Today I had the honor of being on the Spark My Muse podcast with host, Lisa Colón DeLay. We talked about what it means to tend the fire within, the place of infinite possibility within each of us. The space we must protect, guard, feed, and learn to share in a way that offers love and creativity to the world––as opposed to violence or destruction.
Later in the interview Lisa asks about my pilgrimage to the seventeen Trappist/Cistercian monasteries of the United States, my current role as a seminarian at CTS pursuing ordination, my thoughts on the need for more voices/faces in the contemplative world, and my thoughts on being a queer woman in these various spaces.
“Those drawn to the contemplative path… We are the feelers. We feel everything. We feel the whole world… It’s a good home for the sensitive, at least for me.”
Cassidy Hall, Spark My Muse
“…frustration is due precisely to the incapacity for positive, constructive, creative activity. Creation in this sense is then nothing else but frustration failing to express itself freely and normally, calling desperately for help in a way that fails to be heard or understood…When everything is creative, nothing is creative. When nothing is creative, everything tends to be destructive, or at least to invite destruction. Our creativity is in great measure simply the expression of our destructiveness, the guarded, despairing admission of destructiveness that cries for help without admitting it. The only positive thing left in our destructiveness is its bitter anguish. This, at least, can claim to be. This has creative possibilities.”
Thomas Merton, Theology of Creativity
“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”
Mary Oliver, A Poetry Handbook
“First, silence makes us pilgrims. Secondly, silence guards the fire within. Thirdly, silence teaches us to speak.”
Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart
“…There may be a great fire in our soul, but no one ever comes to warm himself by it, all that passers-by can see is a little smoke coming out of the chimney, and they walk on.
All right, then, what is to be done, should one tend that inward fire, turn to oneself for strength, wait patiently – yet with how much impatience! – wait, I say, for the moment when someone who wants to comes and sits down beside one’s fire and perhaps stays on? Let him who believes in God await the moment that will sooner or later arrive.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to his younger brother Theo van Gogh, July 1880 at the age of 27