Tree. Roaring.

Says this stalwart tree to the roaring water: “You give me life by the moment, but you can only move me over decades. Do not respect me because I am immovable. Sometimes I envy your constant motion, being never the same from one moment to the next. Muddy and fearsome in your fierceness; clear and soothing in your calm. I cannot live without you. All I have to offer you is my thanks and love.”

Neil D. 2020-07-23

how to exit a body

Melody Chen

there are good days and there are bad days
then there are days when they hold a broken mirror
to your face and say
this is a self-portrait
press seven shards of bad luck into your palms
like petals between pages
under the weight of a thousand words in every voice
except your own, but
you read them all anyway
let them take up space
your head, so heavy
and the bones in your legs aching like steel rods
this is how a lost train must resent its cargo
this is why people must hide from store windows, and
calm lakes and silver spoons
you pour and you miss and you’re still left half full
you want to speak and not hear your voice
you want to crawl out of this skin
burn the bad bits, then return
but you’re scared of being left with nothing

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“How do you feel?” “I don’t know…”


“How do you feel?”
“I don’t know…”

I don’t think it’s unusual not know what we’re feeling. Nor even to be unable to feel.
What are you feeling now?
Are you feeling a mixture of feelings?
Are you feeling one shallowly?
Are you feeling one deeply?

If you aren’t sure, there are some almost universal triggers to make or help you feel.

I’m not at all a fan of the musical genres jazz, classical, or country. I can enjoy occasional hits from each, but rarely more than one or two at a time. Upon hearing of my disdain for classical, my sister challenged me.

I believe this 3.5 minute piece is one of the almost universal triggers that cannot be heard without a maelstrom of accompanying feelings (listen with space to move your arms through their full ranges, and fasten your headphones or earbuds securely, for your head will dance upon your neck, and, almost certainly, you’ll need to stand, and quite possibly dance):

If you are a classical music aficionado, don’t try to convert me, but please do share with me pieces like this one, which do not require an appreciation for the art form, and do not for the uninterested include wasteful bridges, interludes, and introductions. I wish to hear more brief pieces like this, in which every note has intrinsic value, even to the infidel.

Neil D. 2020-07-19


Dark Night of the Soul (8) – Richard Rohr


[The following words are excerpted from the writing of Richard Rohr, who occasionally writes about the Shadow, the soul, and sometimes explicitly on the Dark Night of the Soul, like below, where he refers to the Yes introduced by Starr.]

[see more in the resource index]


The mystery of transformation more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart invites the soul to listen at a deeper level, and forces the soul to go to a new place. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way.

The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: dark night, emptiness, trial… Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God.

We will normally do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart, …tightening our controls and certitudes.

Spiritual transformation always includes a disconcerting reorientation. It can either help people to find new meaning or it can force people to close down and slowly turn bitter.

Transformation is always a process of letting go, living in the confusing, shadowy space for a while.

In moments of insecurity and crisis, shoulds and oughts don’t really help. They just increase the shame, guilt, pressure, and likelihood of backsliding into unhealthy patterns. It’s the deep yeses that carry us through to the other side. It’s that deeper something we are strongly for—such as… dignity…—that allows us to wait it out. It’s someone in whom we absolutely believe and to whom we commit. In plain language, love wins out over guilt any day.


From https://cac.org/change-is-inevitable-2020-07-05/

For Rohr explicitly on the Dark Night of the Soul, see https://cac.org/dark-night-of-the-soul-2017-09-07/
.
Neil D. 2020-07-18