How has it been going for you in regards to Difficult Conversations? I have been surprised by the difficult conversations I have engaged with since the retreat. It has been fascinating to see how much I had previously labeled as ‘difficult,’ only to find now a small invitation to go ahead and test the waters. Most surprising has been the response of others who have been willing to meet me in these unsure waters.
That said, I haven’t exactly dove in the deep end and tackled the most difficult conversations, but I am finding a footing for bravery that I had supposed I – and the ‘other’ – was incapable of. “One Life is Spent, The Other Spends Us,” by Jane Hirshfield, strikes me as revealing an aspect I have experienced in approaching difficult conversations. While ‘in the world, mirrors are few,’ as Hirshfield points out, I have experienced the receptivity of others to the difficult enough conversations I have recently stepped into. It has felt like a mirror to love and courage.
Below you’ll find the poem. I wish you all a good week of listening and mirrored courage,
One Life Is Spent, the Other Spends Us
One life is spent, the other spends us.
Rarely, they touch –
life a cat for the first time meeting itself in a mirror.
In the world, mirrors are few.
The slightest wind dissolves them.
In a life, the moments of recognition are few.
Consciousness does not hate or love, it neither grieves nor longs.
Walking and breathing are not its nature.
Yet something passes and ends, grows wet in rain and then dries.
and the small bowl of kibble empties into a delicate, spotted paw,
a tail slightly kinked, a preference for one windowsill
~ Jane Hirshfield ~
(Given Sugar, Given Salt)