Many of us fail to notice we can be devastated merely neglecting to change lanes on the way downtown. We fail to notice we can be hammered each day merely by glances and comments. We manage tiny details and we fret over a bit of confidence. We are not so strong.
If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that it will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
So it is a cruel place here. To stand with children. To reconcile death and dilute death in the cup of your heart. We are not built for this. It is an imperfect world we make better in our good ways. You have been this courage.
Graham Greene said,
‘Oh,’ the priest said, ‘that’s another thing altogether—God is love. I don’t say the heart doesn’t feel a taste of it, but what a taste. The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch-water. We wouldn’t recognize that love. It might even look like hate. It would be enough to scare us—God’s love. It set fire to a bush in the desert, didn’t it, and smashed open graves and set the dead walking in the dark. Oh, a man like me would run a mile to get away if he felt that love around.’
We are tender things, inside a nuclear star, shielded by so little. You are this courage.
A glimpse says we are honored. Another says we have touched a heart. A friend is tender or we are tender with a friend. A spring warmth begins us again. We were brave and did not notice winter.
There is another thing. Love. Oh why is this omitted from every Constitution? There’s nothing in us but love. It is our cellular engine, some say, and burst the Universe days ago, some believe, and is our quest under the onion’s peel. We haven’t said much of it. Oh why is our love not the entire curricula? It is what we know too little of and what we most require. We are all siblings here, with you; not one of us is finished in this schooling.
What can be said? “Grant me the abandon to be a fool in this loving moment! I demand to revel in this loving moment! Do not dare to take this loving moment!” Our next day a necklace of these stubborn jewels, some pearls on the floor, and some links broken, and some love to never be… to have loved and lost and a’ that…. We’re fools for it, nuts for it, lost in it, breathing bliss and blues….
I’m saying we will always be nervous, incapable, foolish…. And so what? They say the difference between a good dancer and a bad dancer is the good dancer isn’t paying attention to themselves but to dancing.
Was it Kahlil Gibran or Rudyard Kipling?
Earth. You invite me to joy and then deny it.
That is like saying, “Turn the goblet and spill it not.”