Saturday, June 30, 2012

Revelation Must Be Terrible

Over the last few days I've been reminded of the journey I've taken in my life. I've been reminded of how utterly miserable I was - even though on the outside, hardly anyone could tell. I was living a lie and there was something deep inside of me that knew that. But I tried with every ounce of my being to be who it was I thought I was supposed to be.

Ultimately I couldn't silence the questions that kept surfacing...telling me that something was wrong. And so I had a moment of terrifying revelation. Here is how poet David Whyte describes it.
Revelation must be
terrible with no time left
to say goodbye.

Imagine that moment
staring at the still waters
with only the brief tremor

of your body to say
you are leaving everything
and everyone you know behind.

Being far from home is hard, but you know,
at least we are exiled together.
When you open your eyes to the world

you are on your own for
the first time. No one is
even interested in saving you now
 It was the realization that I was on my own that was so terrifying. I had been taught that I was weak, evil, sinful and that my only salvation was to do as I was told. Stepping out of that was perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done.

But here's the rest of the poem.
and the world steps in
to test the calm fluidity of your body
from moment to moment

as if it believed you could join
its vibrant dance
of fire and calmness and final stillness.

As if you were meant to be exactly
where you are, as if
like the dark branch of a desert river

you could flow on without a speck
of guilt and everything
everywhere would still be just as it should be.

As if your place in the world mattered
and the world could
neither speak nor hear the fullness of

its own bitter and beautiful cry
without the deep well
of your body resonating in the echo.

Knowing that it takes only
that one, terrible
word to make the circle complete,

revelation must be terrible
knowing you can
never hide your voice again.


  1. "Ultimately I couldn't silence the questions that kept surfacing...telling me that something was wrong. "

    That is the mark of a serious intellect. Looking beyond the easy answers, refusing to believe something, just because somebody says so.

    Congratulations and deep respect,
    Sophie Amrain

  2. I'm assuming by your post that you are free to talk about this revelation and I'm curious to know why anyone would call you "evil." I read your blog every day and see nothing but a smart, passionate woman I would be lucky to call friend.

    1. Thank you for that.

      The "evil" part came from the christian fundamentalism in which I was raised. The doctrine of original sin was pounded into me from day one...that at my core I was sinful and evil. It was only through doing what God/the church told me to do that I would be saved from that.

      The core of my revelation was that that wasn't true. At my core is where I find my salvation.

  3. Christian fundamentalism. The root cause of every ill in this country. Joy for you in your revelation and a pox on those who filled your head with such nonsense.

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