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For they have their own thoughts.

Dear Kim,

I have given up wondering how we got here. It takes us too far down this dreadful Intelligent Design vs. Evolution argument, which somehow disintegrates into a treatise against stem cell research and reproductive choice and gay rights.

What I do is dwell in the mystery. The wonder that we are here. The beauty of nature, creativity of artists, decency of most people, possibilities of commitment and authentic connection. The list of what we have to be grateful for could take me the rest of my life to list. Like the sheer pleasure of the breath.

I often, in fact, almost daily struggle with inequities of the world. Why there is so much poverty?. Why some have so much and others, so little? Sometimes, it comforts me when I think about people I know who are materially poor—like Emma, who cleans our offices—but is deeply rich in spirit.

Then, she talks about her struggles around Medicare and my liberal rationalizations go out the window.

I do not understand why people are so cruel to each other. Why we get into wars where people die. But I bet if you trace things back, a lot of it has to do with money. Or money stands ins. Land. Oil. Trade Routes.

You say you wonder why and how people are moved to make marriages and create families.

That seems like an enormous leap of faith to me, too.

(Kim: I don't understand what you call this a leap of faith.)

And it is one that I have not been able to bring myself to do to this point. But you did it. Almost 40 years ago with Linda. And you chose to have and raise two children.

So what were you thinking? What moved you to that place?

I am also wondering about the possible connection for you between all this and the wedding of your son. The start of a new life and an extension of your family. This is really big stuff. I am wondering and also concerned about why you are feeling so blue.

Could it be the contrast between that which is sacred and about the best that we might be and the profane, about where we too often dwell?

It is too easy for me to ask questions and then begin to answer them myself. So I hope you will speak back why you are in this place on this particular day.

(Kim: I'm feeling some grief in the joy of my son marrying. It is as if he's gone off to a foreign planet. I think of William Blake's poem: "He who binds himself to a joy, doeth the wingeth life destroy. But he who kisses a joy as it flies, lives in eternities sunrise." I know that it is time to let go, but that is very difficult. And I didn't expect that it would be difficult...it is like when he left home at 19 and went to the Art Institute in Chicago.)

(Kim: My parents were really clear that though they loved us and would do anything for us, we were not their life. Why and how do some parents make their kids their life.

I think of The Prophet here,

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you."

This is much easier said than acted upon.)

Later,

Joan
Tuesday,
Jan 3, 2006

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