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
Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
May the one you long for long for you.
May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.
May your heart never be haunted by ghost structures of old damage.
May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.
~John O’Donohue, from To Bless the Space Between Us. All rights reserved.
Your way begins at the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
The photos below were taken early this evening between sundown and twilight, as I walked the trails at the North Carolina Museum of Art park. I’m only working with an iPhone 4, so the pics don’t quite do the views justice, but I can assure you, the sky was absolutely breathtaking tonight. The moon rose before the sun had finished setting…I turned from a western sky ablaze with light to see the moon rise in a pale eastern sky that quickly darkened to a deep cobalt blue. It was amazing to see.
Evening star (to the right of the ring sculpture)
Photos by Viki Atkinson
The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself, but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
~Elizabeth Gilbert; Eat, Pray, Love
Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.
North Carolina Museum of Art walking trail, Raleigh, NC – Photo by Viki Atkinson