Pushing the Pause Button
Krista Tippett announced this summer’s pause of the On Being project with this quote from John O’Donohue.
Your identity is not equivalent to your biography. There is a place in you where you have never been wounded…where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and a tranquility in you. The intention of prayer and spirituality and love is now and again to visit that inner kind of sanctuary. – John O’Donohue
Even though the quiet joy of my retirement-into-Renaissance has been to visit that inner sanctuary more and more frequently, in an increasingly reliable practice of cultivating tranquility and contentment, (see poem Learning to Trust the Small Self below) I experienced a little internal reaction to Krista’s “pause.” “How dare she?” not continue to share her wisdom and truth in such inspiring fashion just when I still need her?
And here I am pausing even more completely. Posting these Resources for Recovering Resilience through June 2023, with one wrap-up post July 13, then posting directly to my website henceforth. I have been deeply heart-warmed and honored by the congratulations (and protests!) pouring in. And I am trusting, as best as I can, the emergence of a new path to continue engaging with the world, I hope, as always, with conscious, compassionate connection.
I do continue to seek out role models for life after pause. In the reprise of films/interviews/articles around his death, I re-discovered the artist and activist Harry Belafonte. Someone who never paused. At the age of 80, with his catalyzing activism in the civil rights movement and the struggle to free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid in South Africa behind him, he was always asking, What’s next? (Famine relief in Ethiopia; activism on behalf of incarcerated gang members.) The film Sing Your Song is a great introduction to his artistry and his activism. His memoir, My Song: A Memoir of Art, Race, and Defiance, is far more detailed and nuanced, many deep conversations with Martin Luther King, Jr. meetings with Fidel Castro, etc.
My listening for what’s next is evolving on a much humbler scale.
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. – Frederick Buechner
And I am learning to trust the process.
Learning to Trust the Small Self
– Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
They’re small, the flowers
of mountain mahogany—
little white and red trumpets
with barely a scent, but
today, on a trail lined
with millions of tiny blossoms,
the air was hung with sweet perfume
and I breathed deeper,
as if with each pull
I could bring beauty into my lungs.
When I lose faith
that my smallest actions
make a difference,
let me remember myself as one of millions,
remember the wonder of walking today
through the bushes in bloom.
Hours later the scent is long gone,
but I can’t unknow
how sweet it is.