The Lottery

DSCN1144I got a lovely bouquet of roses for Valentines Day.  Sherod got them through WLRN, our local public radio station. Unbeknownst to him, his name was included in a raffle of two prime tickets to go to an Andrea Bocelli concert tonight. His name was chosen.  Still recovering from his hip surgery, Sherod turned them down.  He will watch the Olympics and I will walk tonight.

So random.  There is also such a random quality to ‘Valentines Day’.  It is certainly exploited with a dimension of raw commercialism that I rail against.  But there are too many genuinely sweet, inspiring stories about the ways people have layered it with meaning that I cannot summarily dismiss.  And then there is the most beautiful piece of writing I have found today, penned by Jan Richardson, whose husband died very unexpectedly last year, a short time after their wedding.  Perhaps it has special resonance because another friend, Cindy, buried her beloved brother today.  He had cancer, treatment seemed to have worked and then it came roaring back. Some day, they will be able to tell us why the exact same protocol works for one and not for another.  But we aren’t there yet.  I saw a picture on Facebook of the gathering after Cindy’s brother’s service and the grace and capacity for joy, even in the midst of death, shines through ion her face and the faces of the others in the photo.  Jan’s wrenching grief is on full display in the blessing she wrote for this day, and also her gift for writing and the generosity of her life.  Neither Cindy’s gift or hers is random.

A Blessing for the Brokenhearted

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
– Henry David Thoreau

Let us agree
for now
that we will not say
the breaking
makes us stronger
or that it is better
to have this pain
than to have done
without this love.

Let us promise
we will not
tell ourselves
time will heal
the wound
when every day
our waking
opens it anew.

Perhaps for now
it can be enough
to simply marvel
at the mystery
of how a heart
so broken
can go on beating,
as if it were made
for precisely this—

as if it knows
the only cure for love
is more of it

as if it sees
the heart’s sole remedy
for breaking
is to love still

as if it trusts
that its own stubborn
and persistent pulse
is the rhythm
of a blessing
we cannot
begin to fathom
but will save us
nonetheless.

– Jan Richardson

4 thoughts on “The Lottery

      • I’m wishing for a walk outside. The walking track is a blessing, but compared to outside boring….then again, ice is not the kind of interesting I need!

        Jan’s blessing is just gorgeous, so are the roses!

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