Dear Inner Circle,

Sometimes these notes come from a heart that is overwhelmed by beauty. Sometimes the heights to which the human spirit can soar fill me with hope and in my own feeble way, I seek to create a note that points and bears witness to that which is hidden in plain view. To the extent that I have ever felt like I’ve succeeded, I probably blasphemed. Sometimes it feels like I’ve reluctantly received the gift of stigmata and blood pours through my hands, all over my keyboard and into my text. Sometimes, perhaps often, both events occur in the same note.

So I stood in silence this week with a woman, one of her hands in mine and the other on her son’s coffin. How she had fought for him. How she had believed in him when all others gave up. How she saw beauty and potential even when her son couldn’t see it in himself. It had all come to this moment. There were no words, just one hand in mine and one on the coffin. There were no words. Perhaps for this lady it was a moment of defeat but I suspect not. I suspect this was numb love. I held in my hand a beauty beyond imagination. Some things cannot be squashed even by death. I know something today that I didn’t know on the day when I had one hand on my son’s coffin and one arm around his daughter. Love is not diminished. Pain sharpens and dulls and sharpens again but love remains real and deep. I can’t begin to explain it really but the pain of love refines me and renews me. It’s a pain that has loosened the grip of many stupid things that once loomed large. It’s a pain that helps me see what truly matters. It’s a pain that helps me name things for what they really are. It’s a pain that causes me to talk back to the TV and empowers me to switch things off. The pain of love empowers me to yell, “empty” to many things that present themselves to us as full. The pain of love empowers me to whisper, “absence” to many things that appear to promise presence. Mostly, the pain of love empowers me to find my centre not within but between. My way is heavier at times than I think I can bear and yet I’m free from fear of reputation, fear of gain or loss, fear of fear.

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