When I stop to question, “why?” it is a fairly useless exercise.
Why does my friend have sinus cancer? Why are three very sweet women I know going through emotional crises because they have chosen to fall in love with men with addictive brain patterns? Why does life sometimes feel so crowded, frenetic, unruly and at other times so starkly lonely?
It is useless to question any of it while we spend our days. But mindlessness is not the answer either. There is such a thin line between taking responsibility for one’s actions, setting the goal to change and choosing to blame one’s self.
The hardest, most complex aspect of life for me is to be comfortable with not knowing.
Do I know where I will end up living? Do I Know how I will resolve my current very challenging circumstances? Do I have a plan for what I will become?
I look skyward and all of the balloons I once held in my hand have floated off into the stratosphere.
For months I stood beneath them and cried my heart out, yearning for the definitions of self as wife to Cameron, as Artist in Kelowna, as daughter to two individuals that are no longer alive. In just a few years I have stood by the bedside of three people I have loved and who were integral parts of my life. I have held their hands, been present to their spirits as they let go of this existence. Each passing left me feeling more unanchored.
With no place to work and make art, with no people any longer in my life who held a shared history with me I felt denuded and thrown into a wilderness. That dark night of the soul lasted five months.
I continued to function during the day because I had to but the grief would come up and overwhelm me at night. When my first marriage broke up, I could call my mother. When my mother died, I could cry into my partner’s arms. I could talk about my mother and transfer my care and concern to my step-father. Again, when he was no longer alive I could seek comfort from the man who pledged to love me.
The most difficult part of losing those you love is that you have no place to put that part of yourself any longer. Never mind not having a soft place to fall, there is no place to fall. Unless, of course, you have a spiritual practice.
And finally this is where the last three years have lead me. I stand where I am now. I see that all that I held on to that has defined me in the past is out of my hands, flying away, irretrievable.
Can I be comfortable with the waiting, with the emptiness or opening up? It is no longer a question of “why?”. Life has become a deeper mystery. The discipline is to just sit with it and let it happen. But meanwhile, I am looking around me to find a way to keep the love flowing from my heart.
To survive the craziness of this time in society, I believe we have to keep the love moving. Because absolute hell on earth is to go to the dark place of bitterness. The deepest pain we can put ourselves in is to refuse to be open. There is no way out of this contract we have signed. Why is there pain? What is the point of asking? Just kiss it better yourself if you have lost “the others” and get on with it. What ever it is. And find places to give affection as you move through the day.
Why? How the heck would I know?