Poetry Sunday: Hermitage

By Joseph Fasano

It’s true there were times when it was too much
and I slipped off in the first light or its last hour
and drove up through the crooked way of the valley

and swam out to those ruins on an island.
Blackbirds were the only music in the spruces,
and the stars, as they faded out, offered themselves to me

like glasses of water ringing by the empty linens of the dead.
When Delilah watched the dark hair of her lover
tumble, she did not shatter. When Abraham

relented, he did not relent.
Still, I would tell you of the humbling and the waking.
I would tell you of the wild hours of surrender,

when the river stripped the cove’s stones
from the margin and the blackbirds built
their strict songs in the high

 pines, when the great nests swayed the lattice
of the branches, the moon’s brute music
touching them with fire.

 And you, there, stranger in the sway
of it, what would you have done
there, in the ruins, when they rose

from you, when the burning wings
ascended, when the old ghosts
shook the music from your branches and the great lie

 of your one sweet life was lifted?

Morning Inspiration: That New Time

“It is for love’s sake yet more than for any other that we look for that new time…
Then when that time comes…when love is no more bought or sold, when it is not
a means of making bread, when each woman’s life is filled with earnest,
independent labour, then love will come to her, a strange sudden sweetness
breaking in upon her earnest work; not sought for, but found.”

– Olive Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm

wild flower

Morning Inspiration: On Solitude

“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet



Down the long white road we
walked together,
down between the grey hills and the heather,
where the tawny-crested
plover cries.

You seemed all brown and soft,
just like a linnet,
your errant hair had shadowed
sunbeams in it,
and there shone all April
in your eyes.

With your golden voice of tears and laughter
softened into song: ‘Does aught come
after Life,’ you asked,’When life is laboured through?

What is God, and all for which
we’re striving?’
‘Sweetest sceptic, we were born for living.
Life is Love, and Love is –
you, dear, you.

– Roland Aubrey Leighton (1895-1915) to Vera Brittain, April 19th 1914

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

– John Keats

Everything is Gestation and Then Birthing

Always trust yourself and your own feeling, as opposed to argumentations, discussion, or introductions of that sort; if it turns out that you are wrong, then the natural growth of your inner life will eventually guide you to other insights. Allow your judgments their own silent, undisturbed development, which, like all progress, must come from deep within and cannot be forced or hastened. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and each embryo of a feeling come to completion, entirely in itself, in the dark, in the unsayable, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own understanding, and with deep humility and patience to wait for the hour when a new clarity is born: this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating.

– Rainer Maria Rilke 

Whispers of the Beloved

I cannot sleep in your presence.
In your absence, tears prevent me.
You watch me My Beloved
On each sleepless night and
Only You see the difference

Looking at my life
I see that only Love
Has been my soul’s companion
From deep inside
My soul cries out:
Do not wait, surrender
For the sake of Love.

If you can’t smell the fragrance
Don’t come into the garden of Love.
If you’re unwilling to undress
Don’t enter into the stream of Truth.
Stay where you are.
Don’t come our way.

All year round the lover is mad,
Unkempt, lovesick and in disgrace.
Without love there is nothing but grief.
In love… what else matters?

Love is our Mother and
The way of our Prophet.
Yet it is in our nature
To fight with Love.
We can’t see you, mother,
Hidden behind dark veils
Woven by ourselves.

Do you want to enter paradise?
To walk the path of Truth
You need the grace of God.
We all face death in the end.
But on the way, be careful
Never to hurt a human heart!

Do you know what the music is saying?
“Come follow me and you will find the way.
Your mistakes can also lead you to the Truth.
When you ask, the answer will be given.”

The Master who’s full of sweetness
Is so drunk with love, he’s oblivious.
“Will you give me
some of your sweetness?”
“I have none,” he says,
unaware of his richness.

You know what love is?
It is all kindness, generosity.
Disharmony prevails when
You confuse lust with love, while
The distance between the two
Is endless.

This Love is a King
But his banner is hidden.
The Koran speaks the Truth
But its miracle is concealed.
Love has pierced with its arrow
The heart of every lover.
Blood flows but the wound is invisible.

– Rumi

Jeff Foster On Sadness

Your sadness doesn’t say, “Please fix me, heal me, or release me”. It doesn’t say, “Please get rid of me, numb yourself to me, pretend I’m not here”. It certainly doesn’t say, “Please get enlightened so I can die!”.

Sadness does not come to punish you, or reveal to you what a ‘spiritual failure’ you are. Sadness is not a sign that you are unevolved or far from healing, awakening, enlightenment, even peace. The presence of sadness is not an indication that you’ve done something wrong.

Sadness only whispers, “May I come in? I am tired, I long for rest”.

And you reply, “But sadness, I don’t know how to allow you in!”

And sadness replies, “It’s okay. You don’t need to know. I’m already in”.

And we bow to sadness then, we recognise how it’s already allowed in, how there’s enough room in us for sadness, how we are not ‘the sad one’, not contained within sadness, but the room for sadness, its space, its home, its salvation, its loving embrace; not as a goal, but as our nature – consciousness itself, already free.

Don’t heal yourself from sadness; let sadness heal you. Let it show you the way when you have forgotten. Let it reveal to you the mysteries of love. Let it remind you of your vast heart, your refusal to split off from any part of your ancient Self, that bigger Happiness you danced when you were young.

– Jeff Foster (www.lifewithoutacentre.com)

Some Gems I’ve Found

Dear readers,

Today I’d like to share with you some articles I’ve read that I’ve found really helpful, insightful, inspiring and healing. I might repeat this in the future since I often bump into treasures. Just click any article that feels beneficial to you and enjoy. :) Have a wonderful day.

1. The Lost Art of Solitude – Zenhabits
2. 27 Mary Oliver Quotes To Inspire A Bold Life – The Bold Life (Did I mention I love this poet?)
3. The Pressure To Be ‘Happy’ – A Healing Space (I love all of Matt Licata’s writings – so gentle and encouraging to embrace yourself completely as you are)
4. Six Kinds of Loneliness – Lion’s Roar (Written by Pema Chödrön)
5. Signs of Spiritual Progress – Lion’s Roar (Again by the lovely and wise Pema Chödrön)
6. Respect Yourself. 11 Ways to Set and Keep Healthy Boundaries – InfoSelfDevelopment (I need the reminder from time to time)
7. Passive Aggression in Relationships – BaggageReclaim (if you notice you often get stuck in bad relationships, have trouble setting boundaries or standing up for yourself this site is THE place to be, trust me ;) )

This is my selection for now. I sincerely hope it could be of help to you.

Morning inspiration: The Guesthouse

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Rumi

You can find my personal experience with unexpected visitors here :) 

Wishing you a wonderful day filled with self-care, love and presence <3