This month’s theme in my life is 이별, or farewells. I spent the last evening in Korea — for this stint, anyway — with a couple of the closest friends I’ve ever had, and saw them off this morning. A few weeks ago, a very different 이별 made entirely of words and of emotions so enormous I cannot speak them in so frail a voice as bodies have.
A few weeks ago I wrote of grace, and of having grace in partings and in changes. I wrote lovely words, and strangely I have learned that when one speaks in pretty words, the universe listens, and readies a test. The universe smiles and asks, “How shall this little bold thing hold up to a test of his finest words?”
When there are tears, it is not a failing of grace. A quiet hour in thought is a necessary component of grace, and so is a few minutes alone with that most human experience, sorrow.
Not failings. They are symptoms of being human, is all, is all. Partings, longings, the vicissitudes of time and change. We are creatures that are brim-full with eternity, but breathe so very few breaths in our time here, and spend much of our brief lives tumbling through one change after another. With any luck, we find a grace and balance along the way, direct the fall, soar a little.
And smile, into faces that are leaving, and smile, and smile, and hope.
Time laughs, time swerves, and makes us dance in our descent. Time takes things away, the things and people we love, one by one.
Thus we are human. Thus we love so very hard, while we have strength and time to do so.