Papal Illumination, Utterance Before Prayer, and the Thrilling Juncture of Life
How we carry what has gone wrong for us is essential to being at home in ourselves, and present to the world with all of its failings.
Krista’s tweet (@kristatippett) spoke to so many people following her. And so did this bit of wit from the incomparable Oscar Wilde:
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
Can’t fathom dark matter or “modified gravity” but such ideas have a gravitational pull on me…
It’s a bit beyond my ken too. Help!
From the road, Krista writes:
At a hermitage, trying to write. Being in a Catholic place lends itself to such apt allusions: Limbo. Dark Night of the Soul. Purgatory.
Between bouts of not writing, preparing to interview poet Marie Howe here in the sacred wild tomorrow. Oh my what beauty.
Working with the College of Saint Benedict Literary Arts Institute, we’ve coordinated a face-to-face interview with former poet laureate of New York:
“I love stories. Stories have saved my life, and I also question stories even as I tell them… We all have stories to tell. It’s the complexity of the human heart that I think is poetry’s subject — the complexity of the human experience. I think the best poets writing today represent that complexity in the broadest, deepest sense.”
The conversation will take place in the college’s “old library,” a gorgeous brick building with boxed beams, wood floors, and open hearths tiled with the Latin words such as fides and scientia wrapping each side. And, yes, sometimes we even take our children to scout locations.
Which brings me to these lines of poesy from Ms. Howe:
This is how things happen, cup by cup, familiar gesture
after gesture, what else can we know of safety
or of fruitfulness?
From a Benedictine monastery in the Midwest to outside the Vatican in Rome, what an overwhelming response to this image on the occasion of the election of Pope Francis:
The pope is fully illuminated. The ubiquity of screens in eight short years. I’m not sure whether to be amazed or mortified.
What does this say about us? Folks on Facebook gave all sorts of good counsel. We could use a little more.
People expressed their gratitude for the lead quotation in the sketchnotes of our show with humorist Kevin Kling:
“Sometimes we need to rewrite our stories so that we can sleep at night.”
On our Facebook page, Jean Archambeau of Eden Prairie, Minnesota added this:
One of my other favorite Kevin nuggets from this interview (besides the one you listed at the top of this post): “When you dwell in the past, it’s regrets, when you dwell on the future, it’s anxiety. So many great pearls of wisdom shared. I think I will have to go see Kevin live very soon!
“A poet is the ‘Amen’ before the utterance of prayer.”
Check out the City Pages images of other participants, a remarkable set of photos that speaks to our core here at On Being.
A bit of insight from Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children paired with Marc van Woudenberg’s photo:
“I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss.”
If you could stand in someone else’s shoes… Hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?
At a big scary thrilling juncture of life. And Pema Chodron as contemplative reading is helping – especially “When Things Fall Apart.”
“The present moment is a pretty vulnerable place… and this can be completely unnerving and completely tender at the same time.”
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
“Fear can come out looking like anger, and when it does it yields chaos rather than clarity.”