living the questions

penny hardy
penny hardy

I’m frozen. Can’t move. Can’t see the way to go. The ground keeps disappearing. Again and again. Just when I get my balance, just when I find my stride, I trip and stumble and the ground is gone again.

I don’t want to make this pretty.

I’m tired of trying to figure it all out.

There are no real answers. Only the questions. But how to live in the questions? I falter, I stumble, I spin in circles, grasping thin air. Was this what I was training for as a child when I spun until I lost balance, lost control? When all I could do was give in to the vertigo and fall?

But lying in the grass, watching the sky spin around me, I would feel a sense of something more. Something outside my experience, something outside my understanding and control. Lying on that same grass at night, with the blackness all around me and the stars like living, breathing things, I would wonder at the aching in my chest. What is it? What are the fireflies flickering all around me telling me? I would climb the strong old tree and feel some sense of communion, unspoken but somehow understood by my child’s heart.

And the wind. When the wind would blow, when I would stand and close my eyes and feel the wind moving over me, through me, I would strain to hear the whispering call, to what I couldn’t name. But I would answer, I would travel with the wind and I would be soothed. And even now, even now, when I am at my most desperate, when my hold on living seems to be slipping, I hear these words in my deepest heart, “remember the wind”. And I breathe another breath. And I get up from the grass and stretch my arms to the stars and I take one more step. And I wait for another day, another dawn, another step. I listen for the wind. I open my heart to life.

“I beg you…to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms of books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer…” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke