God Spoke Softly
"When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth." -- Kahlil Gibran, On Love
I woke up this morning at 4:30am. I am in so much pain, so sad. I can't shake this which holds me, that which has left me, all that remains in me. I am shakey and my blood rises, aching my body, reminding me of this sickness, this great sadness I have allowed to consume me. I want to snap my fingers and let it all dissipate. I want to feel great again, alive! Why do I allow this to suck me, to feast on me? Why can't I just be stronger and "get over it"? What does this mean? Am I being selfish? Is she being selfish? Are they being selfish? What a selfish lot we are! All of us. None of us are worthy of anything more than the death which faces us. No smile, no mask can hide this despair. I am bloodless; my blood boils; my blood is lava; my blood is no longer blood.
I cried out to God, "Why? Please take this away!" And I heard God laugh that knowing laugh that transcends time. And God made an exception to God's rules: God answered me at 4:30am. God answered as only God can answer -- with questions, first.
"Why must I take your pain away from you, Michael? Do you not know that it is by your pain that you will grow? Do you not remember the days of your youth? Do you not remember the days of wandering, of wishing to die, of suicidal thoughts? Do you not remember when you were so desparately alone? Do you not remember this illusion? Do you not remember me being there even then? Do you not remember that without your pain and suffering there is no happiness and joy? Do you not remember that time is an illusion, and that I can no more stop the motion of your pain than I can unthink you? Do you not remember how I build muscle? It is only by the destruction of muscle and sinew and tissues that I build stronger muscles and sinew and tissues. Do you not hear all the people I have used to speak to you. Oh, my friend, my son, you are not alone. I have something great for you; your desire -- the things you cannot see -- will come through. It has come through, but you are only seeing the illusion of time. Do not ask me to take away that which makes you grow. Embrace this pain. This pain is for your pruning; this pain is for your growth. Just trust."
And now, I face my day . . .
"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love." -- Kahlil Gibran, On Love