Thursday, November 24, 2011

Up against a wall (Rilke's Gold Mine)

The meeting had drained me. After cross-currents of discordant conversation, I stepped outside and welcomed the chilly wind nipping at my cheeks as I approached my car. I turned on the CD player and drove away in a haze of static. Heading into the mountain pass that leads to my home, heavy swollen clouds loomed overhead

I wasn’t hearing the CD so I turned it off. I’m trying to FACE troubling energies rather than avoid them. Static warns me when inner turbulence is present. Resistance merely masks what festers and makes me unavailable. Tight sadness burned like a knot inside my chest. Everything in me wanted to get away from this feeling.

Constricted--as if blocked by dark, musty rubble--I felt stuck. Swirls of vague sensation made it stuffy. Hard to breathe--and yet, a sense of potential lurked. Who knows how close we might be, at any point, to striking gold! Rilke captures it well: 

Pushing Through

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock    
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

Rainer Maria Rilke
(Translated by Robert Bly)  

Why do I struggle to keep others from seeing how deeply hurt I feel? What am I afraid of? Is 'exposure' really dangerous? What might happen if I actually 'gave another the advantage' of glimpsing how I truly feel? How much energy does it take to hide or pretend? How true are all of my ideas about what's 'good' or 'bad'? Sometimes it seems like I've gotten everything backwards.

Trees part around a steep curve revealing misty swirls settling over a sea-bound canyon, filling the basin with cloud-creme. Wind enlivens everything. Opening my window I take a whiff of cool moist fragrance. Drawing powerful nourishment from the companionship of foliage, wildlife, sky and the changing elements, my shoulders finally soften. A sigh escapes as I marvel at Life's inscrutable honesty, and inherent order. It pierces the armor I have unknowingly accepted, frees me from the prison of safety and self-consciousness. 

Human animals are merely another aspect of nature. What we witness in each other, is simply a mirror image. Obviously this common plight includes a propensity to distort reality. When tension, fear and irritability surfaces, it is usually because we're unwilling to acknowledge our own pain.

Any pain we inflict upon each other
is merely our own heartbreak
not fully acknowledged 
to ourselves

Being exactly AS and HOW we are at any given moment without approval or rejection, justification or defense, is not dangerous, but rather truly sane and honest. The only source of real safety is admitting what we try so relentlessly to deny: our innocence; our sincerity; our vulnerability; and our ignorance. This opens a doorway to what matters most for all beings. If we take this leap at the very instant when we stand face to face with uncertainty, we begin to discover an amazing secret. Try it out! 

Trust is the doorway that will take us there.

On the other side of the mountain pass a valley opened into the late afternoon sunshine, boring holes through the cloud-fabric. Rays steamed forth. It made sense now: what a relief to discover how the tapestry is always a result of every thread within the woven warp and woof, which holds the form in place. Hidden images glimmer here; glint there. Each one demands my undivided attention: Everything yearns to have its moment in the Light!

My dialogue is only just beginning.


  1. "Trust is the doorway that will take us there."

    This just seems to sum up a whole lot, for me. It would be my "bumper sticker saying" of choice, perhaps, lol. That's not to say that it isn't profound, because it is. Just that it's worth advertising. ;)

  2. Thanks Dee, I love the bumper sticker idea! There are definitely some profound bumper stickers out there!


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