When all around me …
Is the sunlight, is the shadows, is the quiet, is the work, is the beating heart, is the ocean, is the boys, is you, my love, my sweet love
And the light, bright light, and the light, bright light, bright light, bright light
Is all around me.”
A Beginning Song © 2015 The Decemberists
There it is. The consequence of family, of friends, of relationships. The cost of being vested, invested in the lives of others. These hundred vicarious sorrows come to you, from all around you. Like wave after wave they crash down on you.
They are the whiff of smoke and a lifetime of memories smouldering in the yard. They are the scream of brakes, the phone dropped in disbelief, the body of a precious son in a handmade box. They are the teenaged spirit in an adult body and the news that he won’t be coming home. They are the surgeon’s sigh and the parents weeping in the recovery room. They are the creased picture held and the memory of the last kiss, the final one.
They are the sorrows.
And we feel them. We feel them because we can put ourselves there and imagine the heart-wrenching horror. But we also feel them because there is a mystery, a mystery which binds us to those near us. One which allows us to bear each other’s burdens. And in so doing, to take some of the load. To stand in an airport with a friend and to allow her, even for that briefest of moments, to not have to be the strong one. To not have to hold anything together. To just be a mother, afraid, terrified, weak, and weeping.
I stand, both together with and apart from. I hold out my hand, my hope, my solidarity, my prayer. I cry, knowing that for as long as there are people, there will be sorrow and pain. But also knowing that, through eyes swollen from the weeping, I can still see the brightness of the sun and glory of the morning.
His latest book, What I Learned from Cancer, is available in electronic form at his payhip.com site: http://bit.ly/wilfc-ebook. Physical copies of the book are available at the Prompters to Life web store, where shipping on copies of the softcover edition is always free (except to the International Space Station). To order a paper copy of the book, visit: http://prompterstolife.com/shoppers