Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Thoughts -

I am reminded today of the book “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers.  For me, the theme was how much we want someone to listen to what we have to say;  we need that confirmation of being heard.  Perhaps, that is why blogs are so popular today.  They are a way to fulfill that need. 

When I sit outside in nature, I feel either heard, or perhaps no need to be heard.  It is enough to be with the wind in my thoughts.    Today has been one of those days. 

Nevertheless, I now consider these words of  Fr. Alfred D’Souza.  You have probably heard the idea in other forms.  I think cancer is absorbing enough to put us in the moment.  That is the gift of it, that, plus the actual gifts, the showering in reception. 

  "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin -- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life!"

Fr. Alfred D’Souza



I am re- reading Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.”  He is speaking of sadness as “the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown, our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.”

He continues:  “I believe that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension that we find paralyzing because we no longer hear our surprised feelings living.  Because we are alone with the alien thing that has entered into our self; because everything intimate and accustomed is for an instant taken away; because we stand in the middle of a transition where we cannot remain standing.  For this reason the sadness too passes: the new thing in us, the added thing, has entered into our heart, has gone into its inmost chamber and is not even there any more, - is already in our blood.  And we do not learn what it was.  We could easily be made to believe that nothing has happened, and yet we have changed, as a house changes into which a guest has entered.  We cannot say who has come, perhaps we shall never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters into us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens.  And that is why it is so important to be lonely and attentive when one is sad: because the apparently uneventful and stark moment at which our future sets foot in us is so much closer to life than that other noisy and fortuitous point of time at which it happens to us as if from outside."

He continues to speak of staying with our feelings of sadness so as to make them ours.   In that way, we learn to absorb experience, all of it.  “We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can; everything, even the unheard-of,  must be possible in it.  That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. “  By developing that ability, re-developing it actually for Rilke feels that “all those things that are so closely akin to us,” (visions, the spirit-world, God) “have by daily parrying been so crowded out of that that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied.”

He then enthusiastically encourages us to be ready for anything, to exclude nothing, to live “the relation to another as something alive” and to then “draw exhaustively from” our own “existence.”  Any fears are our own, he says.   We should learn to love our terrors.  “And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginnings of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.  Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.”


What a wonderful way to see it.  "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."   Now, I wonder if I have written this here before.  I resonate so to these words.  If they are repeated, I think it is good.   May the dragons of your life be princesses, seeing you as beautiful and brave. 

  • Return -

    I haven't been here in awhile and I return today to learn there is a "new post editor". I start to try it and then go back to the old. I am…

  • It's Morning!

    I've been here at Live Journal since October, 2005. I started it to keep in touch with family and friends as I went through cancer treatment.…

  • The sun is shining!

    Where I live the sun is shining and the buds have popped out so the plum trees are waving white. We've had months of rain, record breaking rain and…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.