We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors, they are our terrors; if it has abysses, these abysses belong to us; if there are dangers, we must try to love them. And if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
And I say to my heart:
When you have picked the shards of glass out of your bloodstream, carefully, and packed away your sorrows in their boxes, one by one, don’t hide them in the attic. They will grow cobwebs there. They will take up space. Sooner or later you will trip over them. Give them to the bonfire or the junk sale, because their usefulness is done.
Your pain is the consequence of being human. It is a sign you have reached some limit in yourself you must respect. When you run too far, it is the ache in your legs that will tell you to stop. When you are too tired, or too lost or you are hurting, it is the ache in your heart which tells you that it is too much.
Give yourself sustenance in whatever form you need it. Find peace in music and books, or in kisses and laughter and in other people. Eat good food, and drink more water than tea, but hopefully still enough of the second. Sleep if you can. Grow something: A cactus or a flower or a project. Be kind to who you are.
If something you need is missing, close your eyes and picture it. Imagine it for yourself, because you are a joyful painter with the finest paint palette that ever was, and the whole canvas of your mind is waiting.
Let yourself cry. Tears do not waste themselves. They are like tree sap; a consequence of pressure building up and they flow out of injuries, of all kinds. They release the pressure, a little, and they aid in your healing.
You may be afraid but that is just the part of you that wants to protect you reminding you that it is there. It is guarding you well. You may feel small but you are bound to sometimes, because you dream in ways that would seem vast to any giant.
Don’t be too disheartened. Ants can recognise their own faces in a mirror. An Octopus can unscrew the lid of a jar, from the inside, if you let it. There are people making centrifuges out of paper. The ozone layer is repairing itself. There are nearly a thousand different types of cheeses in existence. The world is worthwhile, even though it contains some terrible things. Life is, too.
You are so lovely, even when you don’t believe it.
We too should make ourselves empty, that the great soul
of the universe may fill us with its breath.
We live our long, worn days in the shadows, in what often feels like barren, cold winter, so unaware of the miracles that are being created in our spirits. It takes the sudden daylight, some unexpected surprise of life, to cause our gaze to look upon a simple, stunning growth that has happened quietly inside us. Like frost designs on a winter window, they bring us beyond life’s fragmentation and remind us that we are not nearly as lost as we thought we were, that all the time we thought we were dead inside, beautiful things were being born in us.
Praying Our Goodbyes
You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can’t go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage.
Life has an astonishing way of taking care of you when you no longer mind
What about letting the heart take the lead? What about showing up empty with openness, willingness and trust. Knowing and trusting deeply that everything always works itself out, and a willingness to be moved upon by something so grand and mysterious.
~Excerpts from the newsletter, Simply Blessed
For all the hardships that life throws at us, I have always felt that life keeps living. Perhaps not in the same form or in a way that is recognizable. But life keeps pulsing under everything. And no matter the pain or confusion I face, something in me keeps reaching for that irrepressible pulse. This poem comes from my reaching.
A FEW TURNS OF THE MOON
From the balcony of this restaurant, I watch
a hundred lives below: burrowing and laughing
and finding their way. And perhaps because
I’ve lost my father and our beloved dog in the
last year, perhaps because at sixty-three, I see
over the final hill more clearly, I also see the
hundreds on the other side, still burrowing
and laughing and finding their way. I don’t
know if this is alarming or a comfort: that
we go on the same, that the gleam pressed
out of every hardship is the jewel of existence,
here and on the other side. So I spoon my
soup and sip my wine, knowing the balcony
is the gutter and the gutter is the balcony,
that the dark waits all curled up in the light,
and the light, thank God, waits all curled up
in the dark.
But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.