you can’t live without a little of it
stepping into oncoming traffic would be your end
but a plunge into the waters of anxiety
whether for a moment or a long thrashing swim
is anything but pleasant
be not anxious sounds like a plan worth considering
but it is impossible at most levels
we are existentially unmoored at the thought of our own deaths
and when finitude comes knocking who wants to answer the door?
it turns out finitude
is but an intellectual cloak for the more immediate and stomach churning feeling of vulnerability
which rises up out of a jarring realization that control is not in our grasp
looking into that space of profound uncertainty will shake one to the core
but cure . . .
where oh where?
. . . .
in that very same space, it turns out
there may be not just a scream of pain but also a whisper of hope
divine presence like ether fills every space from atom to galaxy
and in the narrow turn between faith and doubt
we must situate our vision
and the small cracks in the sidewalk between your heart and another
are breathing spaces, slivers of silence, creative sparks
for those with ears to hear and eyes to see
in the measured beat between what is and what we can imagine
is a generative possibility of becoming
This reflection was inspired by a fortnight’s sojourn with seminarians to learn of anxiety, to practice silence, and to consider vocations of care.