Updated: Apr 10, 2018
Could you or I comprehend, even for a moment, how fiercely my great-granddaughter and her friends loved being alive, and that this love was not an evanescent mood, but a never-ending power which pervaded every sleeping and waking moment of their lives?
Could you or I believe it? Could we stand to believe it? (Patrick Farley, "Chrysalis Colossus")
Reflecting on the year that is ending and the year to come, I am drawn back and back again to this question. And to the further question that grows from it: how would I live, today and tomorrow and next week and next year, if I could stand to believe that such a love were possible? What would I do, and what would I stop doing? What would no longer be tolerable for me? What could I no longer deny?
Christmas (or perhaps more accurately the space between Christmas itself and going back to work in January), is a time when many of us glimpse that possible life. Some of us make resolutions that we hope will get us there, or at least a few steps closer. But then we slip back into "normal" life again within a week or two of getting back to the office (or wherever), feeling vaguely defeated. And what I'm wondering is whether the problem is not that our resolutions are too much of a stretch (although lots of them seem to be peculiarly self-punishing) but that on a deep level, we cannot stand to believe that life can really be different, that it can be built on and powered by love and connection and beauty, instead of fear and scarcity and separation. And that that life can begin right here and now, not when we're thinner or fitter or smarter or richer or in any way more loveable or deserving, but simply now.
So this year, how about not making any resolutions? Perhaps instead try paying attention to the rich beauty of the world, of your life. And seeing just how much love for this beautiful world you can stand.
Happy holidays everyone.