Many years ago I got to see Michael Ball sing this on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Weber‘s short-lived musical ‘Aspects of Love‘. Though undeniably schmaltzy, the song stuck in my head, like any classic Broadway show tune does. Though the musical was one of the biggest flops in Broadway history, every now and then some life or love thing happens that sends me digging in my CD pile so I can give it another listen. Tonight, when this randomly got stuck in my head again, I turned to YouTube. Each version seems sappier than the one before it, yet if you listen to the words, they capture an essential truth I’ve been experiencing.
A couple of days ago I got to share stories with a favorite client from years ago. He shared his harrowing tales of a month in the ICU and I shared mine. His story was so different in many ways, and I felt grateful that my journey was so short and simple in comparison to his. He fought for his life with every fiber of his being. He was young, just getting started in his career, and full of possibilities when a skiing accident left him literally shattered. He shared that he used to dream while on the ventilator of what he could do with his life if he could just get the use of one finger and a thumb. He fantasized about the paintings he’d paint, the feats he’d accomplish, the difference he could make… if only he’d get to be a quadriplegic. And the thing he remembered most from all of it? The Love. The incredible Love that was (more…)
Bubbles burst, rain clouds burst, buds burst into bloom, tinder bursts into flame, fireworks burst across the sky, and my heart bursts wide open. Once something bursts, it transforms. The bubble won’t be put back, the cloud can’t have the raindrops shoved back in, the flower wouldn’t dream of being pushed back into bud. What about the heart? If it has truly burst wide open, can it close down or harden again? We often have moments when we think we’re ‘about to burst’, but we don’t really. We almost transform, but instead we have a lovely or powerful experience. It’s easy to go back to the old way from a ‘lovely experience’. Not so easy if we are truly burst open.
Since I awoke in the ICU I’ve been pushed to the ‘about to burst’ point over and over again. I can’t tell you how often I’ve burst into tears — sometimes from sadness, worry, or despair, but mostly because the love was more than I thought I could bear. At first, the words overwhelmed me. Comforting, yes, in many ways… but also like a tire or balloon being filled too full much of the time. The food people brought, the cards sent, the conversations shared, and the endless messages of love and support offered in countless ways — these were all part of the ‘about to burst’ phenomenon.
Launching the fundraiser has pushed me to the bursting point again and again. Oh my! It takes a certain kind of courage to ask for help so directly. I’ve needed to trust that people’s words are genuine when they (more…)