Between Earth and Heaven

Fog-light driving to Eugene; angel card 011Fog-light driving to Eugene; angel card 004

Tonight I am walking between ordinary daylight and incipient twilight, beneath billowing clouds against a sapphire sky. Faraway stars shun the darkness. As if on a tightrope, I am moving just above inconceivable grief and below the swell of vertigo where there is no return. I walk in limbo, in the wake of atrocities, adults and children taken from their golden times, of happiness robbed, peace vanquished. Oh, all the families, friends.

The walking takes me into a whorl of anguish and gradually out again.

My old companion, interminable hope, lies low. But how it breeds in the deep of heart despite sorrow or outrage, unable to surrender. It stakes a claim in the fields of abundance or paucity. It talks back when silenced. It yields not to cruelty or grave error, or the pressure to exit. This hope, how it disturbs tonight with its strong back and blameless grace. Hope, like a lion, rests when unnoticed, then raises itself up with stealth and might when called upon.

It is hope that makes us vulnerable. It makes this life break apart with tenderness and recreates itself. It unfurls from many small spaces when there is nothing found to praise. When its power is denied we lose half our selves to these damaging times. Without hope we succumb to woundedness, that anchor that drives us down into cold depths. Even a small bit of it, even a whisper of hope, despite disbelief, will keep us floating. Will keep us close to its lifegiving heat. And so I hold the hope where it matters most, in the rich sinew of heart and that mysterious guide, the soul.

The walking propels me into a torrent of sadness, then brings me back again. May I keep holy the softness of compassion. May I be strengthened with even a thread of hope rewoven into this humaness.

I envision a circle of angels, such a circle as has no beginning and no end, and they are gathered round the world as it heaves and spins,  as it barters and bleeds. They make a ring of light and everything is aflame, their radiant tears streaming.  They are with us now, between this life and the next. Between earth and heaven. May hope look up again.

9 thoughts on “Between Earth and Heaven

  1. Dear Cynthia, – your elegy! , I cannot even being to call it a post!, I have read it so many times over, and I have copied and shared it, I trust, with your permission and consent, to so many friends, whose response was as mine, a treasure, to be read again and again. What has become my most special gift from your words is that I truly envision and see the circle of angels, heaving, weeping, but glorious and radiant, and burning with love! Thank you so much, childhood friend, Cynthia! (one of my most favorite posts is fathers and daughters! Your dear Dad! ‘my’ first cello teacher!) Merry Christmas! Susan

  2. Cynthia,, Some how I new you would write about the terrible week end we all had to endure.. Thank you for being so insightful….., for helping us all to feel hope for the future..

  3. Cynthia, your eloquence fills my heart with the hope you speak of, the one that refuses to be silenced, even in the wake of tragedy and broken hearts. Your beautiful elegy for those lives lost is also a hymn of praise to life, this fragile, most precious gift. May we embrace it with ever mindful gratitude and awe. Blessings to you Cynthia. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

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