She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth—
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the
and clears it for a different celebration
where the one guest is you.
In the softness of the evening
it’s you she receives.
You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.
-Ranier Maria Rilke
About fifteen years ago, a friend told me that, like a cat, I’d had nine lives. She was right; I’ve had an eclectic journey. I grew up Christian and converted to Judaism. I got a Ph.D in Russian women’s literature and now I’m a Life Coach and stay at home wife and mother. I studied literature and now I write poetry. But on the other hand, woven together, these “ill-matched threads” of my life combine to tell the story of my search for authenticity and deeper meaning.
I sought far and wide–in various religious traditions, academic institutions, and philosophies. I was looking for that one thing that would make sense and take away all the questions. But no one voice or tradition spoke to me! Instead, I discovered myself in bits and pieces here and there…in that piece of art, in this poem, in that city, in this prayer.
And then I realized that it was up to me to write my own story! I realized that the truth of my constantly unfolding story was there–inside–and it always had been. I didn’t need to seek outside myself for myself, and I began giving myself permission to be true to myself.
This is a beautiful journey, with surprises and ups and downs, with moments of tears and moments of laughter. This is a journey without end, where life presents us every day with endless opportunities for growth, gratitude, and love. And when we live authentically, we in turn encourage others to live full and passionate lives.
Featured image for post CC by mindfulness.
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