Please excuse the prolonged silences. They are not contemplative silences, I’m afraid, but rather the artifact of being on an intense book birth-line (I finally came up with an alternative to “deadline”)! I am 90% finished with my new manuscript, GOD OF LOVE: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity, & Islam. As you may know, this is my first book entirely in my own voice, as opposed to translations and commentaries on the teachings of the mystics. It’s been scary and exhilarating. I’m thrilled by what’s been emerging. The book will be released in April of 2012.
I had an insight about the relationship between my particular experience of profound loss to my writing in general. For a long time I have assumed that I would write a “grief book” – and I still may – but I see now that all the deaths in my life, and my daughter’s especially, inform everything I write. John of the Cross’ teachings on the dark night of the soul, and Teresa of Avila’s on the exquisite longing of the soul for union with the Divine, are inextricably entwined for me with conscious grief as a spiritual path. And so I cannot possibly write about the unifying teachings of love at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, for instance, without deeply drawing on my own experience of the radical unknowingness and unbearable yearning that accompanies the death of someone I loved beyond life, and also that quiet sense of cosmic perfection that most of us are too shy to talk about but most of us hold in delicate paradox inside our broken hearts.
If my editors agree, I will post relevant excerpts from the ms over the next few months. Until then, I will continue writing and refining, and thinking of you all.
If you have not already done so, I invite you to consider joining us at the beautiful Omega Institute in upstate New York August 21–26 for our next Beautiful Wound gathering. We will read powerful poetry & prose (both sacred and profane!), share our stories through conversation and writing, sit in silence, and sing to the Beloved. It is an extraordinary opportunity for building community of the heart. I would love to share it with you, if it feels like a good fit to you or someone you love. Details are on my website: www.mirabaistarr.com