A door opens on the new decade

 

 

Enter here if you too are among the irrationally passionate.

I have stepped across the threshold into the New Year of 2020, leaving the Blue Door ajar behind me.

Threshold of the known world

The Blue Door has beckoned me since one night last spring, when my daughter and I sat down at the diningroom table for some late-evening unwinding and conversation…tea, coloring book, and a variety of magic markers at hand. 

Through the following months, I have propped up this image in several places where my gaze fell naturally on it. The blue door has evoked excitement and trepidation. Mystery and speculation. Dreams and fantasy. Calculations and plans. The edge of my known world.

 

The doorway effect

Now on the other side of this threshold, propelled by the consensual logic of the Gregorian calendar,  I experience some version of “the doorway effect” – how psychologist Gabriel Radvansky first described the science behind that familiar question, “Why did I walk into the kitchen?!”  

A small version of the great Life Meaning Questions: “What was I born to do? And more fundamentally “who am I meant to become?”

 

 

I am meant to be right-sized

Like Alice in Wonderland, I have long sought some magic potion that would right-size me: render me big enough or small enough for the life task at hand. 

I find I no longer have the energy or heart to try and sustain anything but being the size I am, doing the best I can with Life among the vines: twists and turns in my own mind, in the affairs of family and friendships, in the disruptions, chaos, and innumerable kindnesses of the World at Large.

My personal life and struggles and the lives and struggles unfolding across the planet are my one single life to live.

 

 

 

…and irrationally passionate

Who I was born to be is one of the “irrationally passionate.”  My motivation to change, heal, awaken is driven by my lived experience and conviction that my own particular pains and the pains of the brokenness of the world are both personal. And are both impersonal, in the sense of the Jewish teaching: healing this broken world is not mine to complete, neither am I free to desist from it.

 

 

 

A life of practice, in practice

A life of practice: more human, not more perfect.

A life of practice I am now wedded to as activist and elder, as well as healer and herbalist.

A life of practice that includes daily life lived with a widening and deepening inclusion of the varieties of humanity and our cultural struggles.

A life of practice that invites the Radical Inclusion of the inner work of race and gender, deeply nourishing to our souls and our evolution.

No choice but to know, intimately,
my yearnings, aversions, despairs:
instructive, dignifying, and precious,
a true north stretched out over empty space,
an earth suspended over Nothing,
 
the very features of
God’s world
and my way home.

A covenant of birth, by Sara Eisenberg

In 2020 I return to posting bi-monthly.

I’d love to hear from you in return: what are the questions that deeply matter to you, the discoveries you are making about living more humanly?

 

If you too are “irrationally passionate,” if the world matters to you in these ways, let’s continue to travel and explore together…and bring your friends along by sharing this link with them.

To explore working 1/1 together, or to discuss offering an online or in-person workshop for your group or organization, schedule a 30-minute free consult.

Let’s stay in touch

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Thank you!

Warmly,

Sara

 

Aloneness and connection: the theme of our universe

From the viewpoint of Kabbalah, relationship is the entire theme of creation. 

The One has become Two and then Many, yet each and every part remains connected to every other and to the whole. The transcendent and the immanent, the personal and the impersonal, the material and the highest realms of spirit are present everywhere.

Our essential dilemma as humans likewise is rooted in the underlying conditions of separation and connection.

We feel both our essential aloneness, and the vast possibilities of what it can mean to give and to receive in relationship. 

This is true whether we consider the nature of our relationship with a friend, a significant other, or The Significant Other who devotional poets have long called The Beloved.

The single word “cleave” carries the essential paradoxical dynamic of relationship. This Janus word looks in opposite directions at the same time, signifying both to separate or hew apart, as well as to adhere closely, with strength of attachment. Without the hewing, there is only enmeshment: no real connection, no space into which giving and receiving can be offered.

 

Cleaving

by Sara Eisenberg

 

I have long forgotten what I was made for:

to cleave, to cling and to hew all

at once.

 

With two fingers I tap

on the clear frigid air

of this first morning of the new year,

it shatters but holds together.

 

That same air must pass through

warming shades of blue

wool across nose and mouth to deliver

its essential lode to lungs that

have a new freedom I cannot account for.

 

I cross the room, walk smack into swags of

unseasonable gossamer, that sticky stuff

that has ambushed me in the late-summer garden,

and now presses itself into my crevices as if sealing a vow between

two solids.

 

No longer am I spread out over vast distances, destined

to spin, order and turn worlds,

harbor and protect legions, heedless of sleep: labors suitable to

whole colonies of social insects.

 

To be in my very own skin

where there is space between us

where breath may pass, and words, and love,

that cleaving we were made for.


Banner photo: Duke Gardens by Pat Merriman, Hillsborough Art Gallery, Hillsborough, North Carolina