Plumbing the Depths

Today was Tai Chi Tuesday and we had a lovely class. Cate’s teacher, Master Chen, had been in town giving classes, so she told us about that. Her assistant was on vacation. It’s been so hot and stormy here that she went at a good time.

Two people gave me quotes they thought that I would like. Neither knew that I skipped class last week because I had been grieving. Usually, people don’t come up to me and offer me quotes, so I knew to pay close attention. The first person gave me a quote from Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star, which I have a copy of. It ended with “Don’t fight your feelings; offer them your love.” I folded it up and put it in my purse.

Then someone else said, “I have a couple of quotes I think you’ll like.” The first was a poem by Derek Walcott.

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott

The other quote she gave me was from Joseph Campbell:

“Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called ‘the love of your fate.’ Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, ‘This is what I need.’ It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.

“Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.”

From A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living

And so I felt blessed. And then the plumber came to fix the job that the first plumber from his company did. He is here now and hopefully, he will be able to resolve the issue. We had a conversation that arose when he mentioned his mother’s death from cancer at age 56. They had come here from Germany when he was a teenager. He is still grieving her death and we talked about how hard it is to heal.

The bottom line is that life is a volatile substance and love is the only thing that can meet the demand.

The plumber lowered the water pressure because there was an air lock in the pipes and that is what caused the drain to clog.

So all is well. The pressure is off, at least for a while. So all’s well that ends well.And don’t take any wooden nickels.

One Comment

  1. dear Vicki, just now I got the impulse to point you to my little book on Amazon: Healing Crisis – 108 ways to turn crises into possibilities.” ( I have LONG practice with crises, and have used my expressive arts therapy practice with clients to find good ways to be with crises in loving and creative ways ( and helpful ways, if you read some of the reviews.)


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