We must assume our existence as broadly
as we in any way can; everything,
even the unheard of, must be possible in it.
This is at bottom the only courage
that is demanded of us:
to have courage for the most strange,
the most inexplicable.
no self-awareness, no self-illusion, no self-denial…..all the same in the divine invitation to create space for the simplest and hardest details of a courageous life….this questing beast in our hearts offers refuge….all that is required is a willingness to receive…..
Life itself will purify our hope step by step if we live with a passion for the possible. As we go forward, the apparent limits of the possible will be pushed back further and further into the region of the seemingly impossible. Sooner or later we realize that the possible has no fixed limits. There is a healthy restlessness in the quest which hope inspires. Both expectation and desire contain an element of not-yet. We see not-yet what we expect. We hold not-yet what we desire. We are still on the way toward it. The tension of hope, poised between the already and the not-yet, is basic for an understanding of the pilgrim’s way. It is basic for that quest for meaning that is the pilgrimage of every human heart. Whenever we find something meaningful, its meaning is given already and not-yet. It is there, but there is always more to it. Meaning is always fresh. We find it suddenly like the discovery of a unique shaft of afternoon light slanting out of low clouds and onto this same clearing in the woods. In its light we can discover ever new marvels as long as we keep looking……David Steindl-Rast
My favorite description of being at an edge comes from Pema Chodron. She wrote that when we are at the appropriate edge of experience, it should ‘feel like a genuine act of kindness to ourselves.’ When the right edge is discovered- comfortable or otherwise- ‘compassion begins to spread by itself.’ We can choose to work compassionately with our edges, especially when they are a little shaky, chaotic or tender. In doing so, we are choosing the path toward transformation, Robert Frost’s less traveled road. When I work with my edges in this way, I realize I am practicing the art of self-love. Michael Lee writes, ‘Once an awareness comes through the body it has already started to happen in life. It is not just a thought. It is an experience of a different way of being and so the learning is almost automatic. Without an edge there is no growth, no learning, and no change.’……..Elissa Cobb