Monday, June 27, 2016

Dinner en Blanc


Setting up tables all along the bridge 
Lots of salmon, salads and chocolate
Last night was the annual evening gathering - the Dinner en Blanc - a pop-up picnic where hundreds of people dressed in white gather for a feast made "spontaneous" by the organizer. Begun in France in the 1980s, now thousands of people join together in cities all over the world. People of all ages and walks of life come together to celebrate an evening of friendship and feasting. Here where I live, people waited for the announcement of the secret destination which comes an hour before the picnic, then all hurry, gathering up food, wine, candles, tables, chairs and even fresh flowers and lanterns and converge on the spot. Last night was my first time attending with seven other friends. There is something strangely metaphorical and spiritual about it. To see such a great company of diners all in white sharing moments of laughter and gestures of kindness: "You forgot your cheese? Here, share ours!" - I couldn't help but wonder if the supper of the Lamb might be a tiny bit like this. 
A best friend


video
As the sun set over the Mississippi River, light flashed from downtown skyscrapers, the breezes over the Mississippi River calmed and cooled, slowly candles and lanterns lit the old Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge # 9 and for a moment, I forgot the troubles of life and settled into the beauty of a balmy night and the leisurely conversations that flowed from table to table. Life isn’t always like this. Some day. Some day….

Monday, June 6, 2016

Heartbreak


I was eight years old for one of my first encounters with “heartbreak.” Our game little dog, Bing, was kicked in the head by a horse after I told him to chase them. He died from that injury and it broke my heart. Most of us could “fill in the blank” with instances of needing to let go of someone or something we have loved.


So it was a section titled “Heartbreak” that attracted me to Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte. Heartbreak seems like a part of life we know all too well. Who wants it? No one. But in our difficulties with letting go of people or things we have loved, Whyte’s words offer some interesting insight:

He writes:
HEARTBREAK is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control.

There is almost no path a human being can follow that does not lead to heartbreak.

Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is an indication of our sincerity: in a love relationship, in a life’s work, in trying to learn a musical instrument, in the attempt to shape a better more generous self. Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is [an] essence and emblem of care.

Heartbreak is how we mature; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream… But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way.

Over the years, as recent as last week, like everyone I know, I’ve had to let certain things go remembering that as Christians we find in Jesus what can’t be be found anywhere else: Christ came and is coming again to heal the brokenhearted and save the crushed in spirit. (Psalms 34:18). That is a great solace and it would be my coda to Whyte’s observations.

Hoping that you, too, find a broken heart is not the end of your story.
Thanks for stopping by.