|Soar ( M.A. Reilly, 2014)|
To live brilliantly is to live presently and to live in service to other. Thomas Merton writes,
"Love is our true destiny. We do not find meaning of life by ourselves alone--we find it with another" (p. 27).I think about Merton's words and the truth of them and how the world felt more in focus alongside Rob. I was more willing to take risks, seek out the unusual, fail well. To be well loved is to learn to love yourself as you are, not as you think you ought to be. Love floods even those cranky, dark thoughts that surface now and then infusing them with light and goodness. Love tells us to rethink our disappointments; to find kindness in our faults; to honor our failings. Love privileges imperfection. Rob loved me not because I was so perfect, but rather because I am so flawed. These life learnings are the ones I need most now.
Some days I feel out of sync with the wider world, as if true north had lost its points and I know the general direction so long as the landscape is familiar. But shift the landscape and I become less certain of my steps. This is not because of some issue with the world, but rather because I am cloudy, off-kilter and have had difficulty seeing. And, odd as this may sound, all of this is rather good news, not because I fancy being cloudy and off-kilter, but rather because I can see myself here on the planet, standing presently.
I have not been able to take a bird's eye view of myself in months--to stand far enough outside my experiences and see where I am. I know insular days. Grief expects such days, lingers alongside such days, like an old friend you have come to know. But such dwelling, although necessary at first, becomes less so with time and can be disrupted through reflection. For it is reflection, this writing and art making I have been doing, that helps clarity to be restored--the long view to be seen.
Grieving has its own time. No clock on earth reveals its many starts and stops. Some weeks after Rob died someone said that to have experienced and loss such love will require a lot of time to get through. I think I may have smiled and nodded, but I was frightened by the comment. Terrified. Who wants to stay in such pain? But like everything here, pain too morphs into something unexpected. Who could have predicted that out of such sorrow a deeper understanding of love would bloom?