Willow Wonderings

Faces of Love

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There are many faces to that Being we name love.
In the middle of the night, I wake from a dream where all I can see,
feel, touch, taste
is an empty space
longing to be embraced.
There is love.

In the corner of a library, I am hidden beneath stacks of books
and sticky notes of scribbled nothings
searching for someone to give a smile
and I seek consolation with a stranger.
There is love.

In the chapel where the stillness of the night
is disturbed by winds opening doors and tearing through treetops,
the whistling spirit speaks these words to my heart:
pray for the ones who are forgotten.
The wind brings you close to them.
There is love.

In the audience of thirty students
someone hears a story spoken
and feels a heart-pounding resonance
with the truth of suffering.
I, too, feel that pain,
the sorrow that digs its way to serenity.
I hum in agreement,
in shared humanity.
There is love.

In the moment when I am collapsed on the floor
before my closet doors and I can barely muster the strength
to find a pillow to cry in because I can’t talk to my best friend
I write her a letter in my mind
and it sounds like this:
I am trying to find you, and cross the mountains to where you are
but somewhere within I am with you.
There is love.

In the moments when all seems lost to empty form
and nothing seems to be reborn,
in the moment when there is no mutual affection
or no stillness to find your reflection,
in the vulnerable moment of bearing your heart
with no sign to end or to start,
there is love.
there is love.
there is Love.

This poem is my ten minute reflection on the past week that has shown new dimensions to the word love. I am deeply grateful for the friendships that have strengthened in challenging moments, turning crisis into opportunity. Tonight is a perfect example: I heard the stories of new and old friends who spoke about mental illness to “put a face to diagnoses.” The event formed a community of respect and empowerment for all of us – because each of us has a story, a struggle or a hug to share. I returned with a renewed sense of purpose.

In the past week, I also saw my favorite spoken word poet, Sarah Kay, speak “If I Had a Daughter” in real life – it was so powerful, I cried without noticing I was crying! It reminded me of when my dad came to visit this weekend and as we watched an incredible a capella and dance concert, my dad cried until his face turned red. I was so grateful to have shared the weekend with my dad and stepmom, bringing me back to my home roots.

Through all the school work and stress, I have found the gems that bring life meaning – dancing at Halloween parties, new roommate bonding, standing ovations at plays, cuddling, Quaker meeting, reunions over skype dates, sharing scripture with loved ones. These are the moments that reveal the sacredness of the ordinary. These are the faces of love.

Lastly, I am sending prayers to all affected by the hurricane. ❤

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