The writer David Whyte says “Self-knowledge includes the understanding that the self we want to know is about to disappear.” – from his book Consolations, p. 200
This was part of a short essay the new CMC Transitions and Ritual group reflected on last evening as we met for the opening mini-retreat of a two-month process. Whyte’s point is that there is no stagnant self to know. We are, he suggests, “a frontier between what is known and what is not known.” As soon as we bring an unknown part of us into clearer knowing, something else forms within the unknown to reestablish the frontier.
This all rings true to me, and the group last evening. Still, there are gifts given along the way, often in the form of images and metaphors, that aid us. Like Moses at the burning bush, invited to become, like the bush, aflame with God yet not consumed. Or seeing a familiar tree and knowing this is a time for you, like it, to embrace the gift of place.
We can, it seems, have an increasingly open and porous sense of self, mixed with a greater clarity of our particular place in this world. For now, at least.