21 May 2010

When failure is the only option

I have failed this month at many things in my life. At most things in my life.

I have utterly and completely failed. Do you ever feel that way?

When the month ends, when time moves forward, my failure will still be evident.

The cracks in the wall grow larger, and I don't know how many cracks a heart can really withstand.

Here is the thing: At the end of the month, at the beginning of the next month, at the beginning of next year, Grace will still be dead. Always and forever.

My failures, I suppose, are small in comparison to the largeness of the world.

It is easy to look at life and compare our failures and compare our grief, and think, well, mine cannot be so bad. That mother, that mother lost two children. That country suffered devastation. That family experienced multiple losses.

But, at the end of the day, as someone recently said to me, "Wherever you go, there you are."


And so whether or not there is famine in Africa, whether or not there are earthquakes in Haiti, my heart still feels like it's cracking. The initial quake set the stage many years ago, created my fault line. As a child experiencing death, losing a parent, the fault line emerged and settled into my body.

Then, a larger kind of quake happened years later when that child, now a parent experienced the death of her own child. The fault line rumbled, the earthquake roared, the buildings tumbled, the glass shattered into a million pieces around her.

And the fault line remains: larger, more fragile, more tenuous.

"Wherever you go, there you are."

What kind of platitude stands more in opposition to hope and love than this one? This platitude stands alone creating its own fault line.

And so I wander the streets. I board an airplane. I run out of my life. And still, here I am with the fault line still cracking, with the walls still tumbling. With Grace still dead.

There may not be a four-letter word more real, more alive, more grief-filled than that: Dead. Gone. Over.

And other things still happen to make me realize: Dead. Gone. Over.

Seven years. Seven times seven. Seventy times seven. The earthquake returns. The ground shakes. The glass rattles. And I use all my force, all my power, all my energy to keep the walls from crashing down.

'The moon is hiding in
her hair.
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down."

And still, wherever I go, here I am. There is no escape. There is no running away.

And wherever I go, Grace is still dead. There is no escape. There is no running away.

"cover her briefness in singing
close her with the intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,
upon her
the rain's
pearly singly-whispering."

Twilight has come. Dusk has fallen.


Barbara said...

Just want you to know that I am out here. Reading each post, each word, and they are having an impact. They matter. You matter. Grace matters.

Terry said...

I have no words, so I will rely on those of someone smarter than me:

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." --Samuel Beckett

I love you.