Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sister Teacher

Years ago, it was an image on television or in a magazine or newspaper which made time stand still. We all have these. Images so powerful that they live inside of us as real memories.

Today, these images are on constant download through social media that it is harder to have an impact which is lasting. Some of this may be due to our diminishing attention span. It seems more and more rare to just choose to sit and "be with" what is before us before rushing off to the next thing. Multi-tasking is the new place of reverence. 

However, I still revere the place of stillness. It is my teacher.

I awakened this morning to an image of two sisters. Two sisters whom I know and have had the great privilege of seeing together. The images speak so loudly of their love in the depths of its quiet. 

I am in awe.

In awe like Michelangelo awe. 

Of course I don't know any of the complexities of the relationship. I only know what I can see. I know they are very different people who have shared interests and navigate what could be for others, challenging dynamics, with incredible grace. 


Each time I feel a little lost in my own ability to keep what I love alive inside of me, I am presented with an image of them, like an answer to a prayer. 

It is almost always quiet. Non-presentational. Intimate.

I don't think there is anyone on earth who knows you the way you know your sister. If she lets you. If the relationship is close, or even if it is strained, but there is a fierce tie of love (or commitment to loving each other), I think that the ways in which you have walked side by side with each other, and borne witness to each other's lives sort of "certifies you" as a "person of valor." Which is why, for so many of us, when we hurt our sisters, or when they hurt us, we want only to repair what has been hurt.

I have always had great difficulty believing that something was not possible. But I have learned that one person cannot do the work of two. Two people have to show up for a relationship. Period. That sometimes, being released, is part of one's karmic journey even if it doesn't feel natural to a heart which only wants to pour love into the hearts which it loves.

But when I see these two sisters, something inside of me heals a little. Their love has become a beacon for me. 

I think the love we bear witness to in the world, in all its variations, is there, not to exclude us, but to let us know, in the quietest of ways, that it is a part of us as well. 
A few years ago, as my hips were healing, I was with them during a weekend. I vividly recall a moment which moved me deeply. I knew I had wanted to grab my camera and capture the sweetness of what I was witnessing, but I knew it was far more important to allow what was swelling up inside of me, to come into its fullness. And just sit with that.

One of my mantras is "You are held in love."  

This was the moment I was held. It wasn't mine, but I didn't have to intrude upon it either in order to know of its existence or power. Or to know it could be shared as I was already feeling it.

It was the most subtle gesture from one sister to the other. But it disarmed me. 

Perhaps because it was so simple. So easy. Perhaps it even slayed my own dragons. The quiet stillness of two sisters standing together as one. No walls between them. Just tenderness and gratitude for each other.

I think we get so good in life at erecting walls which we decide others are not allowed to penetrate. When the truth is, we may actually be shaking behind them or worse, we may have even forgotten why the wall is there in the first place.  

When I see these two, beside each other, to me it looks like how two people lift each other up and grow the best in each other from a place of mutual respect.

I sit in hushed awe of them.

Not only because I recognize that my eyes do not intrude, but perhaps because they bring me closer and closer to a part of myself which is becoming whole.

In gratitude for all of the ways you teach exactly what I wish to know, I sit.


Jill Bacharach