Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pieta

A mother and child in the wreckage of Japan.
A mother and child in the wreckage of Japan.
I can't imagine the heartbreak of this woman. I believe she is the child's mother but I have no information about the photograph. Regardless, this anonymous image has been repeated all over, again and again, since the earthquake in Japan.

There is no comfort I can see except in the melding of this pieta with Mary's pieta; Our Lady holding her broken Son at the foot of that instrument of death, the Cross. I don't know what a person can do or say, or what a friend coming in to help can do or say. One can only hold the other. Feel the salt of tears, the sobs. The heaving chest, the blank stare. Absolute pain and loss requires absolute quiet and reflection; the earth feels the blade pierce and cut through, lifting up a patch of ground. Turning over the rich soul-soil of our inner life and exposing it to the light of day. It happens, but we don't like it. But at least we are not alone in it. The Sower sows the seed, the Word, into this empty space in the furrowed heart. We receive it. Never more vulnerable, never more ready than after the rains of sorrow and the storms of suffering. And we hope the seed takes and someday, life returns.
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