There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
while learning to sing.
I posted this poem three years ago, so it may be familiar to you. Feeling wrecked, I was searching for one that might speak to the unspeakable sorrow that I and many others are feeling following the horror this past weekend that placed Nova Scotia on the grievous map of mass shootings.
Nova Scotia is my heart home and though I did not specifically know these places nor their residents, I feel a personal resonance. And like all such incidents that we grieve, I am searching for a message of underlying possibility for going forward, for love and even beauty, strange as that may seem.
We are broken and shattered by these terrible deaths, yet Rea calls forth the unbroken, the unshatterable which she assures us is within us. There is sorrow beyond all grief leading to joy, and fragility that leads to strength. This hollow space too vast for words is what we must pass through, a darkness we must experience with each loss. We cannot be too quick to move away from this toward the light, and yet.
That cry deeper than all sound cuts our hearts open so that we may discover the place inside which is unbreakable and whole. The truth is that we all have that place inside which we can find when we give our grief voice, when we don’t turn away from it but allow it to be as it is until the time when we can once again find our joy and strength.
In the midst of our grief and outrage, we can learn how to sing. Will you sing with me?