Because my mind is acting rusty, pretending to be the yard furniture left out all winter so that it no longer adjusts to more comfortable positions, the only song I could think of to speak of grace was Amazing Grace. Maybe by the time this post is finished, there will be more choices.
To begin, any grace, all grace, is amazing to me. This week it found me gnawing over an annoyance I no longer remember, feeling ill-used and unheard. Living in anything close to harmony with another human has tip-toe moments, self-silencing even if it means using duct tape moments, this isn't what I signed on for moments. One example of grace is the fact that my most control-driven years seem to be in the past. Since I really can't remember what caused this specific disquiet, I will just call it that, a wide sweeping gesture of my right arm showing you it went from here to here and made me uncomfortable and messed with my optimism.
I started poking my snout into old closets where past disappointments have been folded until they fit in empty Nike boxes. Everything seemed tainted, even high-altitude sorts of possibilities that were, at most, just a few days old. In antidote mode I sat down to work on the Sunday crossword. Maybe the clue is there: cross word. I rassle just enough with the LA Times puzzle. I no longer see the NY Times but might have gained skill if I worked it every week. A crossword focuses me, even more than drawing or coloring, for the way the mind has to play along, has to - help me - remember. Names, things, Roman numerals, older models of automobiles, rivers, vice presidents, extinct brands of fruit juice.
When absorbed in harmless trivia, my mind can relax, put down the sharp objects and blunt instruments it gathered to defend the realm. It makes room for grace, which falls over me like a blanket tucked around a sleeping child. It lifts a weight and replaces it with peace. It sweeps away annoyance like a crime scene cleaning squad. Not a trace remains. It comes without being summoned, as though it is an unknown state. It staggers me with its precision, its timing. I know the meaning of awe in being aware it exists and that it comes for me.
This was, in assessing the magnitude of life so far, a tiny matter yet one that caused the wind to rise and the whitecaps to threaten small craft. Sometimes my long-practiced capacity for stillness is as close as I come to a reliable state. When it is jostled, I feel lost. Only grace restores equilibrium without contortion, without the necessity of fixing something beyond my ability to repair.
Still no song except the obvious. You may sing it to yourselves.