The Way Through

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you. 
Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.
(John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us)
Somehow these words caught my mood this morning. Here, now, in this place where nothing seems normal and it is impossible to envision what normal might even look like. The path washed out ...  yes, that's what it feels like. Momentum carries us along from day to day, until we find ourselves in the place where a flash flood has carried down obstacles and laid waste to certainties.

The whole world seems to be living in this interim space, and yet I have been here for a while now, camped out in grief and dismay and confusion.  I don't know if everyone else has lost sight of my heart -- if they ever had it in sight -- but I have lost sight of myself. The only clue I have to follow is that there is a way through.  Not around or over or somehow avoiding the pain, but through.

So I find myself sitting with images of liminal space.  Holy Saturday seems a metaphor for the way we are collectively holding our breath right now.  I see the disciples huddled together behind locked doors, grief-struck, traumatized by the brutality of the cross and fearful of what happens next. Their hopes lay shattered; the future they imagined has vanished.

Yes we celebrated our online Easter a few weeks ago, but turning the liturgical calendar page hasn't quite brought us into the season of joy and celebration.  We are like those first disciples, hours away from the miracle of Easter, yet in that darkness there isn't even a rumor of dawn. Death and loss is the reality they face, and there they sit, without a clue that the story is about to take an unexpected turn.

Loss landed me here. Multiple losses, like the barrage of body blows coming at a boxer on the ropes. My dear friend Trish lingered in the last stages of ALS and left us on November 1. My business partner Randy died unexpectedly in mid-December, leaving me to manage a business I was ready to step away from.  Early February brought the news that another of my circle of friends had been killed by a drunk driver alongside her husband as they walked in their neighborhood.  By the third funeral, with Mary Jane and Adolfo's caskets side by side in the front of the church, I was numb.

Torn between the demands of keeping a business afloat and the energy required to process my grief, I managed to hold off the pain for a while. But it hasn't taken long to realize that the only way out is the way through -- or perhaps the way down, all the way down into the dark of Saturday, as long as the dark lasts.  This blog is a way of keeping faith with myself -- holding onto whatever it is in me that pulls me toward creativity and wrestling meaning out of words. It's also a way of keeping faith with the hope of resurrection-- that there will be way through and out of this season, for me and for us.


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