Making meaning / by Christina Rosalie

My camera, which over the past year has become something like an extension of my eye, is in the shop for repairs, and already I've gone bumbling around the house twice looking for it, forgetting it's not here. It mysteriously started giving me 'error 99' messagesm and I am mourning it's absense. So much to capture with the lense right now. T rain-slicked backs of the water buffalo down the road; the trees, almost leafless, and bending in the wind; the moon like a splash of milk against the gray tablecloth of the stormy night sky. I'm also struggling this week to process the issues that have surfaced around all the school shootings that have happened recently--the one I was in, and the others. I'm trying to find a context for forgiveness, and trying to understand the purpose of such violence and evil--if there is indeed a purpose. I find myself grappling with faith. On one hand, I believe deeply in the intrinsic spiritual nature of the universe, but on the other hand, I feel like the weft has been pulled out from the tapestry of meaning that I've constructed over the past twenty years. I'm left with shreds, and faith is a poor medium for mending rent cloth.

One thing I know: that there is a remarkable power in forgiveness. I've written several posts about the connection I see between forgiveness and generosity. To forgive is a profoundly generous act, and I try to live by this daily, in whatever way I am able. Yet it is hard to have this be enough, when all around me people place blame, point fingers, become angry. I don't know enough about Ghandi, but I'm thinking about him tonight.

In my house, the person who teaches me endless lessons about mindfulness and abundant love, is my son. He's so fun and wild and sweet. His smile is still unadulterated and pure as sunshine--no alterior motive, no secondary list of items to accomplish with his grin. He simply is.

Tonight, it was just the two of us at home with the wind whipping rain into the windows. We painted before bed. I recently bought new tubs of acrylic paint, and used the lids from each container for him to dip his brush into. He made a wild mess. A glorious blur of streaks and color, all over his hands, the page, the floor. I love watching him do this--watching as he tries the color, or explores the way the brush spatters paint.

Being with him asks me to be more. Maybe being a mother it isn't the entire reason, but it's part of the reason I keep coming back to this hard stuff again and again, trying to make meaning, to grow beyond the very small boundaries of my self. Or maybe, being a mother has simply ripped my heart wide open, so I feel everything a little more.