poem du jour ~hafiz – in many parts of this world…

In many parts of this world water is
Scarce and precious.
People sometimes have to walk
A great distance
Then carry heavy jugs upon their
Heads.
Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Thirst.
Most speaking really says
“I am hungry to know you.”
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Holy.
Dear one,
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
Truth?”
― Hafiz, The Subject Tonight Is Love: 60 Wild and Sweet Poems of Hafiz

the impulse to love ~mark nepo

If somebody were to cut me into a thousand pieces,
every piece of me would say that it loves…

The man who said this is a deeply spiritual person who is a native of South Africa. He like many others grew up under apartheid. He told me that he was taught by his ancestors not to stay bitter or vengeful, for hate eats up the heart, and with a damaged heart, life is not possible.

In a way, we are each confronted with the same dilemma that Chris faces: how to feel the pain of living without denying it and without letting that pain define us. Ultimately, no matter the burden we are given—apartheid, cancer, abuse, depression, addiction—once whittled to the bone, we are faced with a never-ending choice: to become the wound or to heal.

Terrible things are hard enough to experience the first time. Beyond their second and third and fourth experience as trauma, their impact can easily make us become terrible if we do not keep our want to love alive. Perhaps the most difficult challenge of being wounded is not turning our deepest loving nature over to the life and way of the wound.

This touching statement by this South African man affirms that the nature of the human spirit is irrepressible. Just as a vine or shrub—no matter how often it is cut back—will keep growing to the light, the human heart—no matter how often it is cut—can reassert its impulse to love.

~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

thoughts + quote du jour ~rilke

I woke this morning with an unexplained sadness wafting through me. I thought perhaps it was just a mood left over from an early-morning dream, but then I remembered that I’ve felt this sadness more than once in the week or so since I returned to Raleigh—since I came homea life event/change that I’m happy about, that I wanted. I’ve also had many moments of sudden, leaping joy and quiet peace…these made sense. But why sadness?

Then, later today, I came across the Rilke quote below on Facebook:

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can’t say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

As I read the quote, I felt the truth of Rilke’s words drop into place in my soul. He describes perfectly the sense of what I’d been feeling. As I considered his words, I realized that this morning’s sadness was not a heavy melancholy, but, as Rilke said, a presence, something to be embraced, absorbed, taken in. I will stop here, for to attempt to articulate what I think I now understand on a deep, wordless level would be futile. That the insight is there, however fragile, is enough.

quote du jour ~ruiz

If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.

~Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

quote du jour ~rogers – you rarely have…

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.

~Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

quote du jour ~gilbert

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.

~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

quote du jour ~pema chodron – idiot compassion

The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should definitely say “no.” Compassion doesn’t only imply trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to know when to say “enough.” Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart we let people walk all over us. It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries.

~Pema Chodron, The Places That Scare You

everything is waiting for you ~david whyte

pathwriter’s note: I felt a pull to look through my posts of David Whyte poems tonight for something that speaks to where I am right now emotionally/spiritually. This one came closest…

pathwriter

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness…

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homecoming

Your body and spirit, subconscious and conscious—every portion of you recognizes home. That is why on the moment of arrival, your entire being relaxes into a contented puddle of joy.
~Richelle E. Goodrich

I’m going home tomorrow. The physical me will arrive in the physical place that used to be my hometown, and I’ll feel the relief and peace and joy that comes of returning to a place that is familiar down to my bones. My spirit has been hungry for this homecoming since long before I left the state of North Carolina, for I left my inner home, lost my inner compass, years before. I’ve been on a journey back to myself for what seems a very long time.

Oddly, the years that I was physically away brought me closer to that internal homecoming. I know that I’ll be sorting out those experiences and weaving them into my soul for some time, but I’ll be doing this at home…a place that feels safe and comforting, a place where perhaps, at last, I can finally come home to myself.

I don’t think my travels are over somehow, and the next leg of my journey remains to be seen. But for now, I’m happy to be going home—in both senses of the word—and I’m more than ready to put my feet up and stay awhile.