Halfway down

“Halfway down: the sight of a doe
through the trees in the meadow.
I stopped to stare at her staring at me.
The silence arced between us like a wire
in a current that equaled strangeness
over time, and since her stare was wild —
so charged with fear the moment froze
on the line of sky and field, man
and deer — she broke our stillness
in her flight from me. I stood alone
but double then as the man on the path
and the memory of the man she carried
with her beyond the meadow into
the next meadow and the meadow after
that where she returned my image
to the field of her forgetting in which

I roamed like a deer myself, remembering.”

~ Chard Diniord

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Disappointment

“Disappointment is inescapable but necessary; a misunderstood mercy and when approached properly, an agency for transformation and the hidden, underground, engine of trust and generosity in a human life. The attempt to create a life devoid of disappointment is the attempt to avoid the vulnerabilities that make the conversations of life real, moving, and life-like; the attempt to avoid our own necessary and merciful heartbreak. To be disappointed is to reassess our self and our inner world, and to be called to the larger foundational reality that lies beyond any false self we had only projected upon the outer world.

What we call disappointment may be just the first stage of our emancipation into the next greater pattern of existence. To be disappointed is to reappraise not only reality itself but our foundational relationship to the pattern of events places and people that surround us, and which, until we were properly disappointed, we had misinterpreted and misunderstood; disappointment is the first, fruitful foundation of genuine heartbreak from which we risk ourselves in a marriage, in a work, in a friendship, or with life itself.

The measure of our courage is the measure of our willingness to embrace disappointment, to turn towards it rather than away, the understanding that every real conversation of life involves having our hearts broken somewhere along the way and that there is no sincere path we can follow where we will not be fully and immeasurably let down and brought to earth, and where what initially looks like a betrayal, eventually puts real ground under our feet.

The great question in disappointment is whether we allow it to bring us to ground, to a firmer sense of our self, a surer sense of our world, and what is good and possible for us in that world, or whether we experience it only as a wound that makes us retreat from further participation.

Disappointment is a friend to transformation, a call to both accuracy and generosity in the assessment of our self and others, a test of sincerity and a catalyst of resilience. Disappointment is just the initial meeting with the frontier of an evolving life, an invitation to reality, which we expected to be one particular way and turns out to be another, often something more difficult, more overwhelming and strangely, in the end, more rewarding.”

~ David Whyte – From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

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