Last evening was the final gathering of “Storying and Re-Storying” at Wisdom Ways. That carries a bit of regret but also feels right, a feeling of being satiated after a three course meal of rich fare and stimulating conversation. Reminds me of deep bonds of companionship my friend Susan Stabile has recounted with fellow pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. Reminds me of moments of intensity and insight, graced intrusions into our lives, we may recall but can never recreate. Over the course of three gatherings we ruminated, wrote, read, shared, retold and remembered. Along the way, our eyes were opened and we recognized the sacred in breaking open the stories of our lives.
Our focus last evening was Legacies of Resiliency and Hope. Unlike the two previous evenings, I did not leave with a poem to be tweaked or a grand synthesis ready to share. Only fragments remain to be gathered, re-membered. Among these fragments left for gathering-up and re-storying:
Grief and hope are not exclusive of one another or coldly sequential; we hold both/and if we hold the second at all.
That fragile, nearly imperceptible shift in our voice moving from lament to yearning – deep, insistent, yearning – is the harbinger of hope’s return.
Disruptive events become engrained in the stories of our lives. Each needs to be “re-storied”. Discordant memories can be re-membered, need to be re-membered if they are to bring efficacy and worth to our lives.
“The direction in which you look will determine what you see.” – Ted Bowman
When feeling awash in life’s relentless flurry, trust that “flow” which has the capacity to hold you and take you where you may not yet know.
Hope presumes and requires others – it is social as well as personal. Hope is not a possession or a product but takes practice and is a process. Real hope presumes, may even prefer, that the future remain open if not ambiguous. Real hope is practical, prudent and active; favoring goal-setting, decision-making and willingness to change.
The vacant room, the empty chair, that hole in our heart may never be filled, need never be filled. It is what it is, perhaps sacred, a lingering testimony to love.
And from Thoreau: “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”