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Mystery of life

live the mystery – creative living as solution

Mystery of lifeLife is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived. ~ Sören Kierkegaard

This is the third in a trilogy of posts based on quotes. Thanks again to Snow Brooks for the challenge. I didn’t follow the rules and I still got a lot out of it.


Sometimes, it’s important to verbalize what’s going on inside so that it can become real to myself or share it with trusted friends. Other times, it’s fine to leave things as whatever they are with no explanation.

Not only can mystery be an important component of art, it is also be a fine way to experience my own life. I can never know everything anyway. What I can do is connect with beauty. The cool thing about “beauty” is that it’s whatever I say it is. That’s why we have proverbs like “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Beauty and Bliss

For me, sometimes beauty is pure bliss. Other times, it calls me into that sense of mystery that often lives at the core of my life. One such beautiful mystery is a poem by David Whyte that has called to some part at the center of me since I read it for the first time, years ago. I share the poem with you now without further explanation. Maybe it will invite you into your own mystery, too.


The mouth opens
     and fills the air
          with its vibrant shape
until the air
     and the mouth
          become one shape.
And the first word,
     your own word
           spoken from that fire,
surprises, burns,
grieves you now
you made that pact
with the dark presence
     in your life.
He said, “If you only
     stop singing
         I’ll make you safe.”
And he repeated the line,
     knowing you would hear
         “I’ll make you safe”
as the comforting
     sound of a door
          closed on the fear at last,
but his darkness crept
     under your tongue
          and became the dim
cave where
     you sheltered
          and you grew
in that small place
     too frightened to remember
          the songs of the world,
its impossible notes,
     and the sweet joy
          that flew out the door
of your wild mouth
     as you spoke.

2 thoughts on “live the mystery – creative living as solution”

  1. A wonderful, creative friend noted that the quote at the start of this post (and in the image) is often attributed to people other than Kierkegaard.

    I am aware of the controversy about where this comes from. I chose not to address it in my blog post in order to try to stay on track. I’ve read several online and offline articles purporting to find the “original” source for some variation of this quote. Each one points to a different source. (I.e., none of them agree with each other nor can they fully refute Kierkegaard having written or said it.) Obviously, Kierkegaard wrote in Danish, so every English quote is a translation. Due to the vast writings by him and my failure to learn my own ancestors’ language, I’m not willing to try to find the original source. Ha ha! I did have the good fortune of reading/studying several of his works while in seminary. And by my reading of Kierkegaard and the fact that an alternative translation of this quote was in the front of that classroom, I like the way this saying captures one essence of his philosophy. I know this is not a scholarly answer. It’s just the one I went with while writing this post.

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