Lament


The yips and yowls of coyotes wake me again. Their cries so loud it seems they’re right outside the bedroom window. Likely not, but they’re near.

It’s haunting, this chorus of—what? Celebration? Mating? Aggression? Just checking in with other coyotes in the area? Are there two or ten of them? Who knows. I hope all the neighbourhood pets are safe indoors.

My mind lights on a question I posed when I went to bed and lingers for a moment, listening for an answer. No, not yet. Nothing I can discern through the broken quiet of the night, anyway.

These days there are far more questions than answers. Far more unsettledness than peace. More lament than mountaintop joy. Lament. It’s an old-fashioned word but it’s the thing I feel more than anything else these days.

I write about it in my Moleskine notebook sanctuary where I ruminate on all manner of deep things. I walk through it on solitary walks through quiet spaces. I feel it in every part of me; it presses me from both inside and out.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude.

Maybe, in this season, to lament is the real work. To stop trying to force insincere joy and lean in to that which seems more real. More honest. More like standing naked before the Creator and taking the things that weigh so heavy and simply dropping them. Here. You take them. I can’t carry them any longer.

I remember a dream I had in different season where I faced head on into a storm, screamed my grief into it, and it was absorbed. And the filling that came after. Maybe that was a picture of lament. I don’t know. Like Merton, I have no idea. But howling in the night seems to capture what this season feels like.

In time, the coyotes quiet, sleep returns, and I rest before rising in the dark to pray,. There’s such peace in the sanctuary of dark in the solitary hours before dawn.

And another day begins.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.

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