Skip to main content

"Sometimes there's God so quickly"

These words from Tennesee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire,were quoted in the Toronto Star this week as an epitaph to the life and death of Natasha Richardson, exquisite actress of the Redgrave clan, and beloved wife of the wonderful actor, Liam Neeson. Her sudden and tragic death captured much sadness for my daughters and me, recognizing the beauty of the love in her marriage and the intensity and authenticity with which both she and her husband have acted their screen and stage roles. We are not much given to ogling famous personalities, and we don't watch TV, but we are touched by all kinds of people and I appreciate our profound conversations. We pondered in a similarly honest way about the tragic death of a local high profile person in Muskoka, who died with her daughter when her ATV drove off the ice into open water on a large Muskoka lake at the beginning of March break. I had heard this impressive woman speak, spoken with her once at a women's luncheon, and last sat opposite her and her daughter at a fundraising event for Africa organized by my own daughter. I did not know her personally, but her intense way of working and approaching life attracted my interest. I know nothing of the personal faith of either woman. But what is obvious to all is that they lived their lives with passion and intensity, seeking to demonstrate in their art or their community service, their marriages and their family lives, their desire to love and be loved.

I am sure I am not alone in my continuing interest in love and death and the forms in which they come, their intense expression and their roles in the lives of all I know or hear about. My interest and concern are always about the quality of spiritual and relational life for everyone, in public and private, and whether or not they have lived and died in the knowledge of God's incredible love for them.

I return in my thoughts again this week to meditating on the words I quoted in my post last Saturday, by William Blake:

And we are put on earth a little space
To learn to bear the beams of love
.

Gerald May, a psychologist and leader,teacher and author in the spiritual formation movement, also quoted these lines in his book, The Awakened Heart. His amplification of them helped me in my pondering the implications of the word bear in this context. He has said what I was beginning to articulate for myself as I searched dictionary meanings and the internet for comments on the phrase 'bearing the beams of love'.

There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart. We were born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake. It is the human desire for love. Every person on this earth yearns to love, to be loved, to know love. Our true identity, our reason for being, is to be found in this desire.

I think William Blake was right about the purpose of humanity; we are here to learn to bear the beams of love. There are three meanings of bearing love: to endure it, to carry it, and to bring it forth. In the first, we are meant to grow in our capacity to endure love, beauty and pain. In the second, we are meant to carry love and spread it around, as children carry laughter and measles. And in the third we are meant to bring new love into the world, to be bearers of love. This is the threefold nature of our longing.
Gerald May: The Awakened Heart

Well, you may say, it's all fine and dandy to work this out conceptually, but what matters is how we live it. Absolutely. What we really share about on this blog, and what others do in so many ways, is our struggles in living out these eternal, timeless realities. For indeed, "Sometimes there's God so quickly."

Comments

Belinda said…
Wow, Meg, what a meaty piece of writing to wake up to. Thank you so much for your deep thoughts on love and death.

As you know, I am reading Thomas a Kempis at the moment (and forever!)and I just read, "For God weighs more the love out of which a man works,than the work which he does."

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.


He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!