Monday, October 8, 2012

the f*ck is my life

This is no f*ck
I went to a friend's mother blessing yesterday and it was good. It was good, because it was real. It was good because it wasn't all about showering her with gifts and well-wishes, though we gave her those too. It was good because we also shared our losses and pains and our sorrows and worries, even as we celebrated the arrival of new life and the strength of motherhood. As a friend of mine pointed out, the fact that we can so genuinely share our times of heartache makes the celebration of our times of joy all the more heartfelt.

Pain and love always coexist, another friend commented.

I take great comfort in my circle of mama friends; we are the rock mamas.

I need this kind of communal comfort these days. Feeling the ground shifting beneath me, I find comfort in coming together to share pain — and joy. Just life.

There is a section in Cheryl Strayed's bestselling collection of advice columns originally published at the Rumpus Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar that really resonated with me. It's a column she wrote in response to a reader's query that simply asked "WTF, WTF, WTF?" Cheryl responds by sharing one of her own immensely fucked-up childhood experiences of her father's father having her jack him off when she was three, four, and five.

As founder of the Dear Sugar column Steve Almond writes commenting on this particular column, Cheryl's point with this wasn't to shock. It was to convey the message that inexplicable sorrow awaits all of us. Life isn't some narcissistic game you play. And it all matters — every sin, every regret, every affliction. They shape our lives, even as we have a choice in how we deal with that.

"Ask better questions, sweet pea," Cheryl ends her answer to the question "WTF?" — "The fuck is your life. Answer it."

We all can have a lot of fuck in our lives at times.

And great fuck can have great meaning.
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