There is a moment — it will happen in the grocery store, between the dry roasted peanuts and the nail polish. The neon lights will be no brighter than they were a moment ago, but your eyes have softened.
For a moment, everyone is beautiful. The way they always are: eighty-eight with varicose veins, or seventeen and not yet knowing the shape of one’s worth.
Grief will have a heavy hand on the heart, and yet — breath. The veil will lift between what seems impossible to be without and the merciful map of it all: every landmark — of time, of longing, of not-yet and once-was — will show themselves on some delicate parchment paper in the mind, and the necessity of Grief will reveal herself: the way her grateful arms cradle the raw thing she is nurturing, singing flesh onto its bones, on a mountain top somewhere, or river-side.
This is how we can love the things: to trust their blessed placement, their need of us, their longing to be known as only we can know them — felt inside a faith so wide that no sigh is unwelcome. No trembling hand goes unmet in this: such basic goodness in all things.
Goodness in the moments that carry us further, tick by tick, from the place where pain is freshest — each second a tiny torn fiber revealing new skin, some new sensitivity to touch, or a kiss, or a tender hand resting firmly on the belly. There is eternity in these moments, in these fragments of time. Each with their own precious DNA: the makings of a life, and choice — always choice.
What tremendous faith in what may come to do just this:
Be Here Now.
• • •
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.