"...if your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem."
The Sisters of Mercy
by Leonard Cohen
Two versions of this by Beth Orton from the documentary I'm Your Man exist on You Tube, and neither of them will arrive at or appear on this blog. It could well be that I am not savvy enough to manipulate around whatever the obstacle is or...someone doesn't wish to share it. Likely you know the tune and the words.
In the center of some unrelated task - boldly carving a path to empty a bookcase that has been semi-unreachable for a shockingly long time - the need for, the noticeable absence of, a grace-filled, embracing moment of pure love sweeps in and leaves me flattened. There is no extraordinary sorrow, no recent loss, no tears, no apparent cosmic shift. One moment is occupied with busy hands and the next admits an ache that might have appeared without name, if not for Cohen's knowledge of this state.
So I speak love to myself, I enumerate appreciations. I still the noisy flailing of my mind to let my heart be heard. I grow narrow in my thoughts so the voices of lack have no room to navigate.
To see myself in this light is a new skill, practiced repeatedly, still imperfect. Compassion, forgiveness, love without qualifications are not my habitual responses to moments when emptiness looms. However the Sisters of Mercy are interpreted, they are my imagined Graces, dwelling within. They bring their comfort, their song, their staying hands against grief. I never dreamed restoration could be home-grown.