Sunday, November 18, 2018

We were born saying goodbye (David Whyte)

To hold together and to split apart
at one and the same time,
like the shock of being born,
breathing in this world
while lamenting for the one we’ve left.

No one needs to tell us
we are already on our onward way,
no one has to remind us
of our everyday and intimate
with disappearance.

We were born saying goodbye
to what we love,
we were born
in a beautiful reluctance
to be here,
not quite ready
to breathe in this new world.

We are here and we are not,
we are present while still not
wanting to admit we have arrived.

Not quite arrived in our minds
yet always arriving in the body,
always growing older
while trying to grow younger,
always in the act
of catching up,
of saying hello
or saying goodbye

finding strangely,
in each new and imagined future
the still-lived memory
of our previous,
precious life.

--David Whyte, 
Cleave in 
The Bell and the Blackbird (2018)

In November we remember all souls...

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Death is a strange thing (Fredrik Backman)

  Death is a strange thing.  People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the greatest motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury.  Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis.  Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival.  We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves.

--Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

Image source: A still from the film A Man Called Ove, based on the novel by Fredrik Backman,

Friday, November 16, 2018

When things are difficult (Pema Chödrön)

  At that very moment, when things are difficult – at that very moment of panic or fear, that moment of loneliness or anger – that is actually the key moment for a person who is wishing to open their heart and their mind, because these are the moments where life can soften us.  The difficulties of our life can soften us, make us kinder to each other and make us more compassionate.

--Pema Chödrön, Pain and Compassion (1997)