Archive | Spirit Matters

Say Goodnight, Gracie

Normally I don’t care much about New Years Eve–to me the new year is an individual phenomenon that begins for each person on their birthday–but 2014 was such a trying year on so many levels that I welcome any opportunity, however symbolic, to put the hardship behind us. Here’s to a year of expansion, kindness, clarity, communion, amazing adventures, and, yes, governmental and personal accountability. Not the sexiest resolution but, oh, so necessary. It’s time for us all to grow up. The good news is we’re ready.

No Condition for Love

From a 1984 interview with author Edna O’Brien:

Interviewer: Some think your preoccupation with romance verges at times on the sentimental. You quote Aragon in answer: “Love is your last chance, there is really nothing else to keep you there.

O’Brien: But my work is concerned with loss as much as with love. Loss is every child’s theme and writers, however mature and wise and eminent, are children at heart. I might, if the gods are good to me, find that my understanding of love has become richer and stronger than my dread of loss.

Interviewer: Is that why, in nearly all your novels, women are longing to establish a simple, loving, harmonious relationship with men, but are unable to do so?

O’Brien: My experience was pretty extreme, so that it is hard for me to imagine harmony, or even affinity, between men and women. I would need to be reborn.

The Church of Forgiveness

It is the end of the year, and I have been musing on forgiveness. In general, I find it a totally bullshit concept–one that people widely tout but rarely practice. And that’s too bad. As I said to a friend today, when a person claims forgiveness that they do not really feel (as is so often the case), their declaration shuts a door with a finality that open resentment never could. I frankly do not see the point of extending forgiveness to a person who is not requesting it, anyway; such a pardon is a condescension, even a self-abnegation. True forgiveness is a contract between two beings who are spiritually progressing by mutually transcending their comfort zones: by courageously addressing their culpability; by honoring active vulnerability with grace. That said, in the absence of such hard-won peace, I see the point in releasing anger and acknowledging the beauty that lives in even the most harmful individuals. Such a fearless act, especially when unaccompanied by codependence, is one of the finest ways we can love people, including ourselves, at their most unlovable.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy