Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Teach us to care and not to care"

"Teach us to care and not to care"*

A woman's life is thrown into chaos. The pronouncement: breast cancer. Her strength, her will, her faith, all will be tested. Everyone she knows is falling all over themselves to show sympathy. Her husband cries himself to sleep. The weight of the sadness multiplies.

The man she works with doesn't sympathise. He isn't crestfallen, he makes her laugh. Between them, there is not a sadness, but a going on. A going on, a going under, an overcoming.

"Teach us to care and not to care"

A mother lies in the hospital bed. "I want to go home," she begs. Her son tells her, "If you can get out of bed under your own power, we'll go home." She can't get up. She stays another night. She gets better. A going on, a going under, an overcoming.

"Teach us to care and not to care"

"I like you more than I should. More than you know," he says. To her, he says nothing. The time is not right, and maybe never will be. Between them there can only be pain. So they both let go. They go on, they go under, they overcome.

"Teach us to care and not to care"

An empathic cruelty, a sensitive insensitivity, the malus fides. To do that which is cruel but which must be done. To say that which is awful but must be said. To forsake fidelis for fides.

To go on, to go under, to overcome.

"Teach us to care and not to care/
Teach us to sit still"

* T. S. Elliot "Ash Wednesday"

-------

Googlebombing for a cause: www.minnesotangos.org

1 comment:

Doc Anne said...

I love you.
You make me cry.