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Forgiveness, like the buds of springtime, bring a new breath to the world

We went into the countryside with some colleagues of my husband’s today.  Four cars wound their way between the rocky and green-covered hills.  My daughter made instant friends with one of the school’s administrators.  Throughout the day she called her “The Pink Lady”, though I reminded her of LinLin’s name constantly.  She was given this moniker because she wore a pink t-shirt, the same shade of fuchsia  as our little goose’s Dora t-shirt.

As we drove along, I was astonished at the change in the landscape.  Five years ago, this was my commute, through green hills with orchards and the occasional countryside village with ancient dwellings (probably more than 20-years old, ancient here).  Now this area has developed into the software corridor.  Villages have been razed, and quaint condominium style developments are tucked into to the folds of the rising hills.  A small river has been dammed to create a little lake.  We stopped for a “scenic view”.  The foliage was lovely: recently planted bushes with light green leaves that went pink at the tips of branches, wild flowers, young trees.  A board walk led us down nearer to the lake, which was not accessible, and then led us back up to the road.  Across from the lake were the unmistakable signs of “progress”.  More condos being built.

When we arrived at our destination, we played, as the Chinese say.  Playing is something everyone does.  It’s not just for children.  We hiked up the mountain a bit.  Half the party turned back for lack of proper shoes.  They returned to the “restaurant” at which we were to have lunch.  It was a court-yard building.  A vegetable garden filled the courtyard.  The dining rooms and a pillared porch surround it. One of the side-rooms held a pool table and several ping-pong tables.  Card tables were set up in another room.  While some hiked, others knocked balls around. When lunch was ready, we all descended upon it like ravenous wolves.  Lamb on spits were laid out before us, supported by notches carved into the table, and reinforced with marble.  It had been roasted for hours with spices and apples and pears.  I have never had such glorious lamb.  We were all given plastic gloves with which we ripped the meat from the bones.  While we gorged, separate tables were set for the “second” course.  I couldn’t imagine how we would fit anything else in.  But the lamb made an excellent broth for a vegetable hot-pot.  A fire was lit below the pot of broth, and we were all served small bowls with green onions and another herb, fresh from the garden.  In fact, all the vegetables that went into the broth were from the garden outside our door.  In deed, we were able to pack more in to our bellies.

I go into such detail because there was a quality to the day that I haven’t experience in a long time.  The colors were brilliant.  My little girl chanted the colors of the flowers that lined the road: “Orange flowers!  Pink flowers!  Red Flowers!  Look, Mommy! I see purple flowers!”  And I felt her same excitement. The rain that brought the hikers in was a deliciously cool mist.  The smells of the herbs and vegetables growing in the courtyard, the roasting of the lamb, and then the flavors of those same delicacies bursting in my mouth at the dining table.  It was a lack of grief that enlivened my senses.  It is not a complete lack.  I still have work to do.  But at least now I know the nature of the work.

It is forgiveness.

I have learned something about the process of grief and loss.  The “final” part of the process is acceptance.  I qualify it as “final” because it is not necessarily finished.  It can be a cyclical process, and one can experience a range of emotions related to grief and loss, not necessarily in any order, or even singularly.  Yes, they can pounce on you more than one at a time.  But this acceptance thing has been holding me back because my loss has not been of a definite nature, as death is.  When children alienate themselves from a parent, there is a toxic mix of shame, bitterness, resentment, guilt and anger thrown into the pot, and the ever-present reminders on Facebook of those who have rejected you.  There is the hope, the dreams, the longing.

So I’ve had some forgiving to do.  Over the years, I thought I had “done” that. I had asked my ex-husband for forgiveness for my wrongs in our marriage.  I had been able to see those who have done things to hurt me have been hurt themselves, and had done some forgiving.  But that forgiveness had all been an intellectual exercise.  My head got it, but my heart kept shouting, silently, “But, but, but!” Every time I went through that exercise I asked myself, “Why do I have to keep doing this?”  It hurt.  It wasn’t fun.  It didn’t bring me any peace.

I let myself get angry this weekend.  I let myself feel hatred and the rage. I’ve never done that before.  It wasn’t “nice.”  But this time,  I let myself speak the unspeakable wishes to one of my wrong-doers.  I cursed her.  I pictured myself doing, and spoke out loud, the things I would do to hurt her, so she would know the pain she has caused.  I went deeper and deeper into this until I could do no more, until all I could do was see my children, and remember that this woman is their loved one.  And then, slowly, I began to forgive myself for all of it, for the hatred and the anger towards this fragile human being.  I began to feel how much I had broken her with my own thoughts, bitter and resentful.  I began to see her as bandaged from head to toe.  And I began to forgive her.  I won’t forget what she has done, and I haven’t excused it.  But that’s not what forgiveness is.  “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different.”  I let go of her.  She doesn’t take up space rent-free in my heart any more, blocking my love with what I imagined her to be.  I have to thank Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant for that quote.  I admit it.  I did an internet search on how to forgive, and found Oprah’s Lifeclass on the Power of Forgiveness.  With lessons taught by powerhouses like Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins, it is quite useful if you need some guidance.  I sure did.  Don’t expect to be able to transform while your watching, though.  Just take the lessons, and chew on them till you can digest.

Today confirmed for me that this forgiveness is sticking.  Peace floods through me when I think of it, and of that woman.  And I felt the brilliance of the flowers, and tasted the juices of that lamb today, more intensely than I have sensed things in years.  My heart is tender, but not as painful.  I have more forgiving to do.  I need a lot more practice before it is an automatic thing.  But at least I know what I need to do now.  And for that, and for forgiveness, I am grateful.

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Boat in waves

Giving children a bow in their lives, a vast horizon that guarantees nothing

I just watched a Ted Talk by Tan Le, a technologist who spoke about her immigration from Vietnam as a young child.  She speaks of being on a boat disguised as a fishing vessel, of the adults keeping poison available for all of them to escape from the rape and torture of pirates if they were captured.  She tells the harrowing tale of their escape, and the courage of her mother and grandmother, and by extension shows her own bravery, as they establish a new life in Australia.  She speaks at the end about her desire for children.  She says, “I wonder about the boat.  Who could ever wish it on their own?  Yet I am afraid of privilege, of ease, of entitlement.  Can I give them a bow in their lives, dipping bravely into each wave?  The unperturbed and steady beat of the engine?  The vast horizon that guarantees nothing?”  The confident assurance of her mother and grandmother that failure was not an option carried Tan through her childhood, through law school and international recognition, through greater achievements after that.

Now I turn my thoughts to my own children.  We live in a strange paradox, our family.  To the western observer, we have given up a life of privilege, cut our income to a tenth of what it once was, immersed ourselves in a foreign language and culture, different not only in appearances but also in its deep philosophical roots.  We live in an apartment a fraction of the size of the house we left behind.  We depend on public transportation after being a two-car family.  We have to go to great lengths to make macaroni and cheese. But to our Chinese friends, we are the privileged class.  We take taxis often.  We have coffee at Starbucks occasionally.  Our income is more than three times the local average. We make this expensive food called macaroni and cheese.

Our children are treated like rock stars when we go out, with their blond hair and big blue eyes.  Everyone wants a picture with them.  If we charged a small fee we would be millionaires. They are given candy without even batting a eye in our direction to ask for permission.  My children have to be sternly reminded that they are not to ask for things from strangers because, no matter what it is, the stranger is likely to hand it over…an iPhone with a cool game, ice cream, the lot.

In this limbo land, I have decided to remove my son from public school.  Though I’m fairly certain his sister will do well in the school, he has special needs that the school can’t address.  The decision was difficult, because I have often felt I don’t have the patience or the organizational skills to home-school effectively.  My husband and I struggled with how to address our son’s growing sense of isolation and frustration by hoping the problem would go away.  It didn’t.  By the end of last term, he had stopped doing any kind of work in class, and he was, without a doubt the loneliest child I knew.  His self-talk was (and still is) very negative and even frightening, with occasional suicidal statements. This is terrifying to hear from an eight-year-old.   Sometimes, he had upswings that would give us hope.  But those had recently all but gone the way of the dodo.  Finally, I purchased an ebook that discussed how to home-school a child with his needs.  The first section of the book records anecdotes from other parents who also decided to home-school their child.  There was such a resonance.  I realized that my fears and inadequacies are not enough to keep torturing this poor kid, and torture is what his school had become – a mixture of bullying, and being alternately ignored and belittled by a teacher who doesn’t understand him.

So he is now at home with me every morning.  And we are trying to figure out this homeschooling business.  We’ve hired a tutor to continue his Chinese studies in language and math, plus provide child care during the afternoons while I work.  So far so good.  This is day two.

I keep coming back to that image of Tan Le on the boat.  She went the other way, from the East to the West, from a difficult life to a life of increasing ease.  And she fears privilege, ease and entitlement.   Are our children benefiting from our challenges?  Who knows?  They speak fluent Chinese, and will be fully literate in the language much sooner than I will be.  Does that increase their ease? They will grow up as third culture kids, and that brings its own challenges and blessings.

This world is changing so quickly.  One thing I am certain of is that China has an important place in the future of our planet.  Our children’s bilingual/multiculturalism  will probably benefit them.  But it is a vast horizon, and there are no guarantees.  I have friends whose children, though they grew up in China, have rejected their language and experience here as useless.  How can I help my children avoid that rejection?

That boat.  I keep wondering about that boat, too.  “Can I give them a bow in their lives, dipping bravely into each wave?  The unperturbed and steady beat of the engine?  The vast horizon that guarantees nothing?” This is such powerful image.  It implies something under the surface, invisible and guiding, moving into an unknown future, driven by a profound purpose.  Maybe the best I can do is provide a consistent message to my children about the purpose of life, and then provide them with skills to follow their own path of service.  That’s really what this blog is about.  As an exploration of purpose, it is a constant reminder that I am here to be of service to the world.  My immediate concern is the part of the world that is closest at hand: my family.  Let’s hope I don’t sink that boat.

How do you help ensure that your children don’t become accustomed to privilege and ease?  How do you cultivate gratitude in your children?  Or perseverance in the face of difficulty?   What’s your perspective on these issues?

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The seed sacrifices itself for the tree

Such a lofty title – and all I’m doing is trying to find some sticking power to keep my own resolutions.  Like making writing my first professional priority.  It’s already January 8 and I spent most of last week grading papers and exams instead of writing.  I did, however, “procrastinate” on the grading by writing a 19-page short story that just sucked me right in and wouldn’t let me go until I finished it.  Two days later, I had a first draft.

But the title of this post wrote itself too.  I have been thinking about sacrifice a lot lately.  The word has a bad rap in our culture.  It implies deprivation.  It sounds like “I gotta give up something, and it’s gotta hurt.”  We hear it used in expressions like, “I’ve got to sacrifice my lunch hour to finish this report,” or “He had to sacrifice some golf time to volunteer at the school.”  To many, the word is distasteful.  For me it was too, especially when I discovered that sacrifice should hurt.

But I read something recently and it kind of blew my mind and shook my world.  It was essentially that sacrifice means letting go of that which is lower for that which is higher.  For example, the seed sacrifices itself for the tree.  OK, so I’m attributing will to an inanimate object, but just stay with me here…The seed lets go of its form — even cracks itself open — to allow the tree to grow.  Another example I read helped me get this.

“The relation between food and the eater is usually considered from the standpoint of the eater alone.  But surely if the food could be consulted, its attitude would be quite other.  It has two possibilities for a standard of judgment.  It could be either that of resentment at the loss of its station of animal or vegetable, or it could be one of exultation over its change from the station of animal and vegetable matter to the station of the human organism, and the possibility offered it of becoming a working part of the muscle, nerve and brain of man.  We look upon the world of Nature and see it as the battleground between the weak and the strong.  But it is just as possible to view it as the field of sacrifice wherein lower or weaker forms of life become transformed into higher and stronger ones through self-sacrifice.  In fact, it is quite possible that one of the causes behind the slow evolution of species is this very principle of sacrifice.”

Now, Howard Colby Ives was writing this back in 1912.  But it applies in so many ways to my life today.  It puts things into perspective.  I’m not depriving myself of that cream puff, I’m giving myself better health.  I’m not depriving myself of the ability to speak my thoughts freely, I am gaining the virtue of tact.  I’m not giving up my “paid” work, I’m developing my calling, which in the long run, will make me more prosperous.

This was most profoundly applied to my perception of motherhood recently.  I was thinking about my children from my first marriage who haven’t spoken to me in over five years, though I have made every effort I know to reach them to let them know I love them no matter what.  I thought, “Do I need to sacrifice my relationship with my children for something higher?”

Ugh.  That thought kicked me in the stomach.

I walked into my husband’s office and sat in the chair next to his desk, and asked him the same question.

He looked at me for a while.  Then he asked me, “If you had to choose between your children becoming closer to you or closer to God, which would you choose?”

Well, that’s not a fair question, I thought.  My children should be close to both.

Then he made a triangle with his index fingers and thumbs, and said, “If your children are getting closer to God, and so are you, aren’t you getting closer to each other?”

God is at the apex of the triangle.  In any relationship we have, if we are constantly demanding, “Hey, I’m over here!  Pay attention to me!” so that the other person will face us, then we are asking her to turn her attention away from God.  I am certain that I have been emotionally jumping up and down, shouting, “Hey, I’m your mom!  I’m over here!  I demand acknowledgment! I miss you!”  But if I let go of that, and simply desire with all my heart that they become closer to God, and I continue to write to them and pray for them, as they progress in their spiritual development they will naturally grow closer to me.  But I let go not because I want that outcome, but because I want to be closer to God. I want to be more patient and forgiving and kind and truthful and…and…and.

So what does this have to do with New Year’s resolutions?  Resolutions are typically things that we choose to become better people, more prosperous, happier, healthier, etc.  I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to stick to something if I feel the gain immediately.  And I feel it immediately if I connect my response to what I am gaining rather that to what I am loosing.  For example, I have already lost my children in terms of communication and physical relationship.  When I try to get those things, it only causes me, and probably them, pain.  But if I let go of those and seek with all my heart a stronger relationship with God for all of us, I have attached my heart to a purpose that can only bring all of us joy.

Try it out.  Instead of “Loose 10 pounds,” how about “Become physically fit by running three times a week.” Do your resolutions feel more sustainable if you think and feel in terms of what you are gaining?  What are your resolutions, and how would you state them in terms of the nature of sacrifice – giving up “that which is lower for that which is higher”?

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“O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold.”

I have been pondering this verse from Baha’u’llah for some time now.  Every morning,  I say it and think about it.  I look in my heart, and I see way more than love.  And this thing about “affection and desire”  What’s that about?

I only remembered part of the verse, because that’s how I’ve seen and heard it.  I was looking it up for this post, to make sure I got the words right, and found this at the end: “Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly.”

Now, I remember reading that part before.  But I hadn’t put the two parts together in my mind.  I have mostly thought of the last part as the possible justification my ex-husband and his family have for “eschewing” fellowship with me. I must be one of the ungodly, in their minds, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to “justify” making sure my children want nothing to do with me.

But today my mind took a new spin on it.  The two parts really need to be together.  If you’re going to only plant roses, you’ve got to get rid of the other stuff.  The friendships we have with the “righteous” give us love, comfort, acceptance and encouragement.  Relationships with have with the “ungodly” make us feel worthless, resentful, jealous, angry, shameful.  And it’s not really so much about the people, but about what those relationships plant in our hearts.  People are people, and everyone is both made in God’s image, and has foibles and wobbles and warts.  There are people in the world who will do selfish, immature things in an attempt to project themselves from hurt.  We have the entire spectrum of responses available to us, from compassion and tolerance to self-hatred or revenge.  I knew this at one time, long ago.  I wrote a song about it.  I’ll post it another time.  But here I am again today, railing at the injustice of it all.  I am angry.  So apparently, I’m hanging out with the wrong crowd, and it’s time for some weeding.

In my last post, a friend commented to me that I may need to separate physical from emotional suffering.  I responded to him, and in that response had an epiphany.  I intended to write: “Where, oh where, does the belief come from that when I feel pleasure, everyone is happy?”  What I ended up writing was “when I feel pleasure, others feel pain.”  That was when I hit the nail on the head.  I have long believed (not cognitively, but emotionally) that my pleasure, my joy, my contentment and success, will bring others pain.  The symptoms of this belief are thoughts like, “I can’t paint right now, the kids will want my attention immediately, so I can’t do something that I loose myself in,” or “I don’t play music right now because I can’t focus on it without interruption.”    Or how about the number of times I feel I had to manipulate the situation to get some time to myself? What it all comes down to is that I hold myself back for fear of inconveniencing others with my “selfishness”.

When I began looking at this reality, I fell into a two-day funk.  I felt trapped.  What was holding me there?  Society’s expectations of me as a mother and woman?  My own?  And why the hell does it matter?  Even now I struggle with it.  But the belief has been cracked now, and I’m starting to see past the facade of ‘acceptable’.  Acceptable to whom?  My only standard should be the Divine Standard, and no where is it written that we shouldn’t give our best effort to our talents and faculties.  What I have read counsels excellence, not mediocrity.  I’m not talking about neglecting my children in favor of my artistic pursuits.  I’m talking about setting boundaries around those pursuits so that I can throw myself into my work whole-hardheartedly, and with my whole mind, without worrying about whose needs aren’t being met.  These boundaries are more internal than external, though I do require some external “walls” and scheduling to help ensure that our families needs don’t conflict.  But I need to give myself permission, and then set “thought” boundaries.  If I step over the wall into motherhood, or home-maker, or wife, while I’m working its the same as  answering a call from my daughter’s kindergarten while I teach a class.  I don’t do that.  Whatever it is can wait for twenty minutes.  If I give my employer and my students that consideration, I should give my art the same.

So I’m weeding the garden of my heart.  Out go the self-defeating thoughts of “not good enough”.  I will no longer give the “ungodly” rent-free space in my mind.  “I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life…I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.”  (If you’re interested in the full text of that prayer, here it is.)  I want to plant the rose of love in my heart.  I want to cling to that nightingale of affection and desire. So I am now seeking fellowship with the righteous.  Come check out the garden, if you like roses and nightingales.  Maybe we can help each other yank those weeds out by their roots!

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I discovered something today.  I want to die.

In fact, I think most of us do at some point in our lives.  There is a part of us all that knows that what comes after this must be better than the suffering we have to endure in this physical plane of existence.  Whether you believe we are worm food or that there is an afterlife, getting off this spinning cesspool of agony doesn’t sound like such a bad idea sometimes.

To me heaven and hell are states of being along a continuum of nearness to or distance from God.  Our intended destination is His presence.  That’s where He wants us, not for His sake, but for ours.  He doesn’t need us there.  He created the universe, and everything in and beyond it.  So it isn’t an ego trip that He created us to know Him and to love Him.  He did it because He loves us and wants us to know the joy of that love.  So even if I haven’t gone as far as He intends me to in this life, it just seems like it would be such a relief to put my movement on that continuum completely in His hand, rid myself of this free will business once and for all.

I was sitting on the steps outside our apartment this afternoon, still upset from an argument I had with my husband about nothing that important.  I was smoking a cigarette and thinking, “Why is it that I do this?  I know it’s not good for me?  Why don’t I start running, and taking care of my body?  Why don’t I care about my health that much?”  And the answer came with such clarity and truth that I was struck by its simplicity.  I want to die, the sooner the better.

So why don’t I hasten the process even more?  Why don’t I find a nice bottle of sleeping pills, or some other such painless form of calling it quits?  These were real questions in my mind.  I wanted an answer.  Why aren’t I suicidal?  What stops me from really going there?  My initial thoughts about my children weren’t really satisfying enough.  I wasn’t really thinking about them, but rather the idea of my children being without a mother.  The older two have chosen that for themselves, and seem to be…well, they are at least alive, though I don’t know if they are well.  So, life goes on without mother.  I am fairly certain that my husband would get over it.  My parents and sister wouldn’t understand.  It would be a tremendous shock to them.  They would be deeply saddened.  But they, too, would get over it.  Those answers weren’t deep enough.

Then I thought about my ex-husband and his family.  I got angry.  I began to scratch the surface of the truth.  “See,” they would say to my children, “she wasn’t any good for you.  She was a suicidal mess.  You needed better than that.”  I will NOT give them the satisfaction, the excuse.  While I was angry, I realized that a big reason I am not suicidal is that I find suicide to be the height of selfishness.  You take yourself out of the physical plane, removing all potential for good, for service, for simply being there when you are needed, because you are tired of the grind.

Oh, my God, I am tired of the grind.  I want my heart to stop being crushed under the foot of my grief.  I want someone, anyone, to take up my cause, and stop hiding behind the veil of non-interference.  My children are surrounded by people who claim to be my friends (at least on Facebook).  They are people who espouse the principles of unity and the importance of letting our hearts “burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.”  But they do not call my children to account, lovingly, kindly, but frankly, damn it.  They are old enough to face the fact that I am their mother.  Why can no one remind them that I love them, that I have not for a moment stopped wanting them in my life?  My letters do not get through.  I am blocked at every turn, with every slight move I make to let them know myself.  What would happen if every single person who knows me and knows them passed the message along? Yes, they may shun you as they have shunned others.  But then another valiant soul would be right behind you, repeating the same message of love.  Do we not believe it is powerful enough to build unity, and wear down the walls of estrangement that have been allowed to grow and calcify through inaction?

Ok. That rant is over.  The point is, suicide is selfish.  I would be taking myself out of that grind because it is hard.  It is excruciating.  But then there are my monklets.  My eight-year-old son would not only not understand, he would completely and thoroughly blame himself.  My three-year-old daughter would feel utterly abandoned by the one she adores most in the world, the one who plays Barbies with her, and lets her twist her fingers through my hair while she falls asleep. These reasons are not about motherhood so much as they are about kindness.

If you watch or read enough about near-death experiences, you know that the frequent message that comes from them is that the only thing that really matters about what we do in the world is kindness.  Our accomplishments and accolades account for squat, zippo, nada.  To quote Jewel, “In the end, only kindness matters.”  And kindness isn’t just the smile we give to our neighbors.  It’s selflessly giving our all to our studies so we can learn how we can best be of service.  It’s putting our all into our work so that it can truly be a service.  It’s letting the children given to our care know how precious they are as human beings.  It’s helping them prepare for a life of kindness.  Suicide is a completely unkind act because it is entirely selfish.

So I am alive.  Then why, dear friends, do I act like I am just waiting to die?  Why do I sit on this fence, eating whatever the hell I want, smoking when I want, not exercising?  Why do I break commitments to myself?  Why do I choose to forget the discipline of prayer and meditation as the source, the well-spring of kindness?  It is time to choose.  What do I want for my life, possibly forty more years of existence on this physical plane?  Do I want to continue as I have been, living in mediocrity so that I can possibly make it 35 more, instead of 40?  Or even less, if I’m lucky?  Tears stream down my face as I ponder this very real question.  I get the kindness thing.  It’s why I exist, why any of us do.  It’s the way we really learn about God’s love.  Kindness requires compassion and truthfulness.   True justice is an expression of kindness.  Excellence and generosity are the beginning and end of kindness.  So what’s it gonna be for me?  I’ll be kind to everyone but myself, so I can get rid of this shell as soon as possible?  How is that not suicide, slow and painful?  It’s a question I will not answer here.  You will just have to watch me, watch my life, to find out.  Words, at this point are useless.  Let deeds, not words, be my adorning, in this one thing.

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We are the black pit alumni
We pass the wisdom from the darkness
To those who fall in
Unwittingly
Unknowingly
Unbound
Free-falling
Until the thud
That cracks bones
And breaks hearts

They think they are lost
Poor souls

We know they are found
This is where compassion
Is found
Where gratitude
Is found
Where the seeds of Divine Mysteries
Bud and bloom

This is where the Maiden shed Her light
And sang
“This is the Mystery of God
And His Treasure.”

That poor soul
The recently fallen
He slumps in his seat
She sobs in the cereal aisle
Or lies prone on a park bench at midnight
Lost and broken
You
Who have been here
Lend them your hand
Be their light in the darkness
For you
Have found
Your way out

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Your sister was sitting next to me
While I wrote tonight
Painting words onto the page
Trying to reach you through the ether
Sometimes I think
I might
If the right song comes along
Or the right color of pen
But it’s just my heart clinging to hope
My mind refuses
To hold on
To anything
But the certain knowledge
That God knows the truth
And one day
You will, too

If you ever ask me
(If you ever speak to me again)
I will tell you what I can
Which is only as true as a memory

Your sister will not care
That you don’t know her
She will meet you when she does
She will know your heart
Like a sister does
She has seen you sing into the night
She has watched me weep
When she reminds me too much of you
Or of what I have missed
She takes it all in
And then she plays with my hair
The way you did with yours
She sat next to me while I wrote tonight
Singing her little song
And I can only let her break my heart open
With her sweetness
Grateful for every minute I have with her
Knowing what it is
To long every moment
For you

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