19 February 2017

Worthwhile

In all our happily ever afters
lives this irony.
Love—unconditioned knowing
and valuing another—will involve
all kinds of sacrifice;
Expectations will be shattered,
perspectives reframed,
proclivities restrained;
Love's survival will depend on promises
kept through circumstances
unforeseen.
There is a givenness to life;
A giftedness we share
rooted in more than either
self-discovery or denial.
But there is brokenness
in myself and the world,
what Saint Paul called groaning
in creation, a disordering
of my affections, hardness of heart,
tension between things' givenness
and my tendency to seize them.
There is beauty all mixed up
with the daily inconvenience of decorum,
that gets broken down
to ego and mechanics.
There is a dignity and grace
in friendship and unrequited love
that gets lost when all I know
is “putting myself out there”
or “feeling like a fool.”
There is a time beyond control
when even what is best in us
is not enough.
Love is the humanizing cost
to which we do not measure up
but come to find
worthwhile.
Riverfront Park, Leavenworth, Wash.

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