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And STILL More on Holidays and Holiness

December 29, 2018

David Whyte wrote this, China Isler surfaced it, and I am thrilled to be able to highlight this part and share with you —

Holiness is the center that holds all peripheries; the pure internal absence that makes sense of everyone who comes to visit; the hidden ground beneath feet always running to look for gifts, the held note of a song that leaves a chapel silent or the stopped listener still and attentive in the busiest, most glittering street. Holiness is the deep internal, cathedral space where nothing is allowed to happen, thus allowing all other things to happen, a gravitational field of invitation and gathering and a radical letting alone, of family, of food, of perspectives, what is wanted is reached through letting go, by giving up on willed perfection.

Holiness is the rehabilitation of the discarded; the uncelebrated and the imperfect, into new unities, perceived again as gift. Holiness is the bringing of the detailed outside into the vast unspoken and horizon-less inside, from where the inside seems to give again, re-simplifying the periphery, our everyday life transformed as if by simply breathing, breathing in and breathing out, back to the world.

Holiness is memory independent of time, not time as besieging force in which we run around getting things done but time radiating out from the place where we stand, welling from the unspoken that holds together all words said at the busy surface; holiness marries hurry to rest, stress to spaciousness, and joy to heartbreak in our difficult attempt to give and receive, dissolving giver and receiver into one conversation, untouched by the hurry of the hours.

Holiness is not in Bethlehem, nor Jerusalem, nor the largest, most glittering, mall, unless we are there in good company, with a friend, with a loved one, with our affections, with our best and most generous thoughts, most of all with a deep form of inhabited silence, a natural, grounded, central conversation with what and how we like to give and how we can be large enough to receive. Holiness is coming to ground in the essence of our giving and receiving, a mirror in which we can see both our virtues and our difficulties, but also, a doorway to the life we want beyond any particular form of exchange. Holiness is the star we did not know we were following.

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