Monday, September 12, 2005

Clean Water

Words used to come readily, words of praise and comfort. I made fluent offers of friendship, like a pre-Depression bank blithely offering loans, trusting my commitments would never all be called in at the same time. Now no words seem to come.

Now I see the suffering and I can't produce even the most halting and trivial words, though I'm far more grieved than when I used to pour out sympathy. I used to sense within myself endless wells of reassurance. Now those wells are dry. I have nothing to offer: I know how empty it is to say, your pain grieves me. After all, how does that help?

But I care more now. I wake in the night and I think of the people I know suffering across town, or across the country, or across the ocean, and I search for something I might offer them. Nothing. I include them in my prayers. They are the people I think of, when I think of just who it is that I am practicing for.

I have nothing to say. I turn away. Go back again doggedly, to dig out the wells. Whatever this may amount to -- it is for you. Lifetimes from now maybe, but when it comes, it will be clean water, real water, that won't run out.

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