A Sense of It

Depression is another planet. A planet that looks mostly like your own with the same basic physics and sometimes the same weather. The people here look like people you know, except they are all very far away and getting farther. Maybe you no longer speak the same language and no matter how very hard you try, you cannot communicate with each other. And maybe there is always something important that needs doing but you can’t remember what that something is or why it so urgently needs doing. Priorities are hell. Everything is equally weighted. Its all urgent or utterly inconsequential. You cannot know which. Everything is effort. You move from day to day, hopping across small islands of sleep. There are mercies. You don’t dream. You lie down and extinguish. You drift in the place of the not yet born and the no longer living. Eventually, you wake and your mind does the complicated math. How long until I can be here again? Hours and hours and hours. Days and weeks and months. Sometimes, they add up to years. The fear inside this yawning abyss. A place for lost things. The place you happen to find yourself waiting still.

2017: Make Ready | A Prayer

2016 was a brutal year. 2017 is unlikely to be kinder. I stopped writing for a while because the things about which I was writing no longer seemed very much to matter. I have taken the time to read and watch and listen. I have been seeking patterns inside the noise and confusion that has become my life.

I am working with groundlessness. I am working with uncertainty. I am working with fear. I need to write true things. I need to do things that matter. I have been working toward one goal: focus. I have not found it.

I don’t have any answers aside from this: we have all been swallowed by noise and confusion, but this noise and confusion is not our actual lives. We are still ourselves though our surroundings seem unfamiliar and our families and friends sometimes feel like strangers.

On New Year’s Day 2017, I am still making myself ready.

It has become for us a habit to wish one another a happy new year. I wish that for all of us, but happiness, it seems, is no longer enough. Happiness is not purpose. Happiness comes from purpose. It is a way of way of working and doing and being.

And so, my prayer.

I pray that all lives be enlarged by joy and love and gratitude. I pray enough courage to do the right things. I pray to continue gathering abundant happiness along the way. But, more than all of this, I pray to make a useful life. May my life, my words, my actions help soften the noise and reduce the confusion for someone else.

I am writing with joy. I am writing with love. I am writing with gratitude for you all.

And wishing for each of us a Useful New Year.

The Heart is a Muscle. Let it Break.

This is meant to be a message of hope. May you find it such. – rmb 12.3.14

Life will try to break your heart. You must allow it. Sometime soon, you will swallowed by confusion. You will be afraid and held captive by uncertainty and indecision.  You will know pain and discomfort and disappointment. Your expectations will be dashed. Your plans will be subverted. Be brave. Be grateful. Move forward. Try to welcome the darkness if you can. There is strange, powerful beauty hiding in that darkness.

It will be painful, this heart breaking. It will hurt a lot. You will hear the sound of its splinters echo in your quietest times. Listen. Hear what it tells you. It has something essential to say.

Believe nothing. Expect nothing. Be grateful for the lesson you receive. If you can pay attention, it will tell you everything you need to know.

You cannot avoid pain. You were meant for it. Move toward it. Let it teach you and then let it go. Your heart is a muscle. Let it break. Then, let it rebuild. It will be a stronger, more resilient heart. It will be a patient, more loving heart. You will be tender. You will be more authentic. You will find love. You will give love. You will make a life worth living.

And if it kills you, so it goes. There are mysteries too many for us to comprehend.

So this is my prayer for you. This is my prayer for myself. May you let your heart get broken. And then, may you build your better self from the gathered pieces, knowing full well, your strength comes from healing. It can not come without first breaking.