I live in an awesome universe. I know, I know - I have written much about my tiny little universe of one, and how it's dark and twisty and solitary and forever. And yes, I live in that one, of course. But I live in many universes, all at the same time, and all of them are real and correct and forever.
And today, for this minute at least, I live in an awesome universe.
This is the universe where everyone - yes, everyone, including my fifteen year old son - everyone does everything the Right Way. Lines move quickly, if there are lines at all. Coffee is ordered succinctly, without flavors or add-ins that turn good coffee into an ice cream drink. Everyone drives the requisitie number of miles over the speed limit, staying well out of my way. No one misuses who or whom, and apostrophes and commas are all in their proper places. In fact, no one does stupid stuff at all.
In short, in this happy place universe, everyone does exactly what I would do (or what I'd want them to do, but without me having to tell them how to do it My Way).
Everyone would see right and wrong the way I do, exactly. Everyone would know, as a matter of course, that we are, in fact, our brother's keepers. There would be houses for everyone to live in, access to medical care and food and clean water. Everyone would be safe. Cared for. Cared about. There would be no needy.
Everyone would love, and be loved, exactly the way I see it in my head. Exactly the right way.
Everyone would grieve the right way. The way I know it should be done. There would be the exacly right expression of grief, the exactly right mix of emotions - grief and sadness and honor and remembrance, for the exactly right length of time to grieve.
Except that's a little fantasy world that lives only in my head. First of all - what a scary universe it would be if it followed the dictates of my head. Oy. Even I know what a bad idea that would be: eventually, it would be my vision of that dark and twisty universe of one times infinity. Or at least the number of people in the world, wno would all... Ugh. That sentence is too scary to even finish.
Grief. In my awesome world, grief is one way. Always. The right way. My way. But in the world outside my head, grief is infinite in its expression, limited only by the number of people it has touched. It is my job, not to teach people the error of their grieving ways, but to let their grief - and their love and sorrow and joy and pain - to let that be. To honor their grief, to be there, to offer comfort or witness or strength, but to let it be. Let it be, to sing or sink or settle in its own pathways. Let it be, to flow like honey or rage like a torrent. It is not mine, nor mine to teach or control.
I am grateful that this is Elul, so that I come into my days prepared to see differently, be present differently. Dive deeper, bend further, reach up and out and towards.
God of Infinite Mercy, let me learn, during this sacred month of Elul the lesson of being and letting be.
- I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.