Last Sunday we met for our quarterly Taizé gathering. It is a time we cherish, as it is designed to refresh and renew through short songs, times of silence, and some guided meditation. On this particular night, Andrea Dutt shared from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. Below is the excerpt we read from that night.
For hands clutching stones can’t freely drum.
And hearts clinging to the past can’t freely sing.
It only took me a lifetime to learn. But the lesson is as profound as it is simple. As long as we clutch to one thing – be it a stone, or rail, or weapon – our hands cannot open or reach for anything else.
The timeless and essential drama of living into the unknown resides in this simple sequence. We must risk putting down the stone or stick or gun we are grasping, in order to build or touch or make music of any kind.
It reminds me of a friend who wouldn’t let go of his past. He clutched it like a rope and was afraid that if he let go, he would fall. But as long as he clung to his history in this way, he couldn’t embrace the love that was before him, and so, he never healed.
It is unavoidably true: hands must be emptied before they can be filled anew. It is the same with our hearts. It is why courage, day by day, is necessary.
- Sit quietly and clench your fists. Bring to mind one thing you are clinging to with your heart.
- As you exhale, open your hands and try to let the feeling loosen in your heart.
- Practice using your hands to open your heart.