Nourishing Words

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Nourishing Words

Food, as wonderful and life-giving as it is, sometimes plays tricks on me these days. The sweetest, most perfect beets are bitter and metallic thanks to the effects of chemo; tomatoes and eggplants are too acidic at times. . . but these words, that friends have shared, soothe and nourish everyday.

The Guest House
by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Go to the Limits of Your Longing
by Rainer Maria Rilke

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.

Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

15 Responses to “Nourishing Words”

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  1. Susan B Myers says:

    These are beautiful, Katherine! Thanks for sharing. XO

  2. Jane says:

    Good reminders. And may you find foods during this time that do taste good!

  3. Jonathan R. says:

    Thank you for sharing these; think about how glorious a perfect beet will taste with your body’s balance back, straight from a winter garden bed.

  4. Kaia says:

    Dear Katherine,
    Sending love to you–
    & this Rumi poem was perfect for me to read–thank you

  5. Tom Fuller says:

    I, too, love these poems, Katherine.
    They speak of surrender, and a deep understanding of
    the great drama that gets played out in these lives, through these bodies.

  6. Lori Gibson says:

    So meaningful…

  7. Jo Mancuso says:

    All your posts during this time have shown grace, wisdom and generosity of spirit. I value each one, whether it offers a personalized fresh slant on food or thoughtful engagement through poetry. Thank you.

  8. Tricia Snell says:

    How beautiful these poems are, like friends giving us a perspective on our trials. Thx so much for sending them out to us! Sending you a guest of love and light…. Xoxo

  9. angela reat says:

    I was thinking about you while eating those beets this week. I love this post. I hope your spirits are okay. Sending you love from the Berson household!

    • cookwithwhatyouhave says:

      Thanks Angie! From what I heard they really were amazing:) I look forward to enjoying them when all this is over. love, k

  10. Kristin Calhoun says:

    Wise words Katherine and you are so right about the nourishment that comes through beautiful poetry. Sending you all good thoughts & energy.

  11. Chris Pieratti says:

    Katherine, these are very inspiring words and you have been a terrific model of strength and optimism. I’m sending you prayers and love. Chris

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