The leaves are falling, falling as from far off,
as though far gardens withered in the skies;
they are falling with denying gestures.
And in the nights the heavy earth is falling
from all the stars down into loneliness.
We are all falling. This hand falls.
And look at others; it is in them all.
And yet there is One who holds this falling
endlessly gently in his hands.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Autumn
Windowsills evenly welcome both heat and cold.
Radiators speak or fall silent as they must.
Doors are not equivocal, floorboards do not hesitate or startle.
Impatience does not stir the curtains,
a bed is neither irritable nor rapacious.
Whatever disquiet we sense in a room
we have brought there.
And so I instruct my ribs each morning,
pointing to hinge and plaster and wood —
You are matter, as they are.
See how perfectly it can be done.
Hold, one day more, what is asked.
Jane Hirshfield, A Room
An angel … embraced me
and whispered through my whole body:
“Don’t be ashamed of being human, be proud!
Inside you vault opens behind vault endlessly.
You will never be complete, that’s how it’s meant to be.”
Tomas Tranströmer, Romanesque Arches
The start of the Advent season…
A person is not a thing or a process,
but an opening through which the absolute manifests.
In the Western Christian tradition, today is the last day of the year.
It’s a gift, this cloudless November morning
warm enough for you to walk without a jacket
along your favorite path. The rhythmic shushing
of your feet through fallen leaves should be
enough to quiet the mind, so it surprises you
when you catch yourself telling off your boss
for a decade of accumulated injustices,
all the things you’ve never said circling inside you.
It’s the rising wind that pulls you out of it,
and you look up to see a cloud of leaves
swirling in sunlight, flickering against the blue
and rising above the treetops, as if the whole day
were sighing, Let it go, let it go,
for this moment at least, let it all go.
Jeffrey Harrison, Enough
We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to re-create zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That’s the essence of samsara – the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.
Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Ways Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion