Friday, November 9, 2012

my blood runs warm with the mulled red wine

its killing you// don't you know that its killing me too

I've discovered over the past few weeks that one of the most beautiful privileges of a friendship (one of the most sorrowful, but the most beautiful) is walking with a friend through their pain, grief, or heartbreak. For as long as they run to keep pace with them the longer they run.

Sometimes all you can do is give them a few fragile words through Skype, or offer them a hug and a warm smile after class, or stop in your tracks, decide to sit down and join them for dinner and a find a beautiful conversation blossom between you.

Sometimes all you can do is hold them as they cry, because those are moments when there's no point to words. One of the human experiences that words often completely fail at describing is grief.
Sometimes all you can do is entrust them to the hand of God, and share the weight of the world with them.

There is an Indonesian/Malay word:


that my friend and I adopted.

It means mutual co-operation;
sharing a burden together;
bearing the weight of the world with a trusted friend.

Sometimes there are no words you can give to a friend. You just know that you are both in
gotong-royong together.


The other day, if you recall, I was delighted by the unique magic of Old Testament Professor.
It was that same afternoon, another professor--Professor Monsignor--gave a beautiful little eloquent tangent (he is so prone to tangents, some profound, some hilarious, and all of them beautiful.) on the grief and pain experienced by Augustine in the Confessions. He said:

"If you've done something wrong or stupid, you go through a period of grief and pain and hating yourself. The only thing that heals that is time and distance from the event."

All the heartbreak we go through, although it breaks us, is so necessary for healing.
It's all a process of breathing in love and light;
breathing out hate, despair and fear

In the midst of one particularly difficult week, I went to one of my favorite chapels on campus, and sang.

Just took a few moments and sang.
The chapel has four ginormous stained glass windows, which means that 90% of the day, there is sunlight streaming through the colored glass, filling that bright, cavernous room with the glow of warm light. (Also, each floor-to-ceiling window represents one of the seasons. I glowed like an Advent candle when I made this happy discovery)
As I stood in front of the small gold tabernacle, singing, the sunlight poured through the autumn window, and I felt besieged by the cozy light like a giant hug.
I've never been that happy singing.
It was a moment I like to call an Ubi Caritas moment: when everything is doused in honey-colored light and the music is all that could possibly matter. You just breathe in the love and light, and you breathe out everything else and watch it disappear.

1 comment:

  1. This is sooo lovely! The stained glass windows in the chapel make me feel all warm and happy inside. Thank you for your beautiful words!