It’s the open-endedness, really, that’s so hard to sit with. The not knowing what’s happening on the other end of that non-ringing phone, or unanswered email, or makeshift prayer. I don’t know how to pray – I wasn’t raised with such knowledge, and so I do my best to make it matter as I go along. When I was first in Paris in 1989 I took a piece of paper (this was sanctioned; there was a stack) from Sacre Coeur with a prayer for the unaffiliated, a secular prayer: O Dieu que l’on dit amour, si vous existez eclairer moi. O God that [we] call love, if you exist, enlighten me. This has been one of my mantras ever since and I’ve let it help me in difficult times.
But now what? Now I’ve put my truth out there to anyone who will listen to it, anyone who wants to hear it. And I’ve no response at the moment and no idea what this means.
This can not last, this feeling of purgatory. It has to turn into grief or relief or anger or compassion. It has to budge because this, this not knowing what’s going on, is not easy to bear.
I will survive this, of course I will. But what to do, how to think, when to breathe – that’s what I need to figure out now.
O Dieu que l’on dit amour, si vous existez éclairer moi.