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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


Crisis disturbs our ability to intellectualize existence, drawing us instead deep into the world of the heart, whether we are willing to go there or not, a necessary oasis at times, a terrible maelstrom at others, and always each time an immersive reminder of how regularly we are out of touch with the emotional matrix of our confused and often conflicted inner lives. Crisis, from the Greek krisis, is a “turning point” and decidedly awkward, painful place to be, whether through the death of a loved one, in a divorce, at midlife, or in its myriad other forms, yet also with a strange inkling of allure, an anchoring for the soul, stopping us dead in our tracks to look and listen at what has become of our lives with an attentiveness often unemployed since the days of our youth. Contrary to popular belief, a crisis is not all tumult but also perforated by regular intervals of mediocrity and malaise, a sense of exhaustion, bordering on the numinous, inviting us beyond the boundaries of our no longer sufficient understanding of self. In this time of turning, there can be a temptation to latch on to language and imagery that is not our own, out of a desperate attempt to make sense of the senseless, allowing for an easy albeit misconstrued representation of the metamorphosis we are in the midst of enduring. We need help, and a willingness to receive help, from outside ourselves to survive a crisis, though less through foreign words and more with the tender care of another’s presence. Providing supportive space for an intuitive, organic coherence to gradually emerge in our suffering is never guaranteed; that is what makes its appearance so precious if and when it does, affording a form of cradling, attending to our deep need to be held, honoring our woundedness, and the mystery of having somehow become something more.

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