The Real Work — Wendell Berry
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
~ Wendell Berry ~
My friend, Barbara Hotz, another master of words and rhythms in my life, sent me this poem on the day my hiking partner of 5 years announced that he was going solo for a time. It wasn’t so much that I was surprised with the news, just the timing. Are we ever ready for those changes we intuit or have even secretly wished for? Even though our relationship had been strained with lack of common, heartfelt purpose for the past month, we had kept willing ourselves to be together. He was the brave one to take the bold step of leaving.
Emptiness and disorientation, sadness and resignation dogged my steps. Who was I now? What would I do? What glory was there now in all the thousands of miles we had walked together if our next walks would be solo?
And then, this poem arrived.
I allowed myself to feel the sadness of separation and to express my gratitude for the blessing of his company on all those marvelous journeys. Tears flowed for a time until they were done. And then,I could get to work on being solo.
I discovered that, indeed, this separation is a gateway to new opportunities
- To clarify my purpose both in Life and in Business
- To indulge in my personal connections with God and Nature
- To focus on my questions, my inner discoveries
- To share with my community in my own unique way
And then, he called me from his new trail! “I want to stay in touch, just needed a time to work out my own thoughts.”
Let the real work begin!
Stay tuned as we attend to our real work of creating a relationship that nourishes and fulfills us both.
Tell me about YOUR times of being jolted into your “real work”. Please comment below.
Colin Tipping’s Expanding into Love Workshop in Georgia, March, 2014 and Truckee, CA in May 2014 http://www.colintipping.com/blog/
Mary Canane’s Heart of Mother Earth Retreats: Metamorphosis of Self in Nature in Tennessee and Florida
Stephanie Wright’s Divine Time Retreats: Release, Renew, Receive, Rekindle in North Georgia