I have a memory, too, as a twelve-year-old of crying silently but bitterly face-down into a pillow on the living room floor. That day, my bird, my only life companion, had disappeared up an open flue in our apartment wall. There were visiting relatives in the house, in my bedroom, whom I knew were not to be disturbed. The needs of the guest came first, I had been taught. But when the house was safely dark, I let the pain pour out, not simply the loss of my dearest possession but also in sorrow for my own carelessness in his regard. Then, suddenly, I felt the covers around me tighten. My mother had gotten in on one side of the mattress, my father on the other, and together they held me all the long and empty night. I learned then that being human meant to enter into someone else’s pain.
When wax and wick work best, light and heat are all that’s left.
Like a candle, our wick of spirit is encased in our humanity, and when our spirit is touched, we light up until all we know melts and changes shape for the burn of our experience. Repeatedly, our sweat and struggle burns our sense of self and world away, so that our Divine spark can be released, again and again. These moments of Spirit-Lighting-Up not only rearrange our lives, but they light and warm those who stay near.
In such moments, we become one with what we see, and this sudden Oneness is what the faithful of all paths have called Love. And in the illumination of Oneness called Love, all that’s left is a willingness toward birth, an urge to be touched by something timeless and fresh. All that’s left is the want of deep parts in strangers. To relish the waking over being awake, the burning over being burned, the loving over being loved. Continue reading “Advent Day 11: Oneness With Love …”
A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked …
— Anais Nin from The Quotable Anais Nin (Diary 4)
The Place I Want To Get Back To
I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward Continue reading “Joy Accompanied Me As I Walked (Thanksgiving Meditations and Prayers) …”
I did not
have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to
for it was the essence of
to hold beauty in
— St. John of the Cross from Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
What’s Important in Life?
Once upon a time, there was an elder who was respected for his piety and virtue. Whenever anyone asked him how he had become so holy, he always answered, “I know what is in the Qur’an.”
So when the old man died, they raced one another to his hut to find out for themselves what was in his Qur’an. “Well, what is it?” they shouted.
The disciple holding the book looked up from it amazed and said with wonder in his voice, “What is in this Qur’an are notes on every page, two pressed flowers and a letter from a friend.”
There are some things in life, whatever its burdens, however it is spent, which if we cultivate them will never die, will be the source of our joy forever, will sustain us through everything.
Empathy is connection … Empathy is connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event or the circumstance. …
… Empathy is a strange and powerful thing. There is no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’
— Brené Brown from Daring Greatly
There’s no way to be spared sorrow. I wouldn’t even wish that upon someone. But we shouldn’t get stuck in our grief; it’s not a permanent address but a companion that walks beside us. Everything I love, I will lose. That’s the harsh truth. You either have to shut down your heart — and miss the love that is around you — or wrestle with that truth and come out the other end. There is indeed such a thing as joyful sorrow. Continue reading “A Companion That Walks Beside Us …”
Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers.
― Brenda Ueland from If You Want To Write
The Stream of Life
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth
in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves
of leaves and flowers. Continue reading “Invisible Connections (The Beauty of Our Lives) …”
Autumn in my part of the world is a season of bounty and beauty. It’s also a season of steady decline—and, for some of us, a slow slide into melancholy. The days become shorter and colder, the trees shed their glory, and summer’s abundance starts to decay toward winter’s death.
I’m a professional melancholic, and for years my delight in the autumn color show quickly morphed into sadness as I watched the beauty die. Focused on the browning of summer’s green growth, I allowed the prospect of death to eclipse all that’s life-giving about fall and its sensuous delights.
Then I began to understand a simple fact: All the “falling” that’s going on out there is full of promise. Seeds are being planted and leaves are being composted as Earth prepares for yet another uprising of green. Continue reading “Autumn Sunset …”