Monday, January 24, 2011

The Soul that hears loving words becomes more loving

I didn't sleep well last night. In part it was due to the fact that I didn't arrive home until 11:00 p.m. after our Love Stories of the Bay rehearsal at Stagenorth. Even moreso it was likely the result of sharing the stage and sitting in the audience while almost 30 people told stories with poignant, powerful words that expressed our love for this area and the people and animals who reside here.

Yes, I have a passion for words. Why? Because words have the power to express feelings, unravel confusion, draw people into a web of community and connection, and bring deeper meaning to our lives.

I just turned the page in my journal and discovered this quote, "The soul that beholds beauty becomes beautiful." I believe, in a similar vein, that the soul that hears loving words becomes more loving.

I finished reading Wisconsin Public Radio host, Jean Feraca's book, I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio this morning. It was perfect timing to discover these words by Benjamin Cardozo that Feraca quotes at the start:
Everything that is most precious in life
is a form of love.
Art is a form of love, if it be noble;
labor is a form of love, if it be worthy;
thought is a form of love, if it be inspired.
Late in her book, Feraca shares a compelling statement by her college creative writing teacher, Donald Hall, who matter-of-factly told his students: "... there were only two subjects worth writing about: love and death." (p. 122) I truly believe that after listening to several hours of love stories last night (a number of which also included death). This is potent stuff we're writing, reading, and sharing. As a result, my energy flew on the wings of the words throughout the night and into the day (end result: four to five hours of sleep).

Now, late in the morning, I'm tired. I also know that I have hours of unabated work awaiting me. I gratefully slip into my T'ai Chi Chih practice like a skinny dipper sliding into a still, deep pond. The practice refreshes me and bathes me in its liquid breath.

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