how we know meaning


I don’t know how this happens, but every authentic moment is a note: our first breath, our next breath, our first sense of wonder, our next taste of wind, the sudden experience of light, the rise and fall of love, even the puncture of loss and grief. Each is a note that keeps singing itself. Every day, we inhale the music of life, the way we inhale the sky and everyone else’s breath. And when we exhale, what comes through our heart is both mine and yours, everyone’s and no one’s.

It has always been so. To breathe is to sing. To behold is to sing. To love is to be sung. And to open our heart, especially after pain, is to be sung. In ancient Greece, they would place a harp in the ground on top of a hill and wait for the wind to play its strings. Each of us is such a harp, propped in the open. And life plays us. It’s playing us right now. There. Can you hear it? It’s such an old song, such a fine song, that its most enduring note rings as this soft silence between us. Listen. Can you feel it?

~Mark Nepo

for all the ones we have have lost and all the ones we will lose…..5 years today I said good-bye to my mom…..everyday, I light the candle……to remind me/us how to breathe into the beauty of aliveness….

inquiry for today~   may this long day of winter hold a little reflective care….

from the beginning

Solace is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, often in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments. Solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life and every endeavor; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it.

To be consoled is to be invited onto the terrible ground of beauty upon which our inevitable disappearance stands, to a voice that does not soothe falsely, but touches the epicenter of our pain or articulates the essence of our loss, and then emancipates us into the privilege of both life and death as an equal birthright.

To look for solace is to learn to ask fiercer and more exquisitely pointed questions, questions that reshape our identities and our bodies and our relation to others. Standing in loss but not overwhelmed by it, we become useful and generous and compassionate and even more amusing companions for others. But solace also asks us very direct and forceful questions. Firstly, how will you bear the inevitable loss that will accompany you? And how will you endure it through the years? And above all, how will you shape a life equal to and as beautiful and as astonishing as a world that can birth you, bring you into the light and then just as you were beginning to understand it, take you away?

~David Whyte

2 thoughts on “how we know meaning

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