Lament on a public platform… Sure... Great...
Let's be honest, people who know me well know that I love a good moan. Once at work a child decided to make up cute nicknames for all the staff you know like “lovely one” and “the best at jumping”. When they got to me they said, “MOANY MOAN!” Brilliant. I know lamenting is not moaning, and I actually believe deeply in the power of lament. But, you know, I believe that lamenting is good for other people, not me, like how exercise is good for your mental health, but not mine. Which has got me wondering why it’s so difficult and it's this: there is still a huge part of me that believes that if I don't caveat the bad stuff with something positive or spiritual then I am letting divinity down. IMAGINE letting down divinity. And it's not just that, who else am I impacting? And how can suffering just be suffering?
lamenting is not moaning, and I actually believe deeply in the power of lament.
My bin broke last week. It was only 2 months old so I contacted the place we bought it and had some excellent customer service. In their email back to me they said they were “saddened to hear your bin has broken”. I started to write an email back about how it was just a bin and it was okay. I’d like a replacement if possible but you know... Don’t be sad. When I went through a bereavement and I told people about it, they would be really sad. It still happens and that's okay, it is really sad, but then my mouth starts telling happy stories. In the olden days, it told tales of how God is good, healing, kind; I was desperate that sadness could not be the end of the story. I don't believe sadness will be the end of the story. But is that just a hope? I can't be sure, I’ve sure seen some sad endings of stories.
I have often wondered if I don't keep painting the cracks of life, would I ever surface again?
I’m doing that work of self-reflection and I’m not a fan. I equally love and hate my previous self. My biggest reflection is that I would happily give up on any spiritual growth, wisdom, etc (all the things you are told really matter) not to be bereaved. I’ve been complicating something that's very simple. It happened, I’m sad. I am full of toxic hope; I was told once it's me putting myself in the best light. I don't think that's true, it is incredibly, awfully painful not to be able to see the sunlight, and I have often wondered if I don't keep painting the cracks of life, would I ever surface again? Could the cracks actually just demolish me? I believed they would. But I don't anymore.
Leonard Cohen is my favourite theologian (side note Dolly Parton is my favourite evangelist). One of his most famous lines is “ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.” I always find myself coming back to that, but this past year it’s changed, I can’t paint on those cracks anymore, and my house is (literally and metaphorically) covered in cracks.
Leonard Cohen my favourite theologian says: “ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.”
Anyway, this is the most lament I can handle right now, and that is also okay. It’s also reminded me I need to get back to the architect. Oh, and I got a replacement bin.