No matter how I turn
the magnificent light follows.
Background to my sadness.
No matter how I lift my heart
my shadow creeps in wait behind.
Background to my joy.
No matter how fast I run
a stillness without thought is where I end.
No matter how long I sit
there is a river of motion I must rejoin.
And when I can’t hold my head up
it always falls in the lap of one
who has just opened.
When I finally free myself of burden
there is always someone’s heavy head
landing in my arms.
The reasons of the heart
are leaves in wind.
Stand up tall and everything
will nest in you.
We all lose and we all gain.
Dark crowds the light.
Light fills the pain.
It is a conversation with no end
a dance with no steps
a song with no words
a reason too big for any mind.
No matter how I turn
the magnificence follows.
— Mark Nepo (Walking North) from The Book of Awakening
Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.
— Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet
Do you know the story of starlight, of how it
begins so far away that you cannot even dream
from what corner of the heavens it travels from?
Take a deep breath, please, and try to imagine what
it would feel like to travel from one still point to another
as a continuous stream of light, as an angel of light.
On a journey, that begins at the farthest point away
from earth, and then ends, striking on the inner surface of
your eye, where the mind sees in it all the colors of creation.
If you were to go outside tonight and look up, what would
you see? Would you tell the story of each star, floating there
like vessels of light, waiting for someone to give each one a name?
Just like our ancestors once named all the constellations.
If time is eternal, an illusion meaning noting to you at all,
could you easily take such a journey?
I think that I may, joyfully, like an angel of light,
helping God to heal and perfect time and creation.
— Ron Starbuck (Naming a Star) from When Angels Are Born