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.