Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Risking Everything

So I like to think of myself as fearless (aside from spiders), especially with this big move.  A lot of people asked me if I was nervous, scared, worried, etc.  I told them all no, which for the most part is true.

There is one fear I've kept to myself though.  I suppose talking about it is better than keeping it inside.

My fear is this: the cold, dark fact that something bad could happen to someone I love dearly while I'm thousands of miles away.  It scares the {expletive} out of me.  I try my best not to think about it.  I know I need to focus on the positive.  But having just taken a leap across many, many miles, I've been thinking about it a lot more recently..

So how do we cope with such thoughts?  It doesn't help to worry about it; death and grief are inevitable, a part of life.  I usually would tell myself to relish every moment with my loved ones; make sure to spend more time with them, etc.  But now that I'm here, it's hard to do that.  I don't have a phone set up yet, and even when I do get one, I have to rely on apps to communicate with my friends and family.  And they have to have said apps and be logged into them at the same time - I can't just pick up my phone and call (well, not without a hefty fee).

I'm sure some people turn to the Bible, others may cuddle with their pets, some even turn to drugs (prescription or not) and alcohol.  Where do I look for comfort?

"Risking Everything" is a book of poetry compiled by Roger Housden, featuring poetry from Robert Bly to Mary Oliver to Rainer Maria Rilke.  I have had this book for somewhere around 10 years and it has helped me cope through many difficult situations in my life; from the loss of a loved one to the loss of love; divorce, heartache and grief.  It reminds me to celebrate life, cherish those nearest and dearest to me; yet also to embrace the darkness and sorrow that can creep into my thoughts - and allow it to break my heart wide open.  And to take risks.  Risks in love, life and happiness.  To take a risk on myself.

As Housden puts it: "The risk they urge us toward is the forgetting of our familiar lamentations for a moment and the taking of that tiny yet momentous step - the willingness to try on the life that is truly ours."

I love that.  

I've included one of my favorite poems in "Risking Everything" and hope it inspires you the way it has inspired me.  I will include a list of some of my other favorites at the end.

Things to Think
Think in ways you've never thought before.

If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message

Larger than anything you've ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he's carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you've never seen.

When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he's about
To give you something large: tell you you're forgiven,
Or that it's not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it's been decided that if you lie down no one will die.
  ~Robert Bly~

Other poems I have bookmarked:

Mary Oliver: When Death Comes
                     Wild Geese
                     The Journey
                     In Blackwater Woods

Pablo Neruda: Poetry

Rainer Maria Rilke: Sunset

Naomi Shihab Nye: So Much Happiness
Edith Sodergran: On Foot I Had to Walk Through the Solar Systems

Hafiz: A Strange Feather

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Holy Longing

Dorianne Laux: Dust

 "We can only travel down through the truth of our lives on our own.  Yet there is consolation, perhaps, in knowing that we are all on this journey together."


So what helps you cope?  Are their any poems that you turn to during difficult times in your life?  Feel free to share in the comments :)


1 comment:

  1. "...the willingness to try on the life that is truly ours." Love that. =]