Monday, December 27, 2010

23 Stones: Murphy's Rain

There's a Japanese expression, 'Mono no aware' and while it's one of many that are untranslatable into English, it basically means the 'pathos of things'.

It's a phrase I learned long ago, that perhaps I used promiscuously in my youth to impress others, but never truly grasped its gravitas til last Monday.

Immediately after dropping Murphy off at Colorado State University for his second round of radiation I was overwrought. Making life and death decisions about a loved one isn't the way you want to kickstart the week, especially the week of Christmas.

Untreated, mortality is most assured within a matter of months for Murphy but there's also a pretty good chance radiation could take him sooner. I was so torn up inside I almost turned around, picked him back up, and drove into the mountains to live out his final days.

But I made a decision... but I damn well wasn't happy about it.

'Dour' doesn't even come close to describing the mood I was in that morning but I had to keep myself moving. So when I pulled into the parking lot of King Sooper, a local grocery chain whose name still makes no sense to me, it came as no surprise when the rain began pouring down.

Wait a sec, it's sunny outside.

And there it was. Mono no aware.

It's as if God took a blade and severed the sky - to my left was sunshine and my right darkness. And a rainbow bridged the two.

Mono no aware is a feeling of both happiness and sorrow, hope and hopelessness at the same time. The Japanese use the expression to describe witnessing the transient beauty of a Cherry Tree blossom. It embraces belief but resigns itself to reality. It's poetry from pain; discovery in darkness.

It's a human tendency to make life too figurative or too literal so that it suit our purposes and there's no one that hates cramming a metaphor into someone else's morning more than me.

But it was a beautiful thing, Murphy's rain.

7 comments:

Karen said...

Luke, that was beautiful....made me cry...Happy 40th! We hope you have a good day filled with lots of wet, slopey kisses! The Hardings

June said...

I wish Murphy good health in this new year and you peace. June

RosieWillisWillett said...

Ezekiel 1:28 "Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking."
God is watching over Murphy for sure.

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

This is a marvelous lesson in the wonder and balance of life! I would give anything for you to somehow have this painful challenge lifted from you and Murphy but am inspired by your dignity and courage in facing what is, right now, your reality.

Marti said...

When I was young my grandmother told me that when it rained but was sunny, it was the Virgin Mary sharing our pain and lifting up our prayers to her son, Jesus. Somehow it made us feel better.

hiStories of Life said...

absolutely beautiful Luke. Sometimes when we see just the darkness, God reminds us that there is a bridge to the sun. much love to you and the boys....love, kathleen and Rio

Roz in Fargo said...

Luke, this is one of your most beautiful and poetic postings. I can almost see right into your heart every time you write. Thank you for sharing this journey with us; the ups, the downs, the triumphs, and the heartaches. Puppy up, my friend!