Saturday, July 09, 2011

Relating - Molly Vass

The stuff of our lives doesn't change.
It is we who change in relation to it.

A Set of Inner Doors - Mark Nepo

Whatever our gifts or wounds or life situation - whether we have been married several times or have never been in love, whether we have plenty of money or are sorely in need of more - the core issues of our lives will not go away.

There exists for each life on Earth a set of inner doors that no one can go through for us.  We can change jobs or lovers, travel around the world, become a doctor or lawyer or expert mountain climber, or nobly put our life on hold to care for an ailing mother or father, and when we are done, though the worthy distraction could take years, the last threshold we didn't cross within will be there waiting.  There is no substitute for genuine risk.
Stranger still is how the very core issues we avoid return, sometimes with different faces, but still, we are brought full circle to them, again and again.  Regardless of how we may discover that no other threshold is possible until we use our courage to open the door before us.  Perhaps the oldest working truth of self-discovery is that the only way out is through.  That we are returned repeatedly to the same circumstance is not always a sign of avoidance, but can mean our work around a certain issue is not done.

In my own life, it is not by chance that struggling to adulthood with a domineering and critical mother, I have been thrust again and again into situations with dominant men and women, struggling painfully for their approval and fearing their rejection.  For years, I tried to manage the circumstance better, which was like sanding and varnishing the door without ever opening it.  I was destined to repeat the pain of rejection, no matter how skillfully I handled it, until I opened the door of self-worth.

Even my calling to be a poet became a distraction that lasted many years.  Feeling rejected and insecure at heart, I quietly made a mission of becoming a famous writer, only to find myself one day replaying the issues of approval and rejection a hundredfold at the mailbox, as I awaited word from countless critical strangers known as editors.  I was stunned and relieved to finally discover myself at the same threshold of loving myself that I had run from years before.  

The thresholds go nowhere.  It is we who, in our readiness and experience, keep coming back, because the soul knows only one way to fulfill itself, and that is to take in what is true.

* Meditate on an issue that keeps returning to you.
* Relate to it as a messenger and ask the messenger what door it is trying to open for you.
* How will your life change if you move through this threshold?
* How will your life be affected if you do not?

from The Book of Awakening  by Mark Nepo

Friday, July 08, 2011

what to remember when waking - David Whyte

In that first
hardly noticed
in which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
honest world
there is a small opening
into the new day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love? What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?

~David Whyte, from
The House of Belonging

The House of Belonging - David Whyte

I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
like any other.

the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
I thought

it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

David Whyte, The House of Belonging

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Friend - Hafiz

This is the kind of Friend
You are -
Without making me realize
My soul's anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful

Saturday, July 02, 2011

My Garden Nautilus (and Slug)

I thought I was taking a pic of the snail shell, and this morning I also noticed the slug (or could it be the snail that left its shell behind!?).