Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Finding or even Making the Glint

        While the “path of attraction” might sound, well, attractive, deep commitment gets more difficult when the sweets don’t show up in the daily in-box. The day-to-day dealing has more to do with tending the garden and making the fertile soil instead of expecting raindrops and roses. The moisture for the sweet-smelling, the eye-appealing, the tasty attractions comes from tears as well as from the beneficent source of blessings. Or perhaps, more likely, the tears are gifts that bring growth, that make the heart sensitive to glints otherwise invisible in life’s pathway.

        Surely one of these developments in tending the garden has to do with the nature of longing. Blessed are those that thirst, not those who are drunk, not those whose treasuries are stuffed. I recently enjoyed reading an interview that Krista Tippett did with Sylvia Boorstein especially in the featured line: “Where is it written that you’re supposed to be happy all the time?” Boorstein credits her grandmother for instilling this “Talmudic turn of phrase” as a turning point from her childhood petulance guiding her toward “the beginning of my spiritual practice that life is difficult.” 

        To live consistently on a path of attraction needs reassurance that longing, in its nuanced nature, is a good sign, often not an easy one, but still true. I find bittersweet comfort in David Wilcox’s song “The Break in the Cup” (from the album Big Horizon). Paradoxically, as Wilcox tells, it’s the break that “holds love” and more understandably that leads “to the waterfall,” to the source.

        Good stories, such as the "Visit," deserve to be told over and over because living in the paradox of “are you here because you want to be or because you have to be?” is continually resolving in the renewal of garden of a heart that longs for the source.

        When we tell a good story, when we touch upon the inarticulate edge, an incompleteness, nostalgic, seeps in. Most narratives skirt this feeling or dash past it with superfluous action, violence, sensationalism, laughter, and so on. But the well-tended garden builds soil that sustains thirst, perhaps even welcomes it because it’s the remembrance of the source. The heart that longs moves toward love, the depths of it.