Sunday, November 4, 2012

There are no words

I know it's strange to call a blog entry "there are no words," when clearly it's writing I am called to do right now, but I have been sitting staring at the computer screen for so long that truly it is starting to feel like there are no words. Or perhaps, they just feel so limiting.

A week ago I wrote about a coworker on the eve of her husband's too-soon death, and just now I learned that he "passed on peacefully" this afternoon.

Though "peacefully" is one of those words you use to lessen the initial, raw grief, because how peaceful is the death of a 41-year-old man who should never have been sick; who should never have died? Peaceful with the last breath, perhaps, but soul-crushingly sad and unfair for him and his loved ones. 

For the rest of us, the day was like any other. We "fell" back as autumn instructed us to wind our clocks back an hour. We cleaned the house, visited the gym, said hello to the neighbor, read a book, made a cup of was just any other day.

All weekend I have been trying to catch glimpses of what makes life worth living. I could pretend it was an unconscious exercise, but honestly it was a forced one. I have a friend going through a hard time right now - heartbreak to be specific - and I've found myself compelled to send him bits and pieces of the beautiful. So I'm always on the look-out for inspiration.

On Saturday I was taking a shortcut to get where I was going, and I found myself on a street I've never driven down in the ten years I've lived here. I noticed a red heart in a tree in the boulevard. Funny, I thought to myself. And then I noticed another in a tree nearby. Suddenly, I realized many of the trees lining this particular block were filled with red hearts. It was a quiet, nearly missed art exhibition or conversation between neighbors. Whatever it was, I felt blessed to have stumbled upon it.

I later saw two young kids and their Dad making what I can only imagine was the best, biggest leaf pile EVER. If it hadn't seemed super creepy, I probably would have pulled over my car to watch then jump in the pile - they seemed just on the verge - but again, that's a little weird. So I just drove on and smiled to myself as I thought about my own fall memories.

Later I texted my friend, in a way to remind him, but I also think to remind myself - that yes, the world can be ugly and heartbreaking, but if you don't venture out into it you will never remember how much good and beauty it also contains.

Tonight I am thinking of my coworker and how she might be seeing the world right now. It must seem so dark. I am sending her my version of prayers - wishes that this tragedy won't make life's many and unexpected beautiful moments seem less. I hope one day when she is ready, she finds the strength to venture out into the world again. There is so much good amongst the heartbreak.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: I live my life in widening circles, that reach out across the world, I may not complete this last one, but I give myself to it.

And what about you? What do you give yourself to in this one beautiful life you have to live?

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