"Sometimes resilience arrives in the moment you discover your own unshakeable goodness. Poet Galway Kinnell writes, 'Sometimes it's necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness.'
And when that happens, we begin to foster tenderness for our own human predicament. A spacious and undefended heart finds room for everything you are and carves space for everybody else."
mysterium fascinosum [shivers of happiness]
It was like the effect of some great orchestra,
when all the separate notes
have melted into
one swelling harmony, that leaves the listener conscious of nothing
save that his soul is being wafted upwards and almost bursting with its own emotion.
Then too . . . my family home,so to speak, was a bit different than usual.There was so much that was special about it . . .there were rules of conduct by whichI retained my dignity . . . andI was protected,absolutely protected,at home.
-Hannah Arendt, A Conversation with Günther Gaus
tile:golem , berlin;photos:berlin + strasbourg,vt
"Anyways, I'm starting a website called the burning house, http://the-burning-house.com/, that showcases photos of the things people would take with them if their house was burning. what you bring is a conflict between the practical, valuable and sentimental. in a way, its an interview condensed into a photo and a list of things. I love your taste and would be thrilled if you contributed a photo. let me know if your interested,
*so, i got this lovely email in may. i thought about it for a long, long time. (too long, but that is pretty par for the course; i have been called 'the girl who thinks too much' more than once.) when i was a kid, i'd lie in bed and prepare (see: royal tenebaums) for the moment when i had to grab my most important scrapbooks (my sister and i were- are?- big on scrapbooks), our cat, and- first and foremost- somehow make sure mom, dad and little sister were all out of the house... well, let me tell you: once you have babies, the scrapbooks and whatnot don't even register. it's all about getting the people out. stuff is just stuff.
anyway, i realized- a few days after i finally sent a photo to foster (not so long ago)- that there was really nothing practical in the picture (the photo at top is the photo in question; the other photo features sadie, who is actually quite practical). i guess that's the thing: the only stuff that matters would never be stuff, it would be people (and other creatures). still, just about everything in the picture means a small world to me: a lot of the stuff i care about in life is there (think morse code). it would take too long to try to explain. but they're all reminders of what's truly important. and the ring- that ring my best friend gave me (thirty years ago- how is that possible)- that ring means more than i ever figured anything could. because what it is is that you decide to stick to the path and move forward in life: you're young, it's not easy, you'll seriously disagree sometimes. but it's love.
and isn't love all? yes, i know i say that a lot. that, and this: where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. next time you think about a burning house, remember what we all leave with: only love. the rest is icing (i love icing). the rest is history. the rest is your story.
p.s. thanks, foster; it was an excellent thing to think about, especially for 8+ months. simply by asking a question you gave me more than i believe i can offer in return. my hat's off to you, my gratitude is sincere.