Don’t surrender your loneliness
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human
Or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft
My need of God
by Daniel Ladinsky, a rendition of Hafiz
A poem that has been travelling with me since I first laid eyes on it in ‘Radical Acceptance‘, during the cold winter of 2010 when the snow fell thickly in Glasgow, and stayed. It feels very relevant again in this strange time of staying at home. What can I learn from staying with the waves of yearning, the impulse to just get out, the missing of friends – in real life, nearby, and huggable… And I’m so aware of the blessing of having my husband here to curl up next to at night, and my gorgeous son who can’t seem to get enough of cuddling, ever. And I get to connect with my community and dear colleagues through the magic of zoom… where others are alone in their house, or their work has stopped, or they are experiencing countless other challenges I read and hear about.
But I do wonder about this encouragement to work with our edge, to lean into what’s difficult, and to let it do its work. David Whyte speaks of another form of the ‘fermenting and seasoning’ in his long poem ‘Faces at Braga‘, where he speaks of the faces in carved statues in an old Nepali monastery. “… If only our own faces / would allow the invisible carver’s hand / to bring the deep grain of love to the surface.”
So here goes, with soft eyes and tender voice, and the immediate awareness I need something larger than just me to entrust myself to.
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Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash