Breathing Our Fragile and Reckless Love Back to Us, Episode 98

Is it possible to love life even when it doesn’t go our way? And to love others for the sake of loving, not because of what we’ll get in return? A conversation about coming at life in a recklessly unconditional, life-giving way, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

Here’s Episode 98 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify.

It’s most ordinary for us to long for things to be different from how they are, and our longing can be a great source of human ingenuity and creativity. But we also so easily fall into despair and cynicism when things don’t turn out the way we want them, or when we see the fragility and vulnerability of our lives. Our question this week is exactly this – can we find a way to honour and live with our longing without it becoming a demand that life go exactly our way? Can we find a way to love life itself even in the gap between what we demand and what happens? And can we find a way to love others for the sake of loving, not because of what we’ll get in return?

Our source this week is written by the artist Nick Cave, and comes from this exquisite website ‘The Red Hand Files‘. It’s a part of his response to a question from Gianelli, from Pula in Croatia:

Is this world cruel? I don’t think so.

Is this world cruel? I don’t think so. I think this world is indifferent and indifference is not cruelty. What connects me to you, Gianelli, and you to every other sentient being in the universe, is that the universe, simply does not care about us; it does not act with malice or desire to harm us – it is simply unaffected by our condition. If one acknowledges this state of affairs, then it sets up a situation that allows us to make a simple choice – either we respond to the indifference of the universe with self-pity and narcissism – as if the world has in some way personally betrayed us – and live our lives in a cynical, pessimistic and self-serving manner; or we stand tall, set our eyes clearly upon this unfeeling universe and/love it all the same/– even though, or especially because, it doesn’t love us.

This act of cosmic defiance, of subversive optimism, of unconditional and insubordinate love, is the greatest act of human beauty we can perform. To stand before this great, blank, heartless cosmic event and say:

‘We believe in you’.
‘We love you’.
‘We care for you’.

This is the definition of grace, Gianelli, and this is the epiphany you speak of. We create our own divinity, our own Godliness, through our ferocious need. We yearn the heavens awake, and if we are quiet, in prayer or in meditation, sometimes we can feel the heavens stirring, breathing our fragile and reckless love back through us.”

Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files,

Photo by Richard Nolan on Unsplash