the abstract poetics of ancient grief


The best work is done with the heart breaking,

or overflowing.

…..Mignon McLaughlin

once broken open, it’s as if we never knew a thing before…..beginning again, we can only feel each breeze as if for the first time……everything hurts and everything heals….and the earth swallows us, to hold us in healing……

Uncovering the heart means uncovering the vital center of the self. This is a move toward the unknown, even though it is a part of our own selves that we are uncovering. The heart, symbolically, is the organ of feeling and intuition. Our self is placed in space and time, and sometimes our hearts remember, better than our analytical minds, the times and places of our deepest experiences. During times of personal breakdown the heart insists on revealing itself to us; we are forced to pay attention. These are the times of deep personal pain that most of us would instinctively like to escape, because we fear it may be possible to feel too much. Uncovering the heart reveals a history within us, one we may have hidden or forgotten. When the heart speaks, it may seem unreasonable. But if we listen to it without losing our heads, we may find hope in it that what lies ahead is a new and better way of living. In that lies the strength of living with an uncovered heart. But there is that fearsome vulnerability too. We take a chance when we open ourselves to others. The uncovered heart reveals both vulnerability and strength. Its strength lies perhaps precisely in that ability to open itself to itself, with an elegance and grace that invites the hearts of others to do so too……Frank Barron

broken & scattered & healed

Much has been said about the eternal and untouchable nature of love, its tidal ungovernable forces and its emergence from beyond the ordinary, but love may find its fullest, most imagined and most courageous form when it leaves the abstractions and safety of the timeless, the eternal and the untouchable to make its promises amidst the fears, vulnerabilities and disappearances of our difficult, touchable and time bound world. To love and to witness love in the face of possible loss and to find the mystery of love’s promise in the shadow of that loss, and in the shadow of our own inevitable disappearance may be where the eternal God of origins stands most in awe of the full consequences of our incarnation…..David Whyte

7 thoughts on “the abstract poetics of ancient grief

  1. Love this, blue. In the breaking open, we are able to take the healing into us (the world falls in) to relieve (to release) the burden of life (of sorrow). To know anew the essence of truth – the only truth – love. Let us break and mend; let us slip into the dance of beginning (over and over); across the very same fault lines. Let us never tire of loving. ~ May your day be filled with cracked-openness such that all you love spills in. ~ Bobbie

    • This is very healing for me……, raw, receiving…….feeling deep love and life through the pain of real living……eyes to the sky today……snow and the dim light of knowing……from my heart to yours Bobbie….

      • Yesterday, I sat for a long time with my father who was cold and shaking (he suffers with Parkinsons)……… While he sat, I got on my knees and poured myself around him, holding him so close that I could hear his heart. I would ask, ‘are you getting warmer’ and he would reply, ‘yes, but still my hands’………and I would hold them and breathe on them and kiss them…….all the while remembering a time when I was small. We would camp, and at night, my daddy would wash our feet around the campfire and carry us one by one to the tent so that we could sleep with clean feet. It is ours to carry – this sweet sorrow that is living. In the breaking, we remember how empty we might have been without the knowing. The truth comes to remind us that we never lose love. Always, it fills us beyond our plans (beyond our pain). ~ Bobbie

      • ‘beyond our plans, beyond our pain’…….this reverie holds me close to the heart where I have spent my life reaching for the sweetness….and how do we hold ourselves gently and with utter grace and move into our deepest love? indeed, I believe it is here….in the tender moments of breathing in the pain rather than pushing it away…….so many blessings and care to you and your dad (blessed with you)…..LoveLoveLove….

  2. Pingback: opened wide ~ | tornadoday

  3. I agree, “if we listen to (our open heart) without losing our heads, we may find hope in it that what lies ahead is a new and better way of living. In that lies the strength of living with an uncovered heart.” It is scary at first; then it gradually becomes the only way to live. ~ Dennis

    • I think you touch on the exact longing here….the call to listen deeply… love even when it is not easy……oh so scary yes, oh so essential, yes…..may you be blessed with gratitude Dennis…..

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