Monday, May 5, 2008
Things falling apart
It was a weekend of company-Annie home from Chicago and a dinner party on Sunday night to celebrate the birthdays of two of Holland's most wonderful men-Ken Freestone and Mark Amenta, both born on Cinco de Mayo some years ago. My beautiful new friend Tina made Thai Curry and Vali, this gorgeous woman from Venezuela and Tina's friend, brought incredible cheesecake. My old friend Marilu Andree was here, too, and it was a lovely time. Mark was so funny-in rare form telling us stories. Kenny played with his gifts. Lorma looked beautiful in her shawl. I am one lucky lady having friends such as these.
Two other very dear friends are going through all kinds of very hard stuff right now and I have been thinking of a passage from Pema Chodron's book, WHEN THINGS FALL APART. It goes like this:
"Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't reallly get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It is just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
When we thing that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don't know what's really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don't know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don't know. We never know if we're going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there's a big disappointment, we don't know if that's the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure."
I have learned in my life that when things fall apart my life gets bigger, sometimes uncomfortably so, but that this is invariably good news. Anything that disrupts my cocoon living is to be welcomed, even as I kick and scream and freak out. I am holding these friends so close to my heart, and of course watching the pain they are enduring is difficult, but the sun will rise tomorrow and maybe we will be there to feel its warmth. The rest is temporary stuff that will pass.
This is my hundredth post and I actually have hesitated to write because people like my friend Susan have done such cool things on their 100th and I just felt paralyzed trying to come up with something anywhere near as good. I had to let go of that ambitious idea because I just couldn't think of anything. What occurs to me now is to just to paraphrase my friend Jungle Jon, who says that when we have the gift of really seeing our lives clearly, the only possible response we can have is gratitude.
With gratitude for all of you-and love,