“If you have a really fierce loss, the loss of someone who’s close to you, the loss of a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a friend, God forbid a child — then human beings have every right to say, “Listen, God. If this is how you play the game, I’m not playing the game. I’m not playing by your rules. I’m going to manufacture my own little game, and I’m not going to come out of it. I’m going to make my own little bubble. And I’m going to draw up the rules. And I’m not coming out to this frontier again. I don’t want to. I want to create insulation. I want to create distance.”
And many human beings do that for the rest of their lives. Many do it for just a short period and then reemerge again. But all of us are struggling to be here. One of the great theological questions is around incarnation, which simply means being here in your body. Not anywhere else, just here with life’s fierce need to change you. And the fact that the more you’re here and the more you’re alive, the more you realize you’re a mortal human being. And that you’ll pass from this place. And will you actually turn up? Will you actually have the conversation given that it’s so — will you become a full citizen of vulnerability, loss, and disappearance, which you have no choice about?” – David Whyte, On Being with Krista Tippet
I am moving out of my hermetic retreat after last summer. I feel an awakening of body, mind, and spirit. I have only gratitude for this. I do not know what lies on my path ahead, but I know that I am focusing on wholeheartedness and practicing being fully present. “Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity,” as David Whyte says. I wish to practice that discipline.
I have been called, again, to open the Tarot. Not for fortune telling or prophecy, but for the focus of symbols, metaphors, and archetypes. It’s like a little sign from the Universe, “Oh, you might want to think about this today…” and then you find that you have, and wide open spaces have revealed themselves in the bolted up parts of yourself, and it all becomes more clear. It is a form of alertness, if you will.
I am also keeping a Commonplace Book, a record of those things which interest me, capture my imagination, or just tell me what to do. I’m still getting the hang of what I want it to be, but I guess that is the whole point. I am moving through my need to have it be “right” and letting it just “be what it is”. Because that is so easy.
My children and Carolyn all seem to be moving along much in the same way I am… spring brought us all a new layer of healing. We all feel a little more grounded, a little more cogent, and a little more connected to one another. Robbie, that was one of your many gifts to us, and I thank you.
My beautiful friend Isabel Abbot wrote today: “even if it means barbed wire wound around rib cage to protect what pounds. even if is asking questions that have no answers. even if unknotting is the undoing. whatever it takes to stay soft. do that.”
To softness and alertness and all that lies between: may our journey take us where we need to be.
Image by Aimee Sicuro