What I don’t know can leave me breathless

What I don’t know can leave me breathless
Astronomy. Mysticism. Cosmology. History. The turning of the wheel of time.

I want to know names, dates, locations – I want to hold it all inside of me where I can pull it out and lay it across a great long line and sort through it like Scrabble tiles. I want to line things up in order – to witness the moments where themes converged …

… when artists and scientists and composers and philosophers and playwrights were working in separate rooms, in different languages, fashioning forms that would one day appear in chapters entitled: The Renaissance, The Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt.

I like patterns. I like puzzles. I like maps, and tracing my finger along edges: the boundaries where one thing becomes another: valley erupts into mountain, coastline crumbles into sea.

A great clock is turning inside me and around me – as if all of the secrets are opening, and I am racing to learn the math. I feel, often, as if, if I’d only done my homework, Id be solving something right this second – something recently arrived that seems to be asking itself through me.

I ache as when I was trying to conceive a child and could not – consumed by longing, pregnant with empty fire, a  bright hot love for which there is no target, no outlet.

At other times, I feel the way that I often feel now that the children that I did, finally conceive and carry and birth and breast-feed, are grown and (pretty much) flown. As if there was something I used to know but have now, for some reason, forgotten. Something that once filled me is now veiled from view, lost across a misty lake, concealed just outside the periphery of my awareness.

This is crazy-making longing – I am a sensible person (most of the time) and well aware that I cannot possibly swallow and hold all the knowledge there is to know.

And yet… it calls to me.

Come. Feast. Swell and Ripen.

Today, as I was reading about a class about the mystical poet Rumi, and wondering whether I should follow the call to another lecture, another weekend, another program promising to fill me fill me fill me… a bumble bee buzzed up and flew around the screen of my laptop several times.

What does this mean? Nothing? Everything?

As I write these words, small brown birds flicker around my feet, and a white truck marked “White Eagle’ pulls into the parking lot, stopping in the space directly in front of me.

It’s a good parking spot. It doesn’t have to mean anything. And yet, of course, it does.


The energy today is wild and strange. Last night, hailstones the size of baseballs pelted cars on the parkway. I heard about it this morning as I drove here. This morning, the sun is white in a white sky. The air is damp and breezy. I sit in an outdoor cafe writing this blog post when…

… I should be working on my Soul Caller class. I should be transferring notes from handwritten pages scrawled with words. I should be polishing the two columns about angels that are due before I leave for my retreat to the island next week. Instead, I am playing with meaning the way a child sucks on sweets. What I mean is, it’s distracting me from what is really going on.

This longing is a distraction from what is really going on.

Yesterday, during #SoulCall, author Anthony Lawlor tweeted: Soul hunger comes from wanting something other than what is, pushing the nourishment of life away. 

So, what do we do when we what is here is the emergence of a kind of magic?

As I came out to my table with my tea, around the corner, a woman leapt from a car, screaming, “Help, call the police, You are stalking me!”

Behind her, a black car stood in the middle of the road, both doors thrown open, the driver, a man, beseeching, “Donna, get back in the car.”

Ten minutes later, three police cars congregated nearby to caucus with the young woman’s family – her mother, explaining what was really going on.

What WAS really going on? Brain chemistry? Forgotten meds? A family quarrel?

This is wild energy.

The whole world feels stirred up – sitting on the edge of something historic – something our great-grandchildren may read in a history book one day in a chapter entitled: The turning.

Wild energy. I won’t be surprised if something strange happens in the world today – some oddball event:  a swirling vortex in the sky over a city; a tidal wave; the discovery of a new planet. That kind of thing.

And yet, what is happening right here?

This man with his raspberry colored pants, his walking cane, his white fluff of hair. These trees that rustle in the wind.  This street sign that I have never noticed before – not once! – in the six years that I’ve been frequenting this cafe. It reads: No Exit.

Fullness is not in objects or events, it is in the spaces between. These seem empty, but are full of possibilities, Anthony Lawlor tweeted.

What I am seeing, this bright morning is this: not knowing is the way and the path. Not knowing is the opening and the call. Not knowing is the space in between the distraction of unconscious activity and God.

It is God that I long for – which I knew. But what I keep forgetting – until Anthony Lawlor or some other wise voice reminds me – is that God is in this pregnant white space, right here, right now.

God is in this man with his proud rose-colored trousers, this brown bird, a woman running down the street, chased by the people that love her. This wildness.

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Showing 12 comments
  • dawn

    Why Amy, when you interviewed me for the magazine, we spoke about the very subject of not knowing, and how my spitural mother taught me that it takes faith and courage to embrace the concerpt, accepting uncertainty, but how wildly and truly liberating it is once you do and the providence it brings.

  • kelly

    I love this post. I am not especially religious, but I get what you are saying, it all rings true. There is something afoot in the world, at some point things have to change, somehow…
    You always give me hope.

    • Amy

      We are giving one another hope.

  • Cheryl Dolan

    Exquisite. Thank you so much.

  • Julie Daley

    yes, God is pregnant, and giving birth over and over and over. Thank you for this beauty, Amy.

  • Fiona Leonard

    Lovely post, Amy. It’s so wonderful to hear you write as you experience the world. Your voice sings!

    I have similar days when I have what I feel are gypsy moments – when the wind blows and you can smell the change whirling around you. (Maybe there’s an element of Mary Poppins there too – packing everything into a big carpet bag and setting off for the next adventure!)

  • Hiro Boga

    Lovely, Amy, thank you.

    Today, I’m preparing for the birth of my first grand-baby. And the descent, once again, into incarnation of the Great Light.


    • Amy

      Oh, Hiro. Many blessings. What a remarkable moment.

  • Cherry Woodburn

    lovely and provocative for me, as usual. Cherry

  • Rai Muhammad Azlan

    it is always a fun and to me a joy reading this blog with a cup of coffee.
    today that cup of coffee is missing as i am fasting at the moment but the taste and enjoyment that i have during reading your posts is still there.
    i think i am addicted to light, love, and life

    • Amy

      Not a bad addiction at all. 🙂 SO glad you stopped in for a fix.

  • Lindsey

    Oh, Amy, this is so, so beautiful … the wild energy of the world, the fullness of spareness, the desperate awareness of all I don’t know and, in truth, can never know. Thank you for the way you shine a gorgeous light onto the corners of my mind and spirit. xox

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