to sedate a restless heart …

June 11, 2011

in Hospice & Palliative Medicine,Spirituality

Everyone has tried to tame me, tranquilize me, keep me from suffering, and make everything more bearable, to sedate a restless heart that however had no intention to stop desiring and asking for more. Then you arrived … The encounter with you created in me a demand for my whole life, every second,and I don’t want to live for anything less. You ignited a passion in me, a gusto never before experienced. I need to have people alongside me who are equal to the thought that dominates my life, people with whom I can talk about what is truly worthwhile. I want to be with you because you don’t reduce me, or deny me, or mortify me; you don’t console me and don’t try to give me an answer. You don’t try to distract me or cheer me up, but you share with me the expectation, the entreaty, the nobility of our pain, the greatness of this unbounded desire and the disproportion it creates. I need you because you make me look in the face, stay in front of this terrible but dear pain that makes me so human.

from a letter to Julian Carron read at the 2011 Spiritual Exercises (p. 19)

As a girl wrote her friend, “At the moment, I really feel the need to talk with you, now that those questions that I kept hidden inside me for so long, closed in and chained, have finally exploded. Finally…Everything conspired and conspires against me, everything; even my mother told me, ‘Don’t worry, this sadness will pass,’ or, ‘Don’t think about it.’ Butit has never passed and I have never stopped thinking of it because it’s a gripping need for meaning that never leaves me and torments me every day without letting go, without respite. Everyone has tried to tame me, tranquilize me, keep me from suffering, and make everything more bearable, to sedate a restless heart that however had no intention to stop desiring and asking for more. Then you arrived. I’ve never had a friend like you. You’re the only one who hasn’t been scared of or scandalized by my pain and my desire for the infinite. Nobody has ever looked at me this way. My heart trembled, vibrated like never before. I was suddenly invaded by the bitter awareness that till now nobody has ever looked at me the way I truly desired; everyone has set aside my uncomfortable need, sharing everything with me except what was indispensable.But a life that doesn’t consider my humanity, my most visceral and profound requests, isn’t life, nor is it even death; it’s only a desperate cry. I can’t push aside my search for meaning, otherwise I’ll suffocate. I just can’t go on; everything is equal, flat, useless, boring, and terribly unbearable. The encounter with you created in me a demand for my whole life, every second, and I don’t want to live for anything less. You ignited a passion in me, a gusto never before experienced. I need to have people alongside me who are equal to the thought that dominates my life, people with whom I can talk about what is truly worthwhile. I want to be with you because you don’t reduce me, or deny me, or mortify me; you don’t console me and don’t try to give me ananswer. You don’t try to distract me or cheer me up, but you share with me the expectation, the entreaty, the nobility of our pain, the greatness of this unbounded desire and the disproportion it creates. I need you because you make me look in the face, stay in front of this terrible but dear pain that makes me so human.”

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