I live in a small town that is still trying to find its Identity. We don’t have a vibe or cool shop that we can call our own cultural hang out. we are a suburb of philly who is trying to keep our distance from our neighbors and the city. we like to drive to our places and then drive back home. walking takes too much time and our neighbors are trying to stay as anonymous as we are. but there is a loneliness…. and a problem…..
the problem we hate it! we long for identity and community so we try and tell ourselves that we have friends and community but in reality we don’t. most of our relationships are superficial at best. there are few people who know us deeply. and alot of times we try and push those people away.
in our search for better things or the things we think bring happiness we find ourselves trapped and lonely by those same things that we thought would make it better!
here is where the picture comes in. last year I went to see the Andrew Wyeth gallery at the art museum and i was completely blown away by a comment that he made. he said he loves the winter because it is when the bones are out and we see things the way that they really are. this picture is an old gate that guards a cemetery with a huge tree on the corner of it. it reminds me of death, beauty, choice, and a story.
when I was a boy I had a friend who lost his grandfather two months later his mom had a stroke. part of him died that year. I have this memory of driving by the old cemetery and seeing him and his mom sitting on the stone wall with there heads down. watching I could feel the tension and loneliness of the moment. I visit this spot often when I need to think, and I always think back to the realness of what I observed when I was a boy. I watched a friend understand the real harsh things that are under the surface. He embraced the cold winter…… seeing things for what they really are changes you. and it did him.
winter shows us death. for us are we going to let it show us the death of our longing to pretend that everything is okay? and are we going to call it for what it is? false. and in our process are we going to choose life.. messy, unpredictable, beautiful life full of deep relationships that go further than having a chat over coffee?