"What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, The Man Watching
The storm is the norm.
Transformative is the turbulence. Especially within.
Me? Thee? If only we would let ourselves be “we.”
…I have a givenness to not need names.
"And I should start shouting his name
and clapping my hands,
but it has been raining all night
and the narrow creek has risen
is a tawny turbulence is rushing along
over the mossy stones
is surging forward
with a sweet loopy music
with my own voice
my little dog to hurry back
look the sunlight and the shadows are chasing each other
listen how the wind swirls and leaps and dives up and down
who am I to - his hard and happy body
his four white feet that love to wheel and pedal
through the dark leaves
to come back to walk by my side, obedient.”
Mary Oliver, The Dog Has Run Off Again
Lent has no leash.
You shout my name. You clap your hands. You summons me home.
And finally, eventually, but not reluctantly, I come. I come back. Again and again and again and again. To you. To no one else, but you.
Even if I run off again.
The dog run off again is me.
…I have a givenness to the dog run off again.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me." Psalm 23:4
Why do I always walk on the curb side of the sidewalk when I’m with you?
You’re with me. Why be afraid?
…I have a givenness to the curb appeal.
"Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.
On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot
What is the aggregate of our joy and suffering?
Every saint and sinner of our species.
…I have a givenness to such suspense.
"When they paused to eat, he would cut up the bread, smearing it with what little jam remained from the last ration card.
If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter and bread with only the scent of jam out on top of it.
It was the best time of her life.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
It is true that ‘love is a commitment.’ But some love as though love were only a ‘commitment.’ Love must be felt.
And we feel such love without knowing it.
…I have a givenness to be so oblivious again.