Kinship is the deliberate hemming of hearts. A seam that shapes and pantomimes and pulls you along others circumstances and struggles. Beyond fraternal bonds, alliances, similarities, shared vision, affinity, lineage-induced loyalty, convenience; it’s living your life with another. Shared tears come to mark the enormity of devotion, communal suffering becomes the touchstone of intimacy, and Love finds strength in the interchange of laughter. Kinship is participating in a communal well-being. It’s a ‘managing a commons,’ of sorts, in a unified soulscape. Grief and Joy are a collective, shared experience in a fellowship dedicated to celebrating successes and mourning struggles as One. There is a singleness, in true kinship, tightening the circle of everyone; seeing inclusion as “being with,” not “being for” another.
Unfortunately, expectations from a “misguided search at compensation” often accompany the idea of community. Community, as well as relationships for that matter, are not intended to be a mutual exchange, an economic pact, assurances, or a merit system based on your own personal investment. Frequently found rooted in the human condition of unresolved, continual suffering of the unconscious, impure engagement acts in acquisition and grasping: “We need, in love,to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it” (Rilke). Situational comfort, anticipated security of who you are/could be lead to become, or any means of expected compensation will be exposed in time by its small and fragile ability to act as ligatures or links in a sustained kinship.
Personal purpose statements and vision are easy to walk away from. Power and control remain in the hands of the individual when community becomes defined by functionality and efficacy. Catching the tears of a brother, puts the drop of sorrow within the corners of your own eye, a welling reciprocity and budding of affection. Mary Mrozowski, founder of the ‘The Welcoming Prayer’ spiritual exercise, prays this at the conclusion of the practice: I let go my desire for security and survival. I let go my desire for esteem and affection. I let go my desire for power and control. I let go my desire to change the situation.
Descriptive of energy strongholds of the ego, I think it’s additionally, beautifully applicable to a repose one should take living in committed kinship. Coupling this invitation into self-disclosure and self-emptying, there lies an essential, unread footnote, to be “guardians of their solitude,” as poet Rainer Rilke invites.
“But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” – Rilke
Share tears, a pulse, middle pieces of the brownie pan, embrace, interlocked fingers, warmth, family annoyances, the gas bill, morning stillness, laughter, excitement, celebration, achievement, wonder, reverie, shades of blue, car rides, ears bent to distant church bell chimes, openness, smiles, forgiveness, spilled coffee, frustrations, songs without words, affirmation, life-instilling gazes, new-Neil-Patrick-Harris-centered Netflix series, library space, shower time, your first words spoken in a prayer, hugs (always hugs), doubt, discomfort, your vices, fears, and then you’ll always find Love in the act of.
I’m humbled to have found my community. A real, eternal kinship.