So many of the people I love are experiencing deep, tremendous change right now. A side effect of having so many close bonds in my life is that I get to see into the pain and profundity of the process of living for many, many people.
It's sad and even heartbreaking when those I care for are hurting bad. Sometimes I don't know how to help, but usually, usually, we can talk and figure something out.
The other thing is that I get to see transformation unfold over and over again in many beautiful forms: a risk is taken, a life expanded, and it's beautiful, powerful, amazing...and then something goes wrong, or there's a fall, a disappointment, a tragedy. And each person mourns in very similar ways. It's surprising how much pain looks the same in so many different lives.
But then I also get to see each person get up, limp along, and realize that they are stronger and more resilient than they ever believed themselves to be. And I watch as they piece things together and make meaning from what they've experienced, re-define, re-imagine and re-formulate their worlds, and then rise up again in a new way, still beautiful but different now.
So even though it is sad and hard to see so many people I love struggling and suffering, I can see that sometime in the future I will be a witness as each emerges from his or her chrysalis. Sometime in the coming months or years I will be surrounded by an endless sea of butterflies.
So even if it is hard this minute, I will take the lessons I learn from each, and from my own experience, and apply them as widely and as best I can. Sometimes, though, the best you can do is stay present with another person's suffering.
Later, though, I will partake in all their joy. That will be incredible.