My heart has been without words lately. I’ve not felt up to writing about anything and I think there’s a good reason for all of that. Silence is more and more apart of my days and night even though I live in a world that will never be completely silent. The more silent I am the more I can appreciate the voices of others. Friday was May Day, a special day of memory. In 1982, when we were early in our relationship as a couple my wife made me a May basket and gave it to me. I remember how deeply moved I was by her gesture. It was apparent to me then that this lady really loved me and it came at a time when I didn’t really love myself. I’ve reflected lately about what a pivotal moment that was in my relationship with not only Diane, but with God and life in general. Metanoias come about in life not from bolts of lightning that would scare us, but more from changes in degrees of intensity of the light in our lives. The May basket in 1982 was one of those changes of intensity when I realized that not only did Diane love me but that I was loveable and that I needed to love myself too.
One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”–Mark 12:28-31
One of the paradoxes of life is that we can’t really love others until we love ourselves. I missed that for much of my life up until then. I miss it from time to time even now. When my relationships are suffering its often because I’m judging myself too harshly and when I’m tough on myself, I’m tough on those around me. Diane taught me the lesson of my life on the first day of May in 1982. We celebrated that event Friday night with dinner at the lovely Glen Iris Inn overlooking the Middle Falls at nearby Letchworth State Park.