Still alive in a wound still fresh


Inspiration can come from the most unlikely places. Sitting on the tarmac waiting for my flight to take off to Canberra to visit my sister for Christmas, I picked up the in-flight magazine and started to read an interview with Pulitzer prize-winner,  Junot Diaz. In it he quotes these words, a fragment from an Octavio Paz poem:

Still alive in a wound still fresh

There is something so unbearably honest about these words. They are instantly recognizable to anyone who has suffered a recent loss. Sitting with my sister far from our home in Ireland, we marveled at how we ever managed to get through our first Christmas when only 3 weeks earlier our mother had died – a wound so unbearably fresh. It is a wound which has healed slowly over the past two years, but which is still palpably there at the heart of our fractured family.

We all carry wounds and scars which never fully heal – the loss of a loved one; the end of a dream; the unasked for change in our identity and sense of who we are.  And yet we are still alive. We continue to breathe, to put one foot in front of the other. Our resilience and our courage are truly remarkable, even if some days all we can manage is to just breathe and be.