Source: The New York Times Magazine
Source: The New York Times Magazine
I sat down with myself and let myself feel. I let myself open to the bodily sensations of feeling under qualified, poorly prepared…There was no need to follow a story about the feelings that were there; what I needed was simply to let myself feel them, beyond their names, down into the visceral connection – feel them while not losing touch with the larger spaciousness that I also knew to be there. The error I had initially made – one that is all too easy to make – was attempting to control the impact of my uncomfortable thoughts through bypassing them and replacing them with a feeling of spaciousness and calm. I know it doesn’t work that way; I know that both realities need to be embraced, but sometimes I forget. The only way through is to accept the gift of the moment, however it shows up. If what shows up is inadequacy, or illegitimacy, let it be so. This too. These moments were offering me the opportunity to accept my vulnerability and fragility.
It’s this simple: I am not required to hold it together all the time.
~ Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have
And the heart, unscrolled,
is comforted by such small things:
a cup of green tea rescues us, grows deep and large, a lake.”
Source: what a beautiful life
A light so continuous and so intense was so far beyond my comprehension that sometimes I doubted it. Suppose it was not real, that I had only imagined it. Perhaps it would be enough to imagine the opposite, or just something different, to make it go away. So I thought of testing it out and even of resisting it. At night in bed, when I was all by myself, I shut my eyes.
I lowered my eyelids as I might have done when they covered my physical eyes. I told myself that behind these curtains I would no longer see light. But light was still there, and more serene than ever, looking like a lake at evening when the wind has dropped. Then I gathered up all my energy and willpower and tried to stop the flow of light, as I might have tried to stop breathing. What happened was a disturbance, something like a whirlpool. But the whirlpool was still flooded with light. At all events I couldn’t keep this up very long, perhaps only for two or three seconds. When this was going on I felt a sort of anguish, as though I were doing something forbidden, something against life. It was exactly as if I needed light to live —needed it as much as air. There was no way out of it. I was the prisoner of light. I was condemned to see.
Inside me there was everything I had believed was outside. There was, in particular, the sun, light, and all colors. There were even the shapes of objects and the distance between objects. Everything was there and movement as well… Light is an element that we carry inside us and which can grow there with as much abundance, variety, and intensity as it can outside of us…I could light myself…that is, I could create a light inside of me so alive, so large, and so near that my eyes, my physical eyes, or what remained of them, vibrated, almost to the point of hurting.
I would like to paint the way a bird sings.
~ Claude Monet
Day and night, gifts keep pelting down on us.
If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us. But we go through life in a daze.
A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is; a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep.
How much we are missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.
Notes: Photo – via Your Eyes Blaze Out
Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then, like a hand in the dark,
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.
In the silence that follows
a great line,
you can feel Lazarus,
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands
and walk toward the light.
pale the wall.
Love moves away.
The light changes.
I need more grace
than I thought.
— Rumi, (1207-1273), The Essential Rumi