All our hands and holding

The subject line is from a song that I am recently obsessed with.  The song is called “Don’t Carry it All” from The Decemberists new album.  The song is about being able to share our burdens with one another.  It’s about community and being able to allow others to hold our stuff as well. For a couple of reasons, this is resonating with me.

These past couple of days I have been having more of an issue with re-entry…I think.  I have had some grumpy moments and deep moments of reflection.  It occurred to me that I have to be able to share that burden with others in order to connect with one another on the communal level.  I am not the only one struggling with re-entry…either into country or work or relationships.  When something deep and profound happens, our world transforms.  How do we handle such shifts in our daily life?  How do we process where we are now?

So in having this discussion with my roommate last night (who also went to Guatemala) we realized that metaphors work differently for each other in processing this experience.  She doesn’t see the connection of holding something while that connection rings true for me.  For me, it’s extremely comforting to know that you as my friend hold something dear of mine in order to lighten the load.  For her, there is a moment of deep sharing but it isn’t held on to…or at least its not as profound of an experience to use that metaphor. Is it moving to you? Is it comforting? What is?

In my life as a Christian, I have found this to be a deeply moving metaphor for other Christians especially around the common table.  How do we hold one another and how do we hold the other’s stuff?  In the CoOp we tend to do this pretty well…hold up each other as well as hold each other dearly.  We share our burdens and our joys in different ways. Scripture calls us to continue to work on being compassionate with one another and to be neighborly. Is that the same?  Are we called to share our heavy weights? We believe that this includes listening to the other’s experience and holding each other in prayer.  We believe that God holds us as dearly as children and shares our experience, no matter what that experience is.

So how have I been taking care of myself to not fall into cynicism? I have, in true extrovert fashion, been seeking out others…seeking out hands to hold some of my experience…I have been drinking wine with people.  And last night I sought out family.  While Betty needed to travel to Albany, I called up my mom and dad to see if they wanted to have dinner with us.  They did!  We got to share our experience and then I hopped in my mom’s car to go visit my 90 year old grandparents. 

While we visited, I started asking more questions about my heritage.  The stories that I heard last night were fantastic and ones I had never heard before, mainly because I had never thought to ask.  At the same time, my grandparents were eager to hear about my latest adventure in Central America. We were in essence opening ourselves up to new experiences through the other.  Part of ourselves where being shared, hoping to enrich the other.

And now I get to hold that experience…and by reading this, my fellow human, you get to hold it to (if that metaphor works for you). 🙂 



With head mason Don Hector

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