gratitude, grief, jan richardson, light, liturgical, rumi, suffering


In preparation for Transfiguration Sunday I’ve been reading two of Jan Richardson’s poems this week. I appreciate how multiple readings leads me to see new things each time. In her poem “Dazzling” I saw this today:

The unforgettable light you have carried all this way

Initially I thought: I’m sure I’ve got that. There is light within me that I’ve carried from the day I was born. There is light that I found at various points in my life. There is light that gets brighter with each passing day. But, it isn’t the light I’m focused on carrying right now. The light will always be there. However, I feel the weight of some other guests that I’ve been carrying recently.

This brought to mind Rumi’s poem, “The Guest House”:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark though, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Today I’m thinking of all the other things I’ve carried all this way too. Pain, heartache, grief, disappointment, anger, sadness – I’m carrying all of it. No wonder I’m tired and low on energy. That’s a lot to carry. Someday I’ll be able to let them go. Someday. Just not today. I’m going to be weighed down for a while and that’s okay. Some things need to be carried to their new destination. I don’t know where I’ll leave them. But I’ll know when I get there. Until then, I carry them. Without guilt or resentment. I carry them because they are a part of me. They are my friends. I welcomed them and they benefit me for now.

I welcome my guests. I know they are here for a purpose.

I wonder what space Grief is making in my life?
I wonder what Anger is pushing out of the way?
I wonder what Pain is preparing for me?
I wonder what Disappointment is creating?
I wonder what Heartache is opening up?
I wonder what Sadness is softening me for?

Welcome, guests. I am grateful for you. You are welcome here.


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