Often the notes are heartbreakingly beautiful. They are almost never anonymous, yet their writers seldom wish to be published or named.
A private message was forwarded on to me today, asking why I am doing this and what we are doing here on the internet. It is a good question. I have been asked it before, and have never known how to answer. Or as my husband would say, I can answer some of the "why," but not the "wherefore."
Perhaps tonight you have given me the answer. Innermost House is my world, but it is not of the world. Nothing and no one enters here who has not abandoned some hope of ordinary worldly strength, the kind of strength that relies for its identity on ordinary wealth and power and position.
I have observed it many times. It is a place where the seeming strong are often weak, and the weak are sometimes truly strong. Sometimes of course the strong without are strong within as well. But even then in some way I find difficult to explain, they lead with their innocence in Innermost House, and in unguarded openness all are strong in the Conversation.
I sit and read these words from Ember, and for a moment I cannot move—
"I fear my fellow human beings, and I fear destitution."
Those words—from an established author of holy books. Those words—in this world. I think they must be among the bravest words I have ever seen written by a living human being.
I read on and Suzanne agrees with Ember, with an exclamation! I read on, and Al agrees too. Before the onlooking world, a man!
People come to the house in darkness to sit around the fire. In the light of the fire that shines out from the caves of our earliest beginnings, we are illuminated inwardly. But only inwardly. The darkness to which we turn our backs is the outward world.
At Innermost House we sometimes speak of a guest as being not yet "around the fire." We mean she is not yet here, she has not yet abandoned hope of worldly strength. In her mind she still stands at the door.
"Wherefore" do I now appear after these months of silence? I still am not sure how to answer. But then I read your words again. I speak here now to meet you where you are.