Good morning to readers of exploring the mystery.

Since none of you contacted me regarding the offer to borrow my copy of On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored, I will risk looking inside it once again. What more does Adam Phillips want to tell us?

Thumbing through Phillips’s book, I stumbled upon a quote attributed to the lyrically intense Austrian poet Rilke: “Except for two short interruptions, I have not pronounced a single word for weeks; at last my solitude has closed in and I am in my work like a pit in its fruit.” 

In March of last year, as we all relinquished social obligations, I started to think about writing my second book and have since then, become the seed of myself just like Rilke reported. As Nicola, I have enjoyed being home and writing. The daily rhythm reminds me of long summer days at home on the farm as a kid. It has been peaceful. I do not want it to end.

But now as Nicky is fully vaccinated and many of her friends are also fully vaccinated, she is eager to see family members and dear friends. Nicky cannot wait to play Pepper and laugh and be silly. Nicky wants to go on a car trip and maybe fly to see the ocean.


Luckily, Nicola and Nicky both learned in over a decade of psychoanalysis that having differing feelings like this, feelings Sigmund Freud labeled ambivalent feelings, is a normal part of being human. Both know that they will be transformed, be different, after a year of near solitude. Both are feeling the longing for and the dread of such transformation.

What are you longing for? What are you dreading? Please let me know!


2 Responses

  1. “the longing for and the dread of such transformation.”

    Hi Nicky/Nicola,

    First let me say that the fact that you recognize Nicky and Nicola as “two yet one” has caught my attention. I have learned from Abbey of the Arts and other wisdom teachings that we are “both/and”. I am just figuring out that that’s ok, and actually,

    reality. Now I want to be able to recognize who’s who and give each their proper name. I’m not quite there yet. I’m still learning

    to observe without judgement, for others and for myself.

    Then, secondly, let me say transformation is long, hard, and lonely.

    Yes, I long for and dread it simultaneously. This falling upward,

    this second chapter of life, for me, has been humbling, challenging, and at the same time, the only best next step possible.

    I swirl in the mystery of uncertainly. But I have learned soooo

    much. The tools available for growth are what I long for…

    centering prayer, welcoming prayer, breath prayer, Lectio and

    Visio Divina…I long and desire to be the mystic who welcomes

    all and detaches from all.

    What I dread is the growing pains that come along with the death of the ego. And I am learning, though, with these excellent prayer tools to live in the moment and as Rilke also said to “live the questions!”

    Nicky/Nicola, enjoy your family, your friends, your car trips, and being silly!

    Thanks for listening.

    Nancy 🌻

    • Nancy – thank you so much for your thoughtful response to my ambivalence! I like that you know both/and works.
      And swirling in the mystery of uncertainty is certainly where I spend quite a bit of time myself.
      I hope that your growing pains are managable.
      I wish you the best.

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