Isolation Journal: Week Eleven – Grief
As long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another, because this love is the resetting of a Body of broken bones.
Even saints cannot live with saints on this earth without some anguish, without some pain at the difference that comes between them.
There are two things which [human beings] can do
about the pain of disunion with other [humans]. They can love or they can hate.
Hatred recoils from the sacrifice and the sorrow that are the price
of this resetting of bones. It refuses the pain of reunion.
But love, by its acceptance of the pain of reunion, begins to heal all wounds.
– Thomas Merton, “A Body of Broken Bones,” New Seeds of Contemplation
While people are dying in unimaginably large numbers, we are trying to go back to “normal” because it is our right and because we can’t afford to do otherwise. The racism in our country has jumped out at us while we are at our worst. Tragedy upon tragedy. Violence erupting. I don’t have many words today. Just feeling for the world’s pain.
A poem for the day:
is the stuff
which drives us
and short sentences.
for the world’s woes….
We barely find the will to speak.
O dear planet –
how we wish to hold you,
how we long
to cradle and rock
’til you are soothed.
“Love,” we sing.
We cast our life-preserving, life-restoring prayers.
O dear planet –
sisters, brothers –
words will not suffice.
Even prayers don’t do it –
only acts of love have the power of transformation.
Songs sung in unity come close.
How do I open my solitary, fearful heart
to your rage, your pain and despair?
How may I not drown in its torrents?
we call on your powerful love.
we call on your strength.
we need your perspective and hard-won wisdom.
only you know how
to hold the cries
of rage, of anger,
hatred and retaliation.
know how to
sing to us,
how to stitch us up
after we are torn to pieces.
the tearing is awful and ugly,
revealing all that we’d rather hide.
how to see the wounds
and not cover them.
how to heal the deep injuries,
without hiding our brokenness.
don’t let us tidy up the mess.
Let it be seen
Time to weep.
Time for honesty.
Only love –
the kind that knows and sees woundedness with honest eyes –
may the sacred thread of Spirit
begin the long process of
our tattered souls.
Love, Reality, and Vulnerability,
Favorite thoughts of the week:
Pentecost, Prejudice, and Pandemic by Diana Butler Bass
If We Had a Real Leader by David Brooks
From Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“…it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”
From Nina Jonson, Robbinsdale, MN (Facebook post):
“My heart is as heavy as the air this morning, as heavy as the clouds of smoke.
It is not enough, but here is a prayer I shared with the children, youth and families from our church yesterday.
Everything right now takes away breath. Fear sucks it from our lungs. Viruses drag it out of our reach. Smoke wraps around it poisonously. People forcefully eject it from our throats. I have no answers today, but for those who can breathe, let every breath be a prayer.
Breathe support to the family of George Floyd.
Breathe love into our community.
Breathe justice into our streets.
Breathe peace into our country.
Breathe calm into our children.
Breathe safety into our black, brown and indigenous siblings.
Breathe joy into the space around you.
Breathe strength into our elders.
Breathe patience into yourself.
Breathe compassion into each other.
Breathe dreams for a better future into reality.
May it be so.”