Dark Lament at the End of the Year

D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 4

So much given, so few who know.
So much beauty, so little love.  
                                           - Wendell Berry                               

What can we say to one another to heal this wound of our regret, of having lived so many moments oblivious to their gift? We’ve had things to do, of course, and now we have more, the twitter of facebook pages leaving us breathless, but can we say we are here the way the rain is here or the way the deer looks up from the grass?

water shimmerOur cities press against the ground, the traffic halts and moves, and we try to make a living inbetween somehow. We say have no time to ask what matters. Soon that will be true.

We shall go inside now to console ourselves, to make some poor soup of our ambitions, and watch the television. It will tell us what to buy. It will assure us we’re okay watching like this, and that what’s being sold is what we’ve been waiting for.

Who hears anymore the light of the dawn? Who hears anymore the silence beneath our thoughts? Who sees the wind or touches the dark? We have no time, we must go.

Out on the sea, the invincible sea, our debris collects in floating islands stretching out to the horizon and we don’t really care. Are we worthy of this place?

We want our children to have a better life than ours, but their lives are already tainted by our restlessness and the mistakes that came before us. We hope for them but we don’t know what we hope for.

Under the Paris bridge a farmer family from Morocco stretches a cloth to protect themselves. Their baby is not comforted by the thunder of tires above.

Surely, we say, it is not as bad as all that. Surely our pleasantness will redeem us. Surely one day we will clean all this up and beauty will return to us and the sparkles of light on the river will be enough to give us peace.

Here at the end of the year the dark comes early. We pull the curtains and wait in our homes for something good to happen, even though it already is.

We mustn’t fall asleep with these bleak thoughts. Let us say instead our most tender prayers, the first prayers of our heart. In the name of all that is most dear to us, let us re-dedicate our lives to the beauty we forgot. In the name of all that has been hurt, let us vow to love what we love and give that to each other.