Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Length and Breadth of Sorrow

The length and breadth of sorrow reflects the depth of love. The grieving would be less, if the love had been less, or perhaps if the attachment had been of a shallow sort. The trick in this life, the best trick, is to love deeply and to love big, without getting stuck. Good luck with that one. (If you know anything about astrology, I can shorthand this for you with one phrase: I'm a Cancer. So now you know the way I love.)

It is of some comfort to label the painful emotions by their names and attempt to let them pass like clouds on a windy day . . .oh, but when one's wind ceases and doldrums remain for weeks, or months, or longer, what then? When the clouds just sit there, taunting, raining and raining, teasing with spells of dry weather, then pouring rain on one's parade again and again, what then?

The answer, my friends, is not blowin' in the wind. (There isn't any wind, remember?) The answer is: I don't know. All I know is: it still hurts.

There was another poem read at the meditation retreat yesterday, and I laughed at it. I laughed at its TRUTH, shouting at me. Though it needn't have shouted, it was helpful to hear, and I didn't mind the volume. If it hadn't shouted, perhaps I wouldn't have listened. If only listening would ease the pain . . .


This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival,

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.