Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.
-Rainer Maria Rilke, from In Praise of Mortality
My dreams lately have been inviting me to enter into dark and uncomfortable places. We have such a fear of darkness in our culture — a denial of death and a resistance to the work of grief , as well as resisting the gifts darkness offers to us. I am slowly realizing that this is in part what my time at this cottage by the sea is about — moving into the literal growing darkness of the season, the darkness of some of my memories, and the shadow aspects of our culture — listening for wisdom and what they tell me about God and about myself.
I used to listen to Jane Siberry’s album frequently and was reminded the other day of the song quoted above, which along with “Calling All Angels” are my two favorites on that album. Her words carried new meaning for me as I listened to it again after many years, on my ferry trip across the Puget Sound to the place of my hermitage. I recognize I am called to bring back gifts from what I learn in this sacred place. The poem from Rilke has appeared in different places three times in the last week, calling to me repeatedly to live into the weight of mountains and seas which surround me here.
What is the wisdom that is calling to you?
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts