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Posts Tagged ‘Prose’

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I am appending below a portion of what I discovered on David Whyte’s Facebook wall yesterday.  I think there’s a wide variance of emotions that come up during the holidays, especially for those who have had a loved one transition.  But beyond that, heartbreak, is something we all go through, it’s a natural consequence of living life with an open, yet vulnerable heart.  Perhaps our true work isn’t to heal heartbreak, as much as it is to embrace that we have all been inescapably and forever touched by the tender, outstretched hands of life.

“Heartbreak is inescapable; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way…”

From the upcoming Third Readers’ Circle Essay,
‘HEARTBREAK’
©2013 David Whyte

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“I got sleepy while driving and pulled in under a tree at the side of the road.  Rolled up in the back seat and went to sleep.  How long?  Hours.  Darkness had come.

All of a sudden I was awake, and didn’t know who I was.  I’m fully conscious, but that doesn’t help.  Where am I?  WHO am I?  I am something that has just woken up in a back seat, throwing itself around in panic like a cat in a gunnysack.  Who am I?

After a long while my life comes back to me.  My name comes to me like an angel.  Outside the castle walls there is a trumpet blast (as in the Leonora Overture) and the footsteps that will save me come quickly quickly down the long staircase.  It’s me coming!  It’s me!

But it is impossible to forget the fifteen-second battle in the hell of nothingness, a few feet from a major highway where the cars slip past with their lights dimmed.”

The Name by Tomas Tranströmer from The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures

I found the above in a new book of poetry that arrived just yesterday.  While it’s not a poem, per se, I thought it was an interesting short read.  And for such a short read it really packs a powerful message.

I have seen my husband have this type of startled “who am I, where am I” response after being abruptly awakened.  I like how the author wrote out that he experienced 15 seconds in the hell of nothingness because it illustrates that all our hells are hells of nothingness, meaning they are of our own making.  The making of something out of nothing, which is not to trivialize it but only to illustrate our responsibility in requiring these hells of nothingness.  This is why Florence Scovel Shinn writes of letting things return to their “native nothingness”, from whence they all came.

I wonder now what would have happened, what different world might he have entered, if he awoke with not knowing who he was or where he was and met the moment with curiosity instead of fear.  What if I met more situations with curiosity?  In the Bible it is said: I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  What if the Bible is really saying the kingdom of heaven is ours right now and its found within the open hearted curiousness of a child?  Become like little children — one who does not give themselves to a conclusion that is set against their very well being but one who can, at the very least, meet the moment with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

And maybe, just maybe, fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland, have more to teach us about life and living then we ever dreamed possible.

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