Through a glass darkly, the shadow cast by lightning, a penumbra of reflection, the sacred words and stories we tell that communicate and connect us with each other and isolate us from pure being and holy silence. “May the world be brighter for me, at least in those portions of it, where my darkness falls not.” Speak only in flame.
There are voices on the wind outside,
Calling to you in languages of origin,
Swept through antipodeal forests,
In sworls of atonal cries
It is not the muffled
from another room,
It is a distant relative twice removed
on a failing faint telephone line.
Or a woman that looks like your aunt,
Approaching you on the street for directions,
And you have to confess–
You’ve never learnt the mother tongue.
“An honourable human relationship—that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love”—is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
It is important to do this because in so doing we do justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.” – Adrienne Rich
“I was content in my life and found purpose in academic and clinical work. I wrote and taught, saw patients, and kept my struggles with manic-depressive illness to myself. I worked hard, driven to understand the illness from which I suffered. I settled in, I settled down, I settled. In a slow and fitful way, predictability insinuated itself into my life, and with it came a certain peace I was not aware had been missing. Grateful for this, and because I had no reason to know otherwise, I assumed that peace was provisional upon an absence of passion or anything that could forcibly disturb my senses. I avoided love. This lasted for a while, although not perhaps as long as it seemed. Then I met a man who upended my cautious stance toward life. He did not believe, as I had for so long, that to control my mind I must first control my heart. He loved the woman he imagined I must have been before bowing to fear. He prodded my resistance with grace and undermined my wariness with laughter. He could say the unthinkable because he instinctively knew that his dry wit and gentle ways would win me over. They did. He was deft with my shifting moods and did not abuse our passion. He liked my fearlessness, and he brought it back as a gift to me. Far from finding the intensity of my nature disturbing, he gravitated toward it. He induced me to risk much by assuming a portion of the risk himself, and he persuaded me to write from my heart. He loved in me what I had forgotten was there.” – kay redfield jamison
Can one go rabid with repression?
To die alone, foaming at the mouth—
Electric in the brain,
Suppressing every wicked impulse,
Until they take up arms
and drag you writhing in agony—
When you would have given
The whole of your holy life,
For an unquiet night of passion.
The restless road
Sighs and turns over
In her sleep–
My only bed partner.
The rain taps an inquiry
Or invitation at the glass,
As I sigh back in the
Language of streets.
I can’t love and
I have no one else to tell
Save this sad shell
of our remains
where once my heart sang
And still the echo rang.
“Faith in the king comes easily in lovely times,
but be faithful now and endure, pale lover.
No cure exists for this pain but to die,
So why should I say, “Cure this pain”?
In a dream last night I saw
an ancient one in the garden of love,
beckoning with his hand, saying, “Come here.”
On this path, Love is the emerald,
the beautiful green that wards off dragons,
I am losing myself.
If you are a man of learning,
read something classic,
a history of the human struggle
and don’t settle for mediocre verse.”