Suddenly the words were just–gone. It was as if The Nothing was holding my tongue…
Without intending to or understanding how, I had internalized all of the scraps of love and loss dropped by people I love. I gathered the fear of not knowing and held onto it, too. Carrying these things like weights in every pocket, and in each fist, kept me from feeling the weight of my own heart. I was full, and scared, and overwhelmed–incapacitated to draw anything from the well. I just shuffled along letting the pace of the London pavements sand my journey off the soles of my shoes.
Any mundane thing I might say seemed empty when I measured them against all of these scraps I was carrying. So I continued with silence and gathering up worry. The true stories of others are not mine to tell (and talking about it seems cheap), so I rented out my head and my heart to the project of tinkering with these bits and pieces as if there was something I could do for the people to whom they belonged. Being 4000 miles away from some, I can’t wash their dishes or take them dinner. I can’t give them my shoulder or ask for theirs in return. Being completely powerless in all cases, I cannot even offer to help them weather the storm.
So I have relegated myself to asking for blessings upon them. I have filled every space with hoping. I have asked for health, for healing, for wholeness, and for peace. And my own words have slowly seeped back in. It was music that broke the spell–and I have shaken off the shadow of guilt. I was never meant to fix things. And neither am I the judge of what is broken.
‘The greatest gift of life is to know love’ and ‘we’ll make it fine if the weather holds, but if the weather holds, we’ll have missed the point.’ (All That We Let In; The Wood Song; Saliers)
‘Sometimes everything is wrong/now it’s time to sing along… Everybody hurts/You are not alone.’ (Everybody Hurts; Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipes)
‘I won’t be afraid/as long as you stand by me… whenever you’re in trouble/won’t you stand by me?’ (Stand By Me; King)
Where ever I am my heart belongs to those I love, even when it is all I have to give. Whatever I say or don’t say, whatever sits on the surface, the well is deep enough for whatever troubles you.