We are in a time of mourning. (Will we allow it to be a time of molding too?)
We are lamenting the loss of “normal” and the lack of artificial productivity measures. We are mourning the dearth of predictability and unrealized collective dreams, while fretting for freedoms previously taken for granted. We are grieving the gap of neighborly proximity – saddened over the scarcity of touch, of close contact, of shared communal space. We are feeling the folds of trauma, both seen and unseen; those fully acknowledged and those that silently lurk, buried in the basements of our brains, lying in wait to bowl us over at an unknown, mutinous moment (like the calloused, insensitive beast that trauma is).
We are mourning memories unmade, milestones delayed and moments unwanted. (Even so, we march onward, through this muck.) We ache for ordinary, thirst for typical and yearn for the usual. We hurt; we howl; we hunger. We cry and curse and complain. We may weep or whine, wail or whimper. These are all sounds of mourning – after all, there is no right way.
Mourning involves feeling and feelings are notoriously messy. Let it be messy.
We can be molded in this disorienting, mystical mess.
It’s staggering to think of holding pain and not setting it down. Like a hot ember leaping into your hand, wouldn’t you just drop it? Why carry this complicated companion rather than shuffling off its (sometimes suffocating) weight? This concept is hard to imagine until we find ourselves in a time of mourning. Withstanding the juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible states is often involved in this messy time.
For instance, we can abide with this ache we hold. We can bear our own breakdowns. We can sit amongst the soreness of our spirit, noticing its sting, but also noticing our breath. Dancing with our discomfort and humbled by heartache, we steadily slog. (Abiding while aching, openly holding our brokenness, sitting still even though still sore…rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.) Those having lived loss know these difficult truths.
In the midst of our numerous current challenges, I offer you one more – let yourself be etched by this uninvited emptiness. Soften, in response to our social suffering. Open, when you are overwhelmed. Through this turmoil, we can be taught. In our weakness, we will be whittled. If we can muster the necessary strength to surrender, we will be sculpted in magnificent ways.
For it is mourning that molds us, shapes us, mercilessly beats us.
Loss always illuminates. Sorrow is sobering, cinching your soul incessantly till you scarcely recognize yourself. What will we do with these luminous restraints we’ve been handed? Will this wreckage rattle us – rally us – raise new rhythms and restore humanity’s core? Or, will it roll blithely over our backs, returning us to wretched routines and draining days?
What fertile ground we have to forge new societal and familial frames! The choice is before us – stagnate in our stubbornness or rest in the roads of renewal; cling to our old constructs or open ourselves to a new way of operating.
Let us be molded as we mourn.
Let us be bold – let’s claim BEING as our backbone and discard the meaningless measures of doing. Let’s shed the skins of unsustainable systems, while we become rooted in the bedrock of benevolence and beauty. Let us bind ourselves to the better.
We can be impressed by the intangibles, rather than exhausted by the externals.
We can be reconstructed in this collapse.
We can be awakened by this ache.
We can be molded by our mourning.