Sunday, December 7, 2008

cup your hands around the flame.

It’s late. I’m not sure why I’m up when the rest of the world is asleep. But I woke up and felt the need to just be with my thoughts in silent contemplation. It’s just me and a candle, bundled in blankets in my very cold apartment. The candle doesn’t give much light, but I find comfort in its glow. I find myself feeling fragile these days, both fragile and strong if that makes any sense. I haven’t always been a feeler of feelings, sounds silly but it’s true. I would skip over anger, hurt, sorrow, wanting not to dwell in the valley and in the darkness. I would rarely even acknowledge I was there, even for a moment. Lately, I find that I am allowing myself to feel, to actually be with those emotions. It’s as if those emotions sink deeper than ever before and sting more than ever before. But I am finding comfort in a quote. Rilke said that “the person who suffers needs to stay with it, must not be a waster of sorrows”. He noted elsewhere that “the more still, more patient and more open we are when we are sad, so much the deeper and so much the more unswervingly does the new go into us, so much the better do we make it ours, so much more will it be our destiny.” I see this feeling deeper, and letting the new be rooted so much the deeper as my own version of holy gardening. I’m praying for roots.

I’m thinking about that stereotype that sensitive people are weak. That has got to be the farthest thing from truth. It takes so much strength to really feel. It takes strength to endure, to persevere. In that sense, I am feeling strong, finding hope in the darkness, cupping my hands around the flame and letting the darkness become light.

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