Friday, February 24, 2012

How the light gets in

We talk over cups of coffee or glasses of wine, depending on the time of day.  The days melt into weeks and the stories, they keep coming.  Tales of offering and offense, of sacrifice and servitude, of love and loss.  I am broken by the sheer weight of it all because surely it, all of this, is too much for one soul to bear...or comprehend...or experience... and live to tell it.

How can it be?
How can love not be enough?

We are born into this schizoid world where evil can trump goodness and bad things happen to good people  while at the same time, beauty is born before our very eyes and skies break open with pink and orange and babies laugh and joy rains down.  That paradox, on its own, takes time to comprehend.  But somewhere along the way, we absorb the construct that love is the mystical liaison.  Love is what keeps us from flying off this whirling orb, despite ourselves.

All you need is love.
Love is all you need.

But then I listen to her talk some more and I can't find that truth.

And so I want to scream until I'm hoarse that, really, it should be that we are supposed to get love in order that we may then live love.  We should be able to open our eyes this side of heaven and gaze upon love itself, secure in the complete knowledge that we are enough, right then, right now, right always.

That should be our truth...

But that is not her truth
and I am broken, anew, by the weight of it all.

How do you pick up the pieces of something that never existed?
How do you patch together something out of nothing?

This heart work is confusing and troubling and unfair and I want to shake my fists at heaven.

I want to wrap my arms around this brokenness and shield it from further damage, hold it under my short stubby wing and protect it from the passing storms.

But I know that I can't keep the storms at bay.  My finger might find the hole in the dike but I know, down deep, that I only have ten fingers.

And there will be more than ten leaks.  For certain.  In fact, there will be hundreds.

So what is to be done?

What must be done is all that we know to do.  We must reach out and take hold of the love.

Because I have found that there is love to be had.

In a perfect world, that love would flow from a mother's breast.  It would drip from her lips and tangle in her hair and it would be our genesis.
But this is not a perfect world and sometimes even mothers have been broken beyond repair and children must make their own way.

No, love won't always be found in the expected places.  In fact, it is more often found in the unexpected places because love flows from brokenness.

And if I have anything to offer you, anything at all that is for certain, it is my own brokenness.  My brokenness and your brokenness...they can be our gifts to each other.  Our hearts, bare and vulnerable and needy, are actually the gateway to love realized.  Our brokenness is what ensures that we are enough.  Since there can be no pretense in seeing ourselves as the splintered and shorn people that we truly are, then it is with glorious grace that we proclaim to each other that we are, in fact, enough.

You, my friend, are enough.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."

-from "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen