礼品之路 ( Lǐpǐn zhī lù ) – the Gift of Loss & Gain & Loss Again

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Loss & gain & loss again is a gift.

To be embraced.

I write about this, to remind myself, for happiness will illude us for as long as we do not see this.

Or deny it.

Perhaps the most difficult of this life is loss.

We encounter it frequently.

We do so much to try & prevent it.

We grieve when it overcomes us.

Deeply.

And rightly so.

Sometimes we allow the loss to dominate our existence.

Fixating on it.

Seeing only it.

Day and night.

A shadow darkening everything we do.

Poisoning every word we say.

Weakening us.

Robbing us of vitality.

A pill or golden liquid or fleeting pleasure our only escape from this relentlessness.

For decades.

A lifetime, for some.

We suffer loss.

From the moment we are conceived.

9 months we have in our mother’s womb.

Mostly.

Safe.

Fed.

And then the first loss taints our existence.

Traumatically we are born, losing the safety & warmth of that unique space in which we are moulded into being.

The umbilical cord ripped loose.

Our nourishment taken away.

Have you seen a birth?

Have you been there?

Part of one?

You will know it is loss.

And then we find a breast.

A warm embrace.

The touch of skin.

Often.

Gain, following loss.

Sometimes the loss is even greater in this moment.

A child abandoned.

But in the loss is always gain.

Life.

New parents.

A loving family.

People who care.

Who take care of our every need.

Until we must be weaned.

Loss again.

To gain a little independence.

To eat glorious food.

And so we lose our toddler hood,  to embrace the greater independance of being 4 and 5.

Giving it up again, to become 6 and 7 and 8.

Every birthday,  not a celebration.

A funeral.

A time of sorrow, as we bury what is gone, never to be had again.

By me.

Or my parents.

Never will I hold my son again, as I held him for the first time.

Never will I put him to sleep, love dripping from my lullaby into his cot,  his bed, his being.

Never will I play with him again, as we played, when he was 2 or 3.

Never will I hear his first words.

His first victory.

His first cry over dissapointment.

All of it lost.

To time.

Entombed, in photographs & memories.

And as days give way to months & seasons & years, we keep on losing.

A bit of childhood as we become teeanger.

A bit of innocence as we become man.

A bit of freedom as we fall in love.

A bit more as we create new life.

Gain, always following closely in loss’ steps, but not close enough, for some.

Parents desperately hanging on to days gone by, trying to force their children, who are children no more, to remain what they once were for a brief moment in time.

Brothers angry about sisters born.

Inheritances halved.

Attention lost.

Rooms shared.

Had this been the only loss we lamented, perhaps our sorrow would not be so deep?

Our loss, however not fenced in, spills into every inch of our existence, beyond the boundaries of the passing of time.

And age.

And getting older.

It comes to us, as well, in death.

A child.

A parent.

A friend.

In illness.

In loss of income.

Loss of employment.

Loss of circumstances.

Loss of hope.

It comes to us in a move.

To another home.

Or another city.

Or another country.

It comes to us in political change.

In economic crashes & relational crises.

Divorce.

Rejection.

Loss of friends.

Loss of faith, as our fingers come uncrossed, the seams of our existence tearing loose.

Our Origin speaks of this, as (s)He succumbs to loss to come into our world, becoming what (s)He created, to redeem us & create at-one-ment.

A seed falls into the ground and dies.

Losing being a seed.

To sprout.

To become glorious wheat.

To be harvested again.

To feed the hungry.

Loss & gain & loss again.

The tree, once a fruit, rotted in the ground, to push soft green leaves towards the sky, bear fruit, to fall again & rot & die.

Loss & gain & loss again.

The Son of Man, born in a manger, to live & die on our behalf.

Loss & gain & loss again.

For who does not lose when the last breath escapes the body?

Even if it brings the gain of at-one-ment & redemption.

Loss always injustice.

For a thief and murderer too.

As (s)He proves, granting gain, to the one on the side, as loss consumes.

Loss & gain & loss again.

The undeniable bewailed rhythm of this life.

Not to be accepted.

To be embraced as gift.

For with every loss comes gain.

The Sourceror working for our good, someone says, letting everything work along in our favor.

And as I breathe a moment, stepping back from obsessive loss endured, I see a glimpse, of a son becoming a man & gain in it, to learn in new ways & experience new things alongside him.

A daughter being more than I could ever be or dream.

Loss of income spilling into adventure.

Loss of ordination making way for so much which could never be described as ordinary.

And so I want to encourage you.

To see.

This rhythmic flow from loss to gain & loss again.

Not just in your life, as if you are the sole target in some evil conspiracy.

In our life.

I want to encourage you to see.

And fear no more.

Cry no more.

Welcoming the flux.

Receiving happiness as you do.

For loss will come.

And with it gain.

Again.

And loss, again.

This is ‘The Way of the Gift’.

礼品之路 – Lǐpǐn zhī lù

And it is beautiful, for who does not see the gain of the seed dying in the ground or the fruit rotting into a tree?

9 thoughts on “礼品之路 ( Lǐpǐn zhī lù ) – the Gift of Loss & Gain & Loss Again

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