How do we sit with suffering? A lyrical pondering on how things fall apart — and worlds open anew.
How does one have a more supple heart that's read to hold life's suffering and joy? Finding a way in through a Mary Oliver poem and some guiding words.
Bedridden with an incurable illness, writer Paul Martin on navigating paths of pain and difficulty, and the depth and mystery of joy.
"The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary nor congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent."
I’m from the fire my father had for life and the fire my mother had for living. His was fueled by parties, drugs, wit, and self-involvement, hers by longing, anger, spite, and sweat. He was vivid.
Even novice meditators are able to curb their pain after a few training sessions in mindfulness meditation.