Fully Living The Whole Experience of Life
In order to be fully alive, I must have contact with the grief and loss that I have experienced recently otherwise I will only skim the surface with no commitment to the depth of experience that binds me to others and brings me to a compassionate understanding of what it is to be engaged and truly alive. It is so easy to allow myself to be numb to pain and push it away, but when I am numb, I lose the capacity for joy and connection with the world. I live a shallow existence cut off from deep experience and oblivious to the suffering of others.
FOR WHAT BINDS US
by Jane Hirshfield
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down —
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest —
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.
From Of Gravity & Angels