Joyful Participation in the Tensions of the World

“The alchemical woodcut says
that a child will not become an adult
until it breaks the addiction to harmony,
chooses the one precious thing,
and enters into
a joyful participation in the tensions of the world.”

Robert Bly

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I’m grateful to my friend Quanita Roberson who shared this Robert Bly quote. Quanita is a rather wise person, whose friendship I’ve enjoyed for the last 2.5 years, though the depth of it feels like 25 years.

It is the maturing that comes with entrance, with willingness to “participate in the tensions of the world,” that really catches my attention. I don’t want that maturing everyday. But I do most days. Realness is freeing.

Today this quote is poignant in particular as I send my son off to begin mission service. There is a separation, which evokes in me a hope that he will find his way, even in the struggle. It evokes some fear in me too. Will he be OK? However, I would rather he, and myself, grow into this participation in the tensions.

Today, that’s what love between me as Dad and he as Son looks like.

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