Instead, an acknowledgement of simple truth: time passes. No judgment is placed on how fast or how slow it goes, or whether that’s a good or bad thing. It doesn’t matter what one’s opinion of time is, for either way it passes. Not “passed” or “will pass,” but always, eternally, “passes.”
But as much as the books are for her, they’re for me, too. They’re my past, my present, and my aspirational future. They’re the soul of my house, if the bane of moving house.
The purpose of the photograph is clear. It is to capture the contents of a moment that will never play again. The clicks shouldn’t be so easily disposable. As Susan Sontag eloquently stated, “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
I wish there were more Bernards out there for people navigating the paralyzing loneliness in the aftermath, but the fact is we are terrified of suicide and have no language yet to help us boldly walk across the chasm and offer assistance or participate in a conversation.
This story, though, is me in my meditation place, sitting with that feeling of depression and discerning if it was a leftover from those days after surgery, or if it was new. Could a massage of repaired flesh and connective tissue, prodded and pulled, release captured emotions from twenty-two years ago?
In all seriousness, seeing our children as sexual and them seeing us that way doesn’t come easy. Talking about sex makes me self-conscious about my own body and experience, and stressed about what I don’t know, as well as what I do. I worry I won’t have the right answer or I’ll expose a troubling or upsetting personal story better left alone.
I suspect the changes that result from our pivotal life experiences are like the rhythmic interplay of swimmer and aquatic environment. We arrive fearful or expectant. The effects of our first tentative efforts ripple outwards, altering the frequency of our surroundings. We get feedback. We adjust.
I would be happy if there remained many names of God, but I affirm the underlying hope for a world in which all peoples, however diverse, would feel sufficiently united to care about one another, to build peace and end war, to do the difficult work of cultivating empathy for the other, to do without some of their own discretionary pleasures to help others acquire some of their necessities.
First with marriage, then with motherhood, I was finally figuring out what love is about. It isn’t about being a star, receiving praise and thanks for all I do; it’s about self-effacement.
This particular etching proved to offer several unexpected learning lessons. As much as I crave certainty, I know that in uncertainty there is the most potential for progress. It may feel uncomfortable, but in that bowl of not knowing what comes next, there might be a pleasing surprise
Labyrinths are designed as an archetype of our spiritual journey; walking one can aid in taking us out of our ego, and into the self, or the center of our being, and then back out into the world. I walk them because I need to be attentive to grounding myself in place, and opening up my senses when I am in new surroundings or in a novel role.