When I was younger,
I believed the mystical teachings
could erase sorrow. The mystical teachings
do not erase sorrow.
They say, here is your life.
What will you do with it?
— Yehoshua November, “Two Worlds Exist”
These lines are from the opening poem of Yehoshua November’s new collection of poetry, Two Worlds Exist. When I first read them, they went directly to my heart.
Yes: the great teachings of my tradition often offer me comfort – and there are sorrows those teachings cannot touch. It is childish to imagine that if only I could find the right teaching, the right text, I could erase grief — my own, or that of someone I love. Better to let the texts do as November describes: to let them open up for me the sacred text of my own life and wait for me to answer their question with my choices, with my living....
That's the beginning of my latest post for The Wisdom Daily, which is both a personal reflection and a review of Yehoshua November's latest collection. Read the whole thing: Here Is Your Life. What Will You Do With It?