It is the first day of 2012,
a year, according to many, which is supposed to be an auspicous year. Who knows. Today is only the first day, in fact here in my city, it is only the 6th hour of the first day.
Yesterday was New Yearâ€™s Eve. It was a beautiful and difficult day. I am single now and spending much time alone. Itâ€™s right to be doing so, and at the same time, in some ways it is painful to be alone. I love to be in relationship. I miss it. And, it is not yet time to be with someone new.
I am finding new places within myself. Chunks of old gunk are falling away, not without some deep work, but then nothing worth doing is necessarily easy.
I wanted to spend some of the day at church, so I headed out to Grace Cathedral. If you are not familiar with it, Grace is a gorgeous cathedral that sits on the top of one of the most beautiful hills in San Francisco.
I had wanted to bathe myself in a beautiful service. I’m not a religious person, but I am wholly in love with the sacred. Most of my worship time is with trees and flowers, on the dance floor, or with my grandchildren and children, but today my heart longed for a traditional service. Well, it wasn’t to be.
According to Grace’s website, on a normal Saturday, there is always a 3:00 service. There was no mention that New Year’s Even was different, so when I arrived I was disappointed. Rather than the usual schedule, the plan was to show the Hunchback of Notre Dame in the church at 7:00 and 10:00, accompanied by live organ music. I did stumble into the organist’s practice time, which proved to be magical unto itself.
So, I sat and listened. I wandered around the church and looked, really looked, at the art within. There are some amazing pieces of art that I’ll share with you in future writings.
As I wandered,
tears welled up from someplace deep within me. Much of my past week has been spent in tears. For whatever reason, this deep processing and letting go has coincided with the last days of 2011. The tears just come, so I stay with them. I’m learning to, as Nisargadatta wrote:
“Investigate yourself and love the investigation and you will solve not only your own problems but also the problems of humanity.”
While I’m not so sure I’m solving humanity’s problems, I know I can only follow the long slender thread that continues to call me within. It’s not that I can always stay with the thread. I find my ways to escape. And, I am always brought back to where I left off, if I’m willing to listen and feel. It’s not like I am doing anything, but listening to my heart, to this pull to investigate the places that don’t feel true.
I decided to walk home from the church, so I headed out as dusk fell, and as dusk fell the tears fell, too. So many tears. Walking along the busy streets of the city on New Year’s Eve with alligator tears streaming down was probably a sight, but in reality they were quiet tears. There was a deep unnamed sadness, a well of something that had been there for eons.
Words rose up,
words from a past long ago. Words that had been stuck, pushed down within. As I voiced the words aloud, and held it all within the silence that holds everything, I heard words from the deep silence, words that liberated, not because they were flowery prosaic, but because they were simple in their truth.
“No, they did not love you as they should have, they loved you as they could.”
And then the tears were gone. These were tears that had flowed for years, but I had never gotten to a place where I could just let them be, just let them fall, without trying to fix or get rid of. I finally simply let them come, while I followed the thread of what was shown.
An old, old deep longing was released. A longing to know a love that could not be given from those who could not give it.Â And as the tears ended, suddenly my eyes were bright. They felt as if a veil had been lifted from them. And along with the brightness, I felt peace, a deep peace.
I know we as a species are flirting with catastrophe. I also know what will liberate us is love. I know how angry I have been with what’s happening in the world, and I’ve not known what to do about it.Â And, I’ve felt oddly guilty spending time processing deeply because it isn’t a doing, not in the ways most of us would believe we need to be in action.
Yet, what better course could we chart for ourselves than to discover the well within of silent deep abiding love. In one way or another, we all got mixed up about what love is. We’ve looked out there to fill the hole inside. We’ve looked to others, or to things, to get the love, when it has always surrounded us, has filled us, had been silently waiting for us to turn inward.
I want to be able to hold it all in love,
all of what is here in the world. Not just the beautiful, the easy, the happy and the joyous, but all of it, even that which feels the most difficult to love, which in reality has been myself.