Monday, July 30, 2012

Remembering Innermost House


Sometimes I wake in the night, remembering.  I remember the smell of the place, the chill air and woodsmoke and wild sage.  I remember the moon in the trees casting its tangled light over our bed.  I remember. 


I wonder if you have ever had friends who kept the fire burning for you all day and night for months, waiting and watching for your approach, hoping and praying?  I have had such friends.  For six months I have been a wanderer while faithful friends kept watch over my fire in turns, waiting.


Years ago my husband built a house for me in the woods.  I called it Innermost House.  There at last, after many moves and incarnations, the Conversation that is the fire at the heart of my life took a body for its soul.  There we lived for seven years, just we three alone, my husband, that fire, and I.


But the Conversation is a sojourner.  It is a searcher, a fire forever seeking out the inmost places.  It has moved us many times with its needs.  The Conversation has its own moving destiny.

 
When I open my eyes to find so many new friends gathered around me, I know all shall be well.  I would take you each by the hand.  I would greet you each by name.  I would look into your eyes and know that you share my love of the Innermost Life.  I am so grateful you are here.


How can I ever thank the dear friends who kept the Conversation alive while I dreamed a dream of remembering?  I wake to a vision, still distant in prospect, of a new life in a new house where I may receive all my friends one by one in Conversation.


Thank you all for giving me this shelter by the wayside.  We shall make this journey home together, sojourners all!

47 comments:

  1. I am looking at the picture and from what I am reading, I realize that perhaps you are not there anymore? I hope it is not true. But, I realized that things change and our lives make many twists and turns. I can empathise with drastic change and have experienced it too many times. I am hoping that I can hold on one more time as I will face the biggest challenge of my life, one that I have had no choice in making. I know that if I use it properly that I will learn much.

    What an inspiration you all have been and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    God speed, Sherry

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  2. Yes, ok, I read your profile and realize that you really have left IH. Please know how much you have given us from that experience.

    Sherry

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    1. Dear Sherry,
      Honestly, I thought that Diana was just on retreat or something and that is why she was talking in the past tense! But, in rereading her post I see that perhaps you are right and that she and Michael have moved on. My first thought was 'How could they ever leave such a beautiful slice of heaven?' and then I instantly remembered that heaven is in the heart, and that there is no place we can go in which it does not exist if we open ourselves to God's presence AS our life! Still, I'm feeling a certain bereft mourning for that beautiful home, left behind. Who will live there now and take care of its walls, its hearth, its lifeblood? I hope that one of the IH volunteers has moved into it since the photo was taken. It is a priceless jewel that should not be reclaimed just yet by the land that cradles it.

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  3. Dear Diana, What great good fortune I feel to have come upon your lovely home on YouTube and which has increased my awareness of a deeper way of being in my ordinary daily life. Through the images of your (w)holy sanctuary pulsating with Presence and through the simple, yet profound truths of your writing, I am brought again and again to the stillpoint--the 'space between' that is at the heart of The Conversaton. I am so happy, too, to have met so many other lovely, far-flung souls throughout the world who are also actively 'dreaming a dream of remembering' the infinite spaciousness of the inner Silence at the core of their beings. Wanting to live a 'deliberate life' as Thoreau penned, is so evident in your example of moving through your life as if every single thing, regardless of how inconsequential it may seem on the surface, matters equally in the panoramic awareness of the unified wholeness of creation that is God made manifest. Thank you for opening your door in hospitality to those of us who have found our way to your doorstep and long to sit around your hearth fire. I'm looking forward to discovering the stillpoint of the Conversation in each discussion we share that leads us back to the simple 'aliveness' of each pregnant moment. Many thanks, too, to Michael for allowing those of us in cyberspace, to learn from his wisdom. And finally, thanks so much to all the IH volunteers who so faithfully have tended the fire--added the logs, fanned the flames and poked at the ashes, to illustrate what you have meant by The Conversation. I look forward to deeper and deeper moments of communion with you all!

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    1. And last, but not least, many, many thanks to all my new friends on this path who have so generously shared their thoughts and feelings on this blog/facebook page. I have really gotten so much out of our discussions together and hope that they will still continue to unfold. And, I'm a little early on this, but happy, happy birthday to Julie whose birthday is on Wednesday and who has been a shining light to us all. Julie, I hope your special day is filled with gratitude, laughter, love and expansive openness as your family and friends fete your presence in their lives.

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    2. Pam, What a deeply sweet person you are! It looks like we have managed to find your stillpoint! Thank you. Thrilling stuff!

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    3. Yay! Happy birthday for tomorrow, Julie! x

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  4. This is a big thing: so big in fact that I have nothing to say about it, only that I realise it represents tremendous challenge and sacrifice, as well as excitement and adventure. Whatever the new holds, may you travel into it safely and in peace, watched over by all that is good. x

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    1. Ember, I agree that this move for the Lorences will hold tremendous challenge and sacrifice. In fact, I sense that it was also a challenge and sacrifice to open their home to the world in the first place, perhaps because they may have intuited that as a result they might be led to leave their haven to explore wider vistas for a greater good. How lucky we are to be a part of the newest leg of their journey; I'm sure that their willingness to move to the inner impulse of the Conversation has much to teach us as well, and I look forward to sharing in their discoveries along the way.

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    2. I am just reading and digesting all of this now.. You have all echoed what is in my mind as it seems too sudden to speak or write about it for me..I look forward to writing more tomorrow. I have just come home from a funeral, and thus have experienced loss. I also went to a mass for the funeral, and thus received communion (or the catholic version anyway)...It is quite surreal at the moment. We are all connected by some giant thread somehow. But now it is time for rest..and processing. I will see you all tomorrow:) susan

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  5. Dear Diana, today is my birthday, and it is the birthday of my life because you have come to me! I so look forward to Conversation with you in this Innermost Circle that has coalesced around Innermost House.

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    1. Happy Birthday to you, too, Suz!

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    2. Suz! Have a great day! Happy Birthday.

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    3. Have a wonderful Birthday Suzanne!

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    4. Hope you had a happy day Suzanne - may the year ahead be blessed! x

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  6. I had to give up my life of 20+ years. Innermost House has been an inspiration as I craft my new life........many thanks

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    1. What an opportune time to come upon a new model for living! Much luck to you are your forge your new life.

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  7. Wow, hello dear Diana! What a wonderful bend in the road.

    I have spent a lot of time gazing into your house and reading about your thoughts over the past six months. Thanks so much for inviting us. It is strange to see the picture of the house empty of your books and chairs. Looking forward to hearing about what comes next.

    I hope I may say - "welcome to the next stage"?

    It's strange to be writing to you in person, and not to the IH volunteers who have been facilitating our discussion for the last while. (Will they appear as themselves from now on?)

    Thanks so much for bringing the gift of your Conversation to us - here's to the future!

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    1. Good question, Alice: I would love to see "Honey's" face! Hahaha!

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    2. Alice - "strange to see the picture of the house empty of your books and chairs" - yes indeed! The house was so stringently simple, yet the objects in it had so much presence!

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  8. Perhaps we might next talk about the concepts of loss and change, since the Lorence's move could be considered symbolic of life's constant call to evolve by heeding the tides of change as they rush in to sweep out the dross in our lives. Many of us seem to be undergoing radical shifts in our lives on several different levels that might be worth discussing. How do we grieve for what we have lost or will lose, yet still keep our hands and our hearts open in non-grasping? What is it that we are actually losing? Can anything actually ever be lost at all anyway? Who is doing the losing? What can loss and change teach us about where we cling to safety and security to avoid the groundlessness of our own being? What constitutes a firm foundation in our lives?

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    1. Wow, great questions Pam!

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    2. Wow. Would love to discuss this, Pam. I don't know how to do that. Thanks!

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    3. These are truly important questions. Everyday, with every new experience, we evolve into a new person, but often are not aware of changes that occur until something dramatic happens: a friend moving, the death of someone dear...or even perhaps the end, or start of a relationship. Why do we hang on to people and places? Have we not learned that there is more love and beauty to be discovered? Pam, I like how you expressed it: "What can loss and change teach us about where we cling to safety and security to avoid the groundlessness of our own being?" It is very interesting that so many of us members here are admitting to feeling a sense of loss with the news of changes in IH. I have only been a part of this group for a week or two-- although seems like so much longer!!-- and I too felt a little emotional upheaval. So much for feeling I "have it together" :)

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  9. So strange to see innermost house without books on the shelf and otherwise empty. It just looks like an ordinary house in the photo and smaller in a way it never looked small before. I look forward to seeing Diana's changes as the changes manifest in the world and on this blog. Good luck!

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  10. Lovely to meet you Diane.Here now is a new honesty and openness... a humility. I feel honoured that you have opened your life to us in this new way. May the conversation continue to morph and grow and bless. And may we all find courage and joy (that does not have to be happiness) in our own changes and new beginnings. Asta x

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  11. Diana, what do you feel the need of the Conversation is at this moment? I love what you wrote above about the Conversation moving you in response to the needs it has, its own destiny.

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  12. Dear Diana,
    Thank you for your post. It reminds me that we are all wanderers in this world, that I need to strive not to be attached to things, to cherish things when they come into my life, but then let them go with a light touch when circumstances change. You are a light in my life, and learning your ways in the world has made me a better person.
    With deep gratitude and best wishes for the future,
    Ruth Ferguson

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  13. Hello, Diana. I'm one of the simple visitors to the Innermost House Facebook page and blog.

    Frankly, many of the discussions are over my head, or too deep, or maybe too innermost for me. I came first because I'm interested in conservation, building and small homes, so I pay attention to remarks about how the house was built and how it operates. I'm also interested in simple living and am inspired by the stories about the foods you eat, your iron pot and Japanese bowls.

    I read the discussions about "the conversation," but can't follow much of it. I tend to believe that all of it - the house, the lifestyle, the conversation - has something to do with an on-going quest for truth and honesty, but I have trouble grasping even something as simple as that - but I'm working on it! Thanks for your help.

    Good luck in your next phase. I hope you'll continue to share with us.

    Al Mollitor, Sharon, MA.

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    1. Don't worry, Al. I don't always get it either, but that doesn't mean that we can't glean something from each post.

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    2. Well, AL! You have contributed as much as ANYBODY to our Conversation. We can never do without you. You are the truth and honesty that we so covet here. Stick around, friend.

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    3. What Al says here, and Sherry and Julie reply, speak my mind also. x

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  14. I have been away and have missed the birth of this blog. What a day to return to the conversation. IH looks so desolate in the photo, which I suppose is appropriate, as IH is not the shell, however beautiful that may be. IH is the people within, and the spirit and life that they share. That we all share.

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    1. This is a wonderful point, Julie. IH is the people within, just like this blog is the people who write all these inspirational words, and the rest of us who are sustained by them. Thank you friends!

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  15. How exciting! I'm also lost for words. What a great surprise!

    Hello Diana, may God bless you!

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  16. Why did they leave the cross behind in the loft?

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  17. Oh Diana, I love your face! I'm so glad you are here with us. (I admit that I had a sneaking suspicion that, sometimes, you were here all along.) No matter. Today we are all here together in our Innermost Space. We are ALL here!

    I see the little house now, and all I want to do is to move my own self in there and light the fire and cook a pot of something wonderful...though I might as soon wish to fly to Mars this afternoon. What a fine and generous thing you have done to share it with us. You and Michael have been the instrument that has formed this formidable band of Conversationalists...but be not afraid. We are harmless souls who come in peace. You will find us at times to be somewhat goofy, I am sure. Bless you, Sweetie! All day every day.

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    1. Can we be roomies, then, Julie? I'd like to move in there myself!

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    2. Oh my gosh! Capital idea, Pam!

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    3. There won't be enough room for all of us! :)

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  18. It just dawned on me that Diana and Michael lived in IH for seven years, a completed life cycle. I wonder what the next seven years will look like for them...

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    1. I wondered about that as well, Pam. Perhaps they went within for seven years of rest and reflection (and conversation!) and now are feeling the need to move outwards and have a more public life and more world experiences. I too am anticipating this next part of their journey.

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  19. How exciting new adventure for you both, I can't wait for the next instalment!!!. I'd like to thank you Diana for sharing innermost house with us all. For me it has come to at a time when I needed it the most and not just you and your house but all the amazing people I have meet through the Facebook page. I have taken great comfort from hearing about your life journey because it has shown me that i am not alone. Also your story has helped me find the courage again to continue walking my own path with pride and compassion.

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    1. Elizabeth, I totally agree with you. One little, tiny house and so many people that it has touched. I would love to build a fire in that fireplace and have all of us circle around the house saying our own prayer at the same time!

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  20. Thank you Diana and Michael for sharing your home images and personal life with us. It has been life-shifting for me. I still processing these changes and looking at the world with different eyes. I find it difficult to find the words to express all that is happening, but I will start with gratitude. Thank you.

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