Our hearts . . . go out to the world, to the suffering, to the weak of body and of mind. Our hearts are not so easily contained within the casing of our flesh and bone. Our hearts take wing with joy and break with sadness. Not so the brain that keeps on registering it all, a silent observer, soon to tell you that the feelings of your heart were foolishness indeed. It is to our hearts that we appeal for guidance, for there resides the one who truly guides. You who think this idea is rife with sentiment, sure to lead you to abandoning logic, and thereafter certainly to cause your ruin, I say to you again: take heart. Such foolishness as your heart’s desires will save you now. Remember it is your heart that yearns for home. Your heart that yearns for love remembered. Your heart that leads the way that, should you follow, will set you certainly on the path for home. C:17-18
My mom lives in a small townhome complex not far from me. So does one of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporters, Molly Guthrey. Molly is a reporter and a columnist. As a columnist she represents the single-parent beat. The first column I recall seeing was one in which she reported on the artwork her children had created on the sidewalk with chalk—and the note she got from a neighbor that chalky footprints had been tracked into the building. She is not in my mom’s building, which is a good thing. Later, she took in a three-legged dog, to which my mother remarked, “We’re not supposed to have dogs here.” It’s always kind of fun to read her column, in one part because I was once a struggling single mom with three kids, as she is, and in part because of occasional reports about life amidst the mostly older residents that share lawn and asphalt with Mom.
But this morning Molly wrote about her anniversary at the newspaper, her 22nd. She wrote, “My relationship with newsprint has lasted longer than almost anything else in my life. In that way, it’s like a marriage.”
She got me thinking about A Course of Love. My marriage is older than my relationship with ACOL but I’ve been with it as long as I lived with my mother. That’s an odd thing to realize. And Molly’s right. When you’re with a “job” or a vocation you love for that long, it is like a marriage.
At the end of Molly’s column she says, “I once told one of my colleagues that I’d like my epitaph to read: “She died with newsprint on her hands.” I don’t if there will be newsprint when I die—.”
It’s nice not to have to worry about ACOL going out of print when I die. Not only are “paper” books not meeting their end, but A Course of Love is going to live on far beyond my life. I think I always knew that, but the last few years have made it a secure knowing. I was blessed seventeen years ago with this purpose, this vocation, and now it feels like I’m on my way to claiming it—and to letting it go. When we bring our gifts to the world we free them to announce more and more gifts and engender more and more life, getting more into the realm of birthing children than staying in a marriage, but what the heck. It all goes together.
This feels to be the gift giving portion of my life. Give the gift. Let it go. What will be will be. I’ll still have the marriage and the gift in my heart and hands and life. The gift will only expand and come back to me in ever increasing ways. This is the way it is for each of us: giving and receiving as one.
I’ll never lose the memories of the early days of falling in love, the intimacy, the one-on-one time. Even the years of struggle begin to fade into poignant memories that I understand all the more. Every marriage has its peaks and valleys, twists and turns.
I may not be posting in the next three weeks as I head off on my gift giving mission: to the ACIM Conference in Vegas, and then to visit with folks up the coast of California. I know I’ll receive as much as I give and that the great circle of knowing and being known, loving and being loved will find increase. This 21 day trip will be a challenge and an adventure. I’m going off into the unknown. But I take love with me.
(If you’re in California or Vegas, you may want to check-out the link to events on the ACOL website http://acourseoflove.com/events/)