, and not pretend that it wasn't heinous and agonizing; not pretend it as something more esoteric. Certain spiritual traditions could say about Hiroshima, Oh, it's the whole world passing away.
Well, I don't know.
I wish I could do what spiritual teachers teach, and get my thoughts into alignment with purer thoughts, so I could see peace and perfection in Hiroshima, in Newton, in Boston. Next time around, I hope to be a cloistered Buddhist. This time, though, I'm just a regular screwed up sad worried faithful human being.
There is amazing love and grace in people's response to the killings. It's like white blood cells pouring in to surround and heal the infection. It just breaks your heart every time, in the good way, where Hope tiptoes in to peer around. For the time being, I am not going to pretend to be spiritually more evolved than I am. I'm keeping things very simple: right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe; telling my stories, and reading yours. I keep thinking about Barry Lopez's wonderful line, "Everyone is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together; stories and compassion."
That rings one of the few bells I am hearing right now, and it is a beautiful crystalline sound. I'm so in.
I have been reflecting on the week past. I am not looking forward, apart from cleaning gutters and lawn mowing, because of possible rain.
But I am thinking about loss and change and the nature of these things. I feel I should be more practiced at dealing with these now as Gary has had us at the gate a few times in the last four years. But it isn't any easier and I know I will never be ready. It is as Anne says one foot in front of the other. One gutter, one lawn, another cup of tea.
Mango returned home tonight after a another lovely holiday at Camp Dent. He looks gorgeous and is sprawled out on the carpet fast asleep.
Gary has had a quiet day, a little less energy than yesterday, napping lots but managing to sit with Hana and Zach tonight watching a movie.
Some lovely rain fell tonight and as I sat in my studio sewing a baby quilt I could hear it trickling down the drainpipe. Before my cleaned gutters it would have spilled over the top because of all the Macrocarpa needles.
The baby quilt is for a young friend of Zach's who together with his girlfriend are keeping their baby and are due in three weeks. Zach is off to his first baby shower tomorrow.