By Rev. Ellen Dionna, MSW, LCSW
Longing is the sweet and poignant rhapsody of the soul. Longing is existential—it comes into being the moment a child is birthed, perhaps even in utero, and is part of the human condition. Longing is sourced in the experience of separation when humans cut the umbilicus—separation not only from the personal Mother, but the archetypal Great Mother, Goddess, Source of All. Longing, therefore, carries the essence of the Dream of Return, and the longing to be truly known, to be exquisitely and adoringly seen.
Longing is especially apprehended and eloquently expressed in the poetry of the Celtic and the Sufi soul. Longing is a subtle and tender yearning pulsing in the seawater of each cell of our beings. It bears within us the delicacy of the celadon New Moon, the wild Wolf’s howl, the quavering notes of a cello.
Many of us try to drown the call of our longing in the constant chatter of our car radios, the blaring television, in overindulgence in loveless sex, the gambler’s grasp to win, or the juggernaut of chemical highs. Until our essential spiritual longing becomes drowned and distorted in the addict’s or the depressive’s torment.
To deny your longing is to lose the textured chiaroscuro of your heart’s landscape. It is to live one-dimensionally, with flattened perceptions and shallow inquiry. To deny your longing is to lose the sensitive dissonance of a minor key—it is to live a hollow life. For longing is a luminous strand of your passion; it opens you to Grace. Longing is the vastness of your spacious heart—the echoing newborn’s cry carried to the limits of the universe. Longing throbs in the spaces between–liminal times of dawn and dusk, and in the cosmic depths of darkest space. Longing twines with love in the ecstatic Spiral Dance that is Creation.
Essay excerpt from SPIRITUAL SAMPLER by Ellen Dionna