15 May 2016
“These are the things that the soul absolutely requires to feel alive, to feel engaged in our life: necessary touch, laughter, condolences and kindnesses in times of sorrow, shared meals, starlit nights that we sit together and tell stories, rituals that mend and tend the whole of our relationships to each other and to the green world around us, and to the sacred world. Those are the things that we absolutely require, otherwise we are scrambling and trying to fill the hole with whatever we can…”
“Yesterday, I dove into the Francis Weller video on your blog (30 November 2015). Each chapter evoked and gave breath to questions and internal sensations of comprehension and acquiescence. Such as when he speaks of primary satisfactions that nourish us, that we’ve forgotten. All simple things, so precious, that connect us profoundly to others, to nature, to the essential things of life…all this opens a new space, more concrete, simple and sane. And yes, I sense joy, a joy more intuitive and universal and related to nature. My words don’t materialize yet, not yet giving witness to my exploration, but I’m questioning in living research and this is only the debut.”
Thank you for taking the original gesture, staying with it and growing something real and vital from it – illuminating it along the course of the conversation, as it were.
I think we often forget that, yes, of course we all have many things to do, but when we really pause and look closely, these “things that we absolutely require” are the brightly colored threads that hold everything together. And in many cases, all the things we’re doing are like trying to find our way into a moment where and when we can engage or offer someone a primary satisfaction. People often turn away in intimidation or cynicism from big words like soul or sacred, but whatever you’re really hoping to do or long for, it is going to be somewhere in that field of play, however you want to word it or whatever it may look like on the outside.
I’m particularly fond of your “opens a new space, more concrete, simple and sane,” and wholeheartedly agree. I like the idea that what we’re looking for is the sustainable sensation or experience of enchantment to carry us through all the rest. Something that ignites and keeps alive our core intuitive inspiration that we can then fold into whatever it is we need to do. I don’t see that as some kind of spiritual pursuit; just the most fundamental human yearning and personal skill.
A few quotes that I hope help to light your way in your living research…
“…At three o’clock we left her to accompany Neruda to his sacred siesta, which he took in our house after solemn preparations that in some way recalled the Japanese tea ceremony. Some windows had to be opened and others closed to achieve the perfect degree of warmth, and there had to be a certain kind of light from a certain direction, and absolute silence…”
“’I don’t have time for enchantment and I don’t even know what that means,’ she said. ‘There’s a million things and people waiting for me, like porcelain cups stacked upontop of eachother that will allfallover if I don’t hold them firmly and decisively in place.’ He paused and glanced at her, ‘Well, with all those cups to balance, sounds like you could use some enchantment to help in that. As if to punctuate his point, he bit into the pomegranate and spit a seed out across the table, which landed into her mouth just as she was about to continue speaking.”
“Beauty, Inspiration, Magic, Spellbound, Enchantment, as well as the concepts of Serenity, Intimacy and Amazement. They have never ceased to be my guiding lights.”
“I completely agree with this. When I think of the moments I value the most, those that will stay with me to the end of my life, they are the moments when these primary satisfactions were given or received. Moments of fluid mystery in real life between human beings, moments that I never want to end, and in reality, never do end. Moments suspended in grace where everything is so real with this taste of paradise, the infinite.
Enchantment… It’s like I’m reading this and seeing it for the first time. It’s a powerful word in the images it produces and the energy it carries. And yes, that makes complete sense, this durable sensation or experience of enchantment that we’re searching for. The ideas of marvel, magic, mysterious effect in their purest and most concrete sense, in their simplest definitions.
I really like these extracts you’ve included from the three authors that guide and integrate through these different images.”
Thank you. Just a brief thought to add to your considerations…
It’s the strangest thing…everyone longs for some kind of sign, experience, piercing clarity that reveals the existence of something grander running through the repetitive patterns of mediocrity that so often govern our lives. Something that changes and gives clarifying significance to everything, gives us palpable meaning and direction, not just in our head but in the core of our being. Yet, we pull back from the ways we perceive these: intuition, conscience and sense of the divine. As if any hint of mysticism is a direct threat to our common ambitions and safe-and-securely understood rules of engagement. Maybe it’s a help to retreat from the intimidating words, look for the actuality in a simpler way, like a child does in a discerning hunch, a caring consideration, a sensuous feel for the sublime. It’s not as if the doors to these enchantments aren’t constantly opening throughout each and every day of our lives.