The Waves

by Matters of Inquiry

“Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you.” – Rumi

There’s always an image. Words, too. They are the contractions and expansions of the same beating heart. Birds sing outside, crickets, a crescendo of cicadas rising over the din like the foam of a breaking wave— then silence, more of it, the space between beats, a contraction. An inward pull.

I’ve told Rachael, in various hospital rooms and late night “situation porch” conferences, that I feel like we are always on the breaking point of a wave, that we can feel the momentum of every circumstance moving beneath us, yet all we can do is wait, wait for one tear in the fabric of the water, for the collapse and unravel of the impending into the occurring. Predicting is not the same as knowing. Reflections change in moving water. I’m changing, somehow, I think. But everything I’ve thought in recent months, predicted, expected, or even daydreamed, has been distorted by the jolt of circumstance. The result can be beautiful, but it’s always uncertain. The water surges and the reflection changes. An expansion. An unknown push.

I don’t know what will happen with Wayne’s cancer. I don’t know anything. I only know that I need to work as hard as I can and to love everyone as much as I can before the wave breaks, whatever wave that is, because every person in my life is precious. You all mean so much to me and there aren’t enough words or images to convey the depth and sincerity of my sentiment. This endless contracting and expanding of circumstance would be unendurable without you.

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