I’ve been experiencing blogger’s block. For the past few days each time I sit down to write, pray, or meditate all I experience is emptiness, an emotional and spiritual void. So I fiddle with this and mess with that, hoping something will emerge from waiting. It’s not that I’m unhappy. In fact, the days are flowing fairly smoothly and I am finding things to do. In fact, I helped with a wedding this weekend and went to an amazing concert, spent time with friends and family. It’s just that there’s a big black hole in the middle of everything. My head must force myself to go through it. That doesn’t keep me from wishing I could avoid getting buried in all that pain, mud, and darkness, however.
I’m tired of hearing others share stories of seeing him, of sensing his presence, A cousin reported seeing him in her dreams; tall, healthy, no sign of any crippling or disfigurement. He smiled at her and then turned and walked away. Another person reported having him tell her he’s happy, doing well. I don’t want to be ungrateful, but why can’t he come to me? Assure me? Hearing from others is about as satisfying as ripping apart the stole I had almost finished last evening because I made a serious mistake and then made it worse by trying to fix it. Finally I just started ripping it apart!. My life is coming apart like that stole. The yarn is still beautiful and the portion that remains reveals a lovely pattern, but the rest is a mess. My only real option is to start over by using that same yarn.
I can step back and look at parts of my past life, parts that came apart, parts where I begged God to take the hurt away. Today I can see those same experiences through the vista of time, and the gift that was always hidden in them, the opportunities that opened up, the rough edges that got chiseled away. Now I can see the necessity of going through the pain rather than trying to avoid it because they enable me to see the flawed beauty in myself and others. But then, is there really any other way to approach that greatest of mysteries, God working in and through us?
This morning, a friend suggested I repeat my first step. I know my grief will not heal without my taking that first step again, but I have this tendency to approach the steps like kites. I release them one by one into the air – watch them fly away, all the while knowing I am still hanging on to their strings. Yes, I gave him permission to fly away because that was the only kind and loving thing to do, but I haven’t really let him go. I waiting for some sign that its is OK to let go. I want to glance out the window and see him wave to me. I want to come around the corner and get a glimpse of him watching the birds. I want him back.
Just as I begin to write out my Step One: admitted I am powerless over my grief and longing, Step Two pops into mind. It’s going to take a greater power than me, myself, and I to regain my stability and sanity. In the meantime, what am I supposed to do with this big hole in the center of my life? As I sit and wait, praying without consciously praying, I cling to some of those wonderful snippets of 12 step wisdom. Just do the next thing. Live one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Practice an attitude of gratitude.