Someone asked me recently for one piece of advice I would offer women entering the middle years of life. I told her, in so many words, to follow the mystery. The yearnings at the end of a chance encounter, the pull towards something that scares us, listening for the deep call of one’s soul to trust and go with what appears. That’s what suhurat means; it comes from the Middle East and means to flow with what we encounter.

For me the mystery has led me to leave behind the old country, old friends, and old ways of being, moving from the knowns to dive more deeply into the unknowns of this life. Following the call to live more fully asks me to be more fully present. With that presence comes a deep commitment to my path in the Theravata Buddhist tradition, uncovering the nuances of each breath and finding the words to somehow convey the text of my journey in these posts.

With each precious moment comes the next inhale and the realization that we are one exhale closer to our final breath. Part of this journey is a commitment to better prepare for death, my own as well as helping others through that passage. Impermanence is a guide post in all that I do and all that I have yet to learn.

This is a place to gather my thoughts and ponderings. To ruminate about the here and now, to leave the shouting voices and the wild night behind, and listen closely for the new whispers.  I hope you’ll join me.

“The Journey” by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice ‑
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible. 

It was already late                                                                                   
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do ‑
determined to save
the only life you could save.

“The Journey” by Mary Oliver, from Dream Work, copyright 1994, Atlantic Monthly Press

About the author

Tess Wixted was born in California and found her way home to Canada. She’s been writing something or other for most of her life. In addition to being a Regular Author and Associate Editor for Life As A Human, Tess has written screenplays, articles, short stories, a bit of a novel, some hints of a play and the promising start of a memoir. (See Other Words.)

She practices meditation, yoga and dance, adores lattes of many persuasions, seeks out fine fiction, small films and full refrigerators. She’s a cat wrangler and a bit of a nibbana hound.


  1. Thanks Tess
    for letting me see what you are up to. Your words, your contemplations feel very grounding to me. Inspiring too. Your words glint like jewels in the sunlight. thanks for sharing.


    • Thank you Lorna. Your words mean a lot to me as well. Where are you these days? Email me and let’s catch up. Happy Spring!

  2. Hello Tess,

    So nice to feel you through your words. The simple realities of transition comes through, naming those forces that seek to shape us and forge our being.

    You’ve been in my thoughts of late. I so well know the sense of upheaval when finding a new home, a new job, a new life. It’s not a tsunami, but it certainly sends waves of vast emotion breaking in all directions.

    And you have your sustaining practices to ground and support you. As you know, The Mystery is beckoned when we leap into the void with faith and determination. Source always shows up at exactly the moment we fear the fast approaching manifest will crush us. And we are held. Truly and always. May it be so.

    And a summer visit feels right. Yes? Love to you my friend. darsi

    • Thanks for your warm words Darsi. They mean a lot to me. And yes, yes, yes to a summer visit. Love back at you.

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