Tag Archives: Richard Rohr

Life Is Short

clockReflections on The Schopenhauer Cure
by Irvin D. Yalom

The Schopenhauer Cure is a novel about the inner workings of a group therapy process. As the story begins to unfold, Julius Hertzfeld, a seasoned therapist, has received a diagnosis of terminal melanoma and is compelled to invite a former client named Philip to join his weekly group. It is a book rich with psychological and philosophical reflections about the circle of life, an appropriate theme for a novel about group therapy since group therapy mirrors life…the cycle of group, its dynamics, the termination of the group process, and the personal growth that can be multiplied through the members’ ongoing circles of influence when the group disbands.

I found it rather ironic that the theme of The Schopenhauer Cure was death and dying. For the past couple of years the subject of death has been weighing more heavily on my mind. Heading towards sixty is sobering in and of itself, for sure. Life no longer stretches ahead indefinitely. “Seen from the standpoint of youth, life is an endlessly long future; from that of old age it resembles a very brief past.” (Yalom, quoting Schopenhauer in Chapter 34.) Continue reading

Welcoming Advent

I don’t go to the mall much. It’s not that I don’t enjoy shopping for Free People Anthropologie Uggs and massage gift certificates, (yes, dear this is a hint) but maybe like yours, our disposable income is a little harder to come by this year and honestly we’ve accumulated enough stuff over the past two decades to warrant a break from buying more of it.  So the last time I really hit the mall was October sometime. The Mister and I were there for a big Friday night out with our girls. (Read: no good movies to be found and we couldn’t come up with anything more exciting to do.)

We opted for fine dining at the food court, a bit of strolling and a pleasant but firm no thank you to the Chinese massage guys in the red shirts before a final stop at Auntie Anne’s. As we headed down the hallway we couldn’t help noticing that the holiday decorations were already coming out, shiny big red Christmas balls hanging from the ceiling and press-on window decals proclaiming Share the Season! Give Heaps Get Happy! Lowest Prices of the Holiday Season! There was piped-in music pointing out that it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. (No, it wasn’t.) Just a whole big bunch of tacky reminders that retailers were breathlessly awaiting the arrival of their holiest day of the year, Black Friday. Continue reading

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