I haven’t posted in a long while. For awhile there, life just got too busy, but after that, an event in my life propelled me swiftly to wordlessness. My mother, pictured here, died rather suddenly on March 9th. I say suddenly, but of course all death is sudden, even if it’s been expected for a long while. We get used to living with the idea that it’s any day, any day, but of course not today, and for a long time, that is true. Then one day, it is not.

Mom’s story is, in many ways, one about finding laughter and love and fun despite having known real darkness in life. The last several days have been filled with amazing memories of the fun she had with her kids and her grandkids, even other people’s kids, many of whom she unofficially adopted and to whom she became a second mother, the first person they wanted to go to for wisdom and compassion during some of the most troubling times in their own lives.

She found it easy to see the worth and beauty in other people, but not so much within herself, and that is the tragic part of her story. Years ago, during a late night conversation, I read her a poem by Hafiz, and now, lacking adequate words of my own, I offer it to Mom, and to anyone who feels that the distance between who they are and who they hoped to be is too great a distance to ever bridge:

You have
not danced so badly, my dear,
trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One.

You have waltzed with great style, my sweet, crushed angel,
to have ever neared God’s heart at all.

Our partner is notoriously difficult to follow, and even His
best musicians are not always so easy to hear.

So what if the music has stopped for a while.
So what if the price of admission to the Divine is out of reach tonight.

So what, my sweetheart, if you lack the ante to gamble for real love.

The mind and the body are famous for holding the heart ransom,
but Hafiz knows the Beloved’s eternal habits. Have patience,
for He will not be able to resist your longings
and charms for long.

You have not danced so badly, my dear,
trying to kiss the Magnificent

You have actually waltzed with tremendous style,
my sweet, O my sweet,

~ Hafiz