One thing feeding my soul in 2020 has been David Whyte’s little book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.  If you are a lover of language, or just someone who uses it occasionally, it is soooooo good.  He takes 52 ordinary words, presenting a several page meditation on each.  Here is a taste:

Anger is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.  Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for.

Help is strangely, something we want to do without, as if the very idea disturbs and blurs the boundaries of our individual endeavors, as if we cannot face how much we need in order to go on.  We are born with an absolute necessity for help, grow well only with a continuous succession of extended hands, and as adults depend upon others for our further successes and possibilities in life even as competent individuals.

Nostalgia is the arriving waveform of a dynamic past, newly remembered and about to be re-imagined by a mind and a body at last ready to come to terms with what actually occurred….Nostalgia tells us we are in the presence of imminent revelation: something we thought we understood but that we are now about to fully understand, something already lived but not fully lived; something that was important, but something to which we did not grant importance enough, something now wanting to be lived again, at the depth to which it first invited us but we originally refused.

Withdrawal can be the very best way of stepping forward and done well, a beautiful freeing act of mercy and as art form, underestimated in this time of constant action and engagement…We withdraw not to disappear, but to find another ground from which to see; a solid ground from which to step, and from which to speak again, in a different way, a clear, rested, embodied voice, our life as a suddenly emphatic statement and one from which we do not wish to withdraw.

These are only excerpts.  There are 48 more.  Ambition, Beauty, Forgiveness, Friendship, Longing, Regret, Shyness, Work…to name a few.

May your week contain the nourishment of everyday words,