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Friday
Dec022011

Sad

I am sad.

 
There are many legitimate reasons why, to collect like a strategy for an upcoming debate: a recent death, a friend out of work, the last tantrum, another divorce, the inevitable decay in the yard. But that does not protect me from the ache. Sad is still sad, even if you know the reasons.
 
But I am also noticing pain that has no name. 

The story of Jacob wrestling all night with an angel captures the exhaustion that weighs all around me like a London fog. All night is practically forever when your baby is sobbing or insomnia props your eyes open like a broken door in the wind. Then Jacob voices the question pounding to escape my lips. 
 
"What is your name??"
 
Jacob wants to know. He begs to know. He believes he must know.
 
But the angel refuses his request.
 
There have been anonymous opponents that have thrown me off balance. My mother never came when I had a baby. Perhaps that is why I kept having them, holding out that she would arrive to mother me. She went when my sisters gave birth, and stayed for weeks. I cursed the reasons I could not hear, flailing to knock them down in the darkness. But my aim is shaky in the shadows. 
 
I read about a couple whose daughter was abducted. Their life roiled with suffering and searching. They prayed their guts out, for an answer from God about what had become of their child. Then came the whispered reply.
 
"Do you trust that I am taking care of her, even if you never find out what happened?"
 
My son was diagnosed with autism when he was four. Finally the disconnect had a name. It gave us bearings, and company. No cure, mind you, but words to say when people's eyebrows jacked up. 
 
There are people who sometimes wonder if their spouse is behind a wall. Words have trouble penetrating the glass, or is it ice? They speak, but do not feel heard. They reach but cannot find warmth. Perhaps they badly want a name to explain what they cannot fathom. 

"I want to be close, and we are not. That means someone is wrong or bad."
 
Maybe there is no name that can be formed by syllables. Perhaps the reason, if you can call it that, is more of an invitation. If my mother had come when Lukas was born, I would have long ago stopped asking if she would. I would have dismissed the whole ordeal and moved on. But because she didn't or couldn't or wouldn't.... I still hover at wondering. 
 
When your relationship is not comfortable, you keep moving, and shifting, trying to make it work. 
 
Maybe, just maybe, there is something of value to be found in suspense.