Last Thursday, my friend Jill Salahub wrote a post that stopped me in my tracks. It was about love and grief and fear, the pain and healing of forward motion. It was about being human and as I read it, I felt absolutely connected to her, as if her post were a sort of Kirtan chant and all that was needed now was my response.
Maybe it felt that way in part because Jill’s post was a response too. She was writing so openly and honestly about love and grief in answer to a post by Connie Hozvicka, “Piecing Together The Sky Grows & Grows.” Piecing Together The Sky is a project that grew out of Connie’s grief over the loss of her dear friend, Uncle Johnny. She’d taken a picture of the sky right after hearing about his death, and she was struck by how ever-changing the sky is, how it seems stable and still but in reality it’s completely different from one minute to the next. Unpredictable. Unreliable. Like life.
Connie couldn’t stop looking at the sky, feeling oddly reassured and held by it. She took more pictures. She invited others to take pictures and send them to her and over 300 people responded. They shared their own stories of loss. Connie made a video called Piecing Together The Sky in honor of her lost friend and then, moved by the overwhelming response to her call, she extended the idea, inviting bloggers all over the world to post pictures of the sky and write about the people who have touched them, the loves they have lost.
So Jill answered Connie’s call and I’m answering Jill’s, though not to talk about who or what I’ve lost. What stopped me in my tracks when I read Jill’s post was her willingness to share, to open herself up completely and show us her truest self, and especially that she did it in response to Connie’s revealing of her own beautiful, aching heart.
If I were looking for proof that we are all connected, that we do absolutely hold each other’s hearts in our hands and that sharing our stories heals and empowers us, could I ask for more than this? (Of course, I don’t need proof. I know it in my core, a deep down cellular knowledge that we join together in order to survive; we love each other in order to thrive.)
We are technically beyond the date of Connie’s invitation to participate and receive a copy of her beautiful painting, but somehow I think that’s better. I love the idea of all of us together, willingly connected, holding each other’s hearts in our hands, quilting together the pieces of Connie’s sky because in the end, of course, it’s our sky too.