it is not saying yes to a dream or illusion

[Our] ‘yes’ to life may initially be a passive ‘yes’, born of lassitude and of regrets, but it can eventually become a ‘yes’ of openness, of acceptance, a ‘yes’ of joy. This ‘yes’ to life, which springs from the deepest part of us, is not a naïve or idealistic ‘yes’’; it is not saying yes to a dream or illusion. It is a ‘yes’ to our deepest self, a ‘yes’ to our past, to our body, to our family, a ‘yes’ to our inner storms, our winters, our pain; a ‘yes’ also to the beauty of life, to sunshine, to fresh air, to running water, to children’s faces, to the song of birds. It is the ‘yes’, to our destiny and our growth. It is the ‘yes’ to our own true beauty, even if, at certain times, we cannot see it. 

~ from the beautiful spirit of Jean Vanier


9 thoughts on “it is not saying yes to a dream or illusion

  1. Thank you for this. It puts me in mind of a poem by the Canadian poet Marg Yeo that has had a huge influence in my life.

    to say yes

    Marg Yeo 1979

    to say
    the explosion of
    leaf into

    things grow
    over the edges of
    and there is no
    reading between
    lines because there are no
    longer any lines
    and no more need for

    to find this so
    sudden in each other
    is to find ourselves with a
    shock and instantaneous
    sunk in an ocean bigger
    than our puddle
    bound comprehension can take
    in or swept up
    into an air with no

    there are no
    coasts or foothills
    here nothing to
    cling to or
    hide behind

    unless we choose
    to be invisible not to be
    so much
    easier to stay
    strangers with
    everything to say and
    nothing to learn

    than to say

    than to say
    we have been
    waiting all our lives
    for this un
    winding of rooftop and
    rafter of the tough
    fabric and fabrication
    we put on
    out of the womb

    but we can
    not be satisfied with

    not satisfied
    with a cold and singular
    hole in the dumb
    earth for
    each of us

    when we might un
    tomb each
    other with
    a word
    down give
    birth to a common


    Marg Yeo

    1. It’s funny how when one opens one’s heart and shares what’s real it attracts only what’s real. I think we’re back in the land of yeast. And I thank you so much for this…

    1. I’m so pleased to know it struck a note, Maureen. I’m pinning both to my bulletin board. (:

      (Sent not by the wonderful Jane E., but by the wonderful ‘Commatologist’.)

  2. I agree 100%, except that I’m getting ghostly vibes from some years back when a man used words very much like these to try to convince me I should join him in bed. I’m talking quite some years ago to when there was a rock band called Yes and they had life-affirming quotes on their LPs. He played the music, read out the quotes (because if it’s in print, it’s true, right?), ad-libbed a few of his own. Alas, I declined. Something to do with the manic gleam of his teeth.

    1. Oh, Alice. What an awful memory. Thank goodness for his teeth. (:

      What’s so interesting is how everything can be taken two ways. I read this and had no triggers so assumed only the yin. But you remind us there’s always a yang. I love the way you tell a story…

      1. No worries, Carin. Not an awful memory. More like a life-lesson experience. I haven’t thought of it since forever.
        And though it’s true he sneered when I declined the life-affirming pleasure of intimacy with him, he didn’t try to stop me walking out the door.

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