Wednesday, June 4, 2014

URGINGS

Eleanor,
Happy June, 2014!
Here's a long quote from what I am reading right now. I thought it so important that I wanted to share it with you. Your daddy knows something about this kind of pull in his own life. When you get older, ask him to tell you his story and how it relates to what this lady is saying.

I love you,
Papa

I had found living so dear that I wanted to do it full time. How is one to act as if? Start with what you know. What are your deepest instincts? What have you long denied? Over and over, through the years, I had denied the deep peace that came to me in a barn full of animals. I think that, to the extent we’re well socialized, we habitually ignore impulses in our lives that don’t fit the cultural script. Yet people frequently tell me about longings that arise as though from nowhere— the stock analyst who wants to write film scripts, the lawyer with a dream of building houses for the poor. When my friends tell me these things, I feel that I’ve been put in the presence of a tender mystery, yet they often reveal their hearts with a sad, dismissive laugh: “Oh, I know it’s just a crazy fantasy.” We fear these impulses because they have the potential to disrupt our social house of cards, our livelihood, our families. A fellow teacher who longed to sing opera made fun of herself this way: “It’s as crazy as Zelda Fitzgerald wanting to dance ballet.” Cultural wisdom says, “Don’t quit your day job.” Yet I think these desires represent our psyche’s stretch toward wholeness. And to be whole, as many religious traditions teach, is to make manifest a unique face of God in the world. We don’t want to be irresponsible, yet for every accountant who deserts his family and sails for Tahiti, ten American men have heart attacks at their desks, after hours. And so I usually say to people who bring their longings to me, “Is there a way you can incorporate this need into your daily life, on a kind of trial basis, to see where it leads you? Take singing lessons, learn Italian?”
O'Reilley, Mary Rose (2014-02-28). The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd (The World As Home) (pp. 16-17). Milkweed Editions. Kindle Edition. 

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