In just a short while, the full moon will move into the shadow of the earth, and we’ll get to watch the lunar eclipse. I am at Rowe Camp with others who are doing the Work That Reconnects, but part of me is back home with Margy, pondering over the house she went to look at today, still on the journey of our search for greener housing. There were so many cosmic alignments for this house–the moon, the eclipse, the name of the street being Four Winds, and to top it off, I just met someone here at Rowe who lives literally down the street from this house. It is in a neighborhood near the cemetery that we would love to live in. But Margy’s instinct with the house was that while there were many great features we are looking for, the yard is too tiny, and there is no real outdoor privacy.
We are going to try to arrange for me to see it when I return on Tuesday, so she doesn’t have to carry the burden of decision alone. But tonight we are each feeling sad and empty. For me, it raises the question–do we hold true to all the elements of the home we are looking for? Or do we bend and release certain aspects of that dream for new dreams in a new place? Or perhaps more to the point, which parts of the dream are negotiable, and which are utterly necessary?
I remember years ago, when I was looking for a home to rent in Jamaica Plain, there were so many near misses, and almost magical leads that nevertheless ended in no results for four months. Is that what is happening again? The universe conspiring to send us places to look at, knowing we’ll have to break our hearts open again and again, until finally we can find our way.
Being in this workshop space, I am in a good place to hold a broken heart with equanimity. The Work that Reconnects invites us to welcome all of the feelings that pour through our hearts. Joanna Macy read this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke during a beautiful weekend workshop linking the poems of Rilke to the Work That Reconnects. It speaks to me tonight in these meetings of darkness and light on our journey. Tonight I feel full of gratitude to the moon.
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Book of Hours, I 59 [Translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows]