Sunday Morning: The most blinding illumination

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What you must realize, what you must even come to praise, is the fact that there is no right way that is going to become apparent to you once and for all. The most blinding illumination that strikes and perhaps radically changes your life will be so attenuated and obscured by doubts and dailiness that you may one day come to suspect the truth of that moment at all. The calling that seemed so clear will be lost in echoes of questionings and indecision; the church that seemed to save you will fester with egos, complacencies, banalities; the deepest love of your life will work itself like a thorn in your heart until all you can think of is plucking it out. Wisdom is accepting the truth of this. Courage is persisting with life in spite of it. And faith is finding yourself, in the deepest part of your soul, in the very heart of who you are, moved to praise it.

~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

 


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Comments

  1. Amen. Need to mull on this awhile, for first read through I was carried away with thoughts and my mind shouting ‘yes’.

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  2. The Indigo Girls said it. “The less I seek a source for some definitive, the close I am to fine.”

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  3. yes and the trick is to arrive at that understanding and accept it fully.

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  4. There have been times when I was disappointed by thinking that I had found “the answer” only to find that it wasn’t. There were people, places, things that didn’t live up to my expectations. It took many years before I realized that the source of disappointment was something that came from me not the object of my expectation. The flip side of revelation is definitely doubt. It’s difficult to accept one wholly and completely without the other…

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    • Jeff, you comment and write my playbook – I’m still learning that it’s within…and your thoughts remind me of another passage in Wiman’s Book:

      I once believed in some notion of a pure ambition, which I defined as an ambition for the work rather than for oneself. But now? If a poet’s ambition were truly for the work and nothing else, he would write under a pseudonym, which would not only preserve that pure space of making but free him from the distractions of trying to forge a name for himself in the world. No, all ambition has the reek of disease about it, the relentless smell of the self— except for that terrible, blissful feeling at the heart of creation itself, when all thought of your name is obliterated and all you want is the poem, to be the means wherein something of reality, perhaps even something of eternity, realizes itself. That is noble ambition. But all that comes after—the need for approval, publication, self -promotion— isn’t this what usually goes under the name of “ambition”? The effort is to make ourselves more real to ourselves, to feel that we have selves, though the deepest moments of creation tell us that, in some fundamental way, we don’t…So long as your ambition is to stamp your existence upon existence, your nature on nature, then your ambition is corrupt and you are pursuing a ghost.

      ~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

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      • Yep – one of many questions. Are you pursuing your work or someone else’s? Are you defining who you are or is someone else? The essence is still in the honestly of purpose – not the purpose of pursuing someone else’s approval. We all do need to keep a roof over our heads – but whatever you launch into the world should be yours and yours only. 🙂
        This book is on my to-read list…thanks for the lead-in Dave!

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  5. Profound words. Time needed to ponder their depths.

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  6. This makes so much sense if it’s the journey and not the destination. If we found the answer early in life, how boring would the rest of it be?

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  7. Peggy Farrell Schroeder says:

    Powerful, thought provoking and succinct.

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  8. “…there is no right way that is going to become apparent to you once and for all.” This rings so true to me, but damn it’s been a tough lesson to learn. I think I spent the first half of my life thinking, “If I can just figure out ‘x’, then all will be in order….” sigh. As Sportin’ Life said, ‘It ain’t necessarily so….’

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  9. Reblogged this on On the Homefront and commented:
    couldn’t have said it better myself………..

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  10. Beautiful description of the angst of life. ~ Sheila

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  11. Phenomenal….it is !

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