Researcher James Pennebaker writes, “Emotional unheavals touch every part of our lives. You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are – our financial situation, our relationships with others, our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.” When I lost my … Continue reading Writing The Ending
Someone shared this poem, by Patricia Monaghan, in a group I facilitate, and I keep reading it over and over again.
The Old Song of the Tribes
The sky draws its curtain
across the season. Any day
now it will snow, curtaining
the footprints in the soft earth
we made today, but any day in this life
or another, if I meet you, the earth’s
pull will be upon us, the mark of the forest
will be on us, indelible handprints, birthmarks.
We will know each other in city or forest,
despite continents and oceans, we will know
each other as much, as little as
we know ourselves, as much as we know
what the mind is, what the body
can be. Amidst
all the changing, our souls will remain
true to each other. The rest can be mist.
I’ve been sick for three months. Sounds terrible, right? It’s not been awesome, that’s for certain, though it’s not like I’ve been bed-ridden or in the hospital for weeks or anything. I got a cough in September, just after my second book was published and launched, which developed into bronchitis, which in turn didn’t respond to antibiotics (since it usually doesn’t….being almost always viral..), and vaporizing eculyptus, drinking gallons of tea, trying to rest, and all the usual home “self-care” remedies just didn’t have much impact. My family got tired of the incessant coughing, and for good reason – it’s hard to relax when your loved one is up half the night, especially when you live in a small house. After too many days of cough syrup in an attempt to get the rest I needed to heal, I landed in the emergency room on Thanksgiving day – I woke up disoriented and with a pretty solid case of vertigo and nausea. Turns out I was dehydrated, and after an IV of fluids, another clear chest Xray and a negative strep test, they sent me on my way, feeling less dizzy, but still coughing. Continue reading “Health, Healing and Patience”
I first heard this story on the public radio show “Speaking of Faith” that is now called “On Being,” hosted by Krista Tippett. On the show, she interviews all sorts of interesting people, all of them deep thinkers and mystics and wonderers in their own ways. A few days ago, I read it again in Tippett’s most recent book, Becoming Wise. It’s an important story, I think. I’m glad I was reminded of it these years later. It’s the story of the Birthday of the World.
This version below is as told by Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, a medical doctor who has a unique and much needed perspective on spirituality, healing, and living (and dying) well. Her grandfather gave the story to her for her 4th birthday. It makes me wonder how the world would be different if every child were given this story, or one like it, (and reminded of it often) on their fourth birthdays.
In the beginning there was only the Holy Darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. Then in the course of history at a moment in time this world, the world of 1000 thousand things, emerged from the heart of the Holy Darkness as a great ray of light.
And then (perhaps because this is a Jewish story) there was an accident. The vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into 1000 thousand fragments of light. And they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.
According to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, and to lift it up and make it visible once again, and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world.
This is a very important story for the world today. This task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew, which means the restoration of the whole world. This is a collective task. It involves all people who have ever been born, all people presently alive and all people yet to be born. We are all healers of the world.