Category Archives: Barbara Wyer blog

Finding Center

One of my Facebook friends is known for his thoughtful status updates. No political rhetoric or cheesy humor; you can count on him to be insightful and profound. Last week he posted something that hit dead center for me and it got an interesting online conversation going back and forth between the two of us.

He wondered if I’d read Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet. Well, I had no idea who the heck he was talking about, but Google saved the day. (How did we ever survive before the Internet?)

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 –1926) is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the [sacred] in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety… (Wikipedia)

My friend offered up the first letter, written by Rilke to a young man who sought him out for literary criticism and career advice. I saved it for a bedtime read, curious but not expecting anything extraordinary (although I should have known better, this is the guy with intelligent status updates, remember?) Continue reading

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Questioning the Answers

A year or so ago, I found myself in a bit of a rough patch, trying to make sense of a jumble of thoughts that refused to go away. There were a couple of pointed conversations with God about this, but mostly it involved just laying awake in the dark and staring up at the ceiling. I couldn’t bring myself to say it out loud, even to my husband – who was on his own (wonderful, he said) spiritual journey.

Those may have been the good old days (if you measure “good” by the lack of existential angst.) Because all I was doing was wrestling with someone else’s journey. Can what he believes actually be true? Really? Hmmm. That’s a new angle on the Bible…

This place I’m in now – and it more or less snuck up on me – is intensely personal. I’m wondering about the basics: God, faith, the afterlife… the meaning of life. I have to tell you that this mostly feels like I’m digging through the proverbial giant pile of horse poop, but there’s no pony to be found, if you know what I mean. Continue reading