Your return to union is your return to love and it is accessed at the center or heart of your Self. Your mind was in need of silencing in order for you to hear the wisdom of your heart and begin your return. Now, in order to complete your return, mind and heart must work as one. T1:17
These are the two photos I took from the airplane as I arrived in New York.
Now I am home.
Luckily, I came in on Sunday afternoon and the Sunday newspaper was sitting on the kitchen table. I needed the normalizing of “coming back.” In the book section there was an article written by Mary Ann Grossmann about Afghan women writing poetry. Farzana Marie collected the poetry and spoke at an event for the collection’s publication. She said, “A vital, powerful stream of poetry runs through (Afghan) culture because if it is in your heart, it can be retained even when everything around you is destroyed.” That sentence, and the entire article, spoke to me deeply. I set it aside to carry out to the cabin with me, thinking that it might inspire this very post I’m now writing.
It is part of my settling process, to ponder what has been in light of its deeper meaning. The womens’ voices spoke to me on many levels. One was in identifying with their realization that their poetry was worth the risk, even of death; it was that essential to them to express what was in their hearts. The other was more related to what is destroyed, to what it takes to leave an old life, an old era, a former time. In the in between, we hold the tension of old and new ways.
Farzana Marie said “Poetry is central to people’s lives in Afghanistan. Poetry thousands of years old is on people’s tongues and minds.” We, too, hold bits of poetry within us, some of it literal poetry, some of it the tone of wisdom words that touch our hearts.
(“Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan,” Farzana Marie, Holy Cow! Press)
The most amazing thing that happened in New York, for me, was the touching of each other. Some of this occurred in words, but much of it was in actual touch. I have never received so many hugs. So many people came to meet me with their hearts wide open, needing to tell me about the affect A Course of Love was having in their lives. Each one was so sincerely heartfelt. And as the weekend progressed, there was what felt like a slow melting of the heart that touched nearly every attendee. This melting caused a blurring of the remaining edges, the division between the words of love expressed in A Course in Miracles, and the words of love expressed in A Course of Love. By the end of the conference, I could feel a sense of unity. It was almost as if we’d come through something together. The magnificence of the event was that we stood within it. It affected us.
We can often make light of our lives and fail to see the significance of the times we pass though, but I do not want to do that this time. I felt such a sense of the impending as I left on this trip, and feel such a sense of the passing since I’ve returned. This feeling relates to these Courses but not only to them. It is a sweeping sort of feeling, a sense, an aspiration for new life. There, in New York, no matter what conflicts or issues we brought with us, there was a sense of certainty in our ability to move beyond them. It was coming from the same central place that keeps poetry essential in a ravaged country: the heart. “The heart is the center of your being.” It was a recognition of what is there in us that seeks only love and that in finding love, unity is regained.