Friday, August 26, 2011

Angst and Elation

If we can't feel gratitude, what else is there in life?
Do we really want to focus on the pain and the strife?
We are given so many gifts through interaction with creation;
It seems to me that we all have daily reasons for elation.
But so many seem determined to point out the black clouds,
As if no silver linings are, in their worlds, allowed.
Is it because they are afraid to eagerly embrace
What the next sorrowful event in their lives may erase?
Do they live in the dark because the light hurts their eyes?
Do they prefer their familiar angst to joyful surprise?
Are they camouflaging their vulnerability so others won't attack?
Why can't they let down this guard with those who have their backs?
Do they trust no one to join them in rejoicing
Or is it a way to take no risks watching what others are voicing?
I am convinced that many of us live only one half of ourselves,
And seek companionship with those who allow us to keep our shells.
I prefer relationships which are about mutual admiration,
Not those that are a competition to achieve the highest station.

Lost and Found Love

One of the greatest gifts my daughter ever gave me is when she told me that, even though her father and I were divorced, she always knew that we both loved her. With all the doubt and guilt I assume most parents carry about their child rearing, to have an adult child proclaim that, through all the roller coaster rides of this thing we call life, she never lost the thread of love that extended over five hundred miles between me and her father's homes is a miracle, in my estimation.

Is there anything more valuable in a person's life than knowing that you are loved? Not pampered, but loved for who you really are, and helped to define who you are meant to become?

The enmity between he and I has long since been put to rest, but that's not to say that it doesn't rear it's ugly head when we least expect it. In times of extreme stress, why is it that our worst selves surface? Is the real purpose of our souls to keep shining a light into our darkest hours and guide us back out of the pits of our desperation?

Our grandchildren are now almost grown, and I like to believe that they all share in this feeling of well-being that apparently permeates my daughter's childhood memories. There is nothing more pleasurable to me than watching my children parent the next generation. I firmly believe that the faces we put on God are based on our own experience with our parents and other authority figures. As long as my children and grandchildren feel real love, I believe their spirits will soar and they will become the best they can be.

I pray that we can continue to keep the focus on the most precious gift of our short marriage: our children and their children, down through many generations.