Not long ago a friend introduced me to a religious formula. He’d discovered some kind of method for interacting with God that had greatly helped him and he wanted me to try it. To be honest, I don’t fully remember what the formula was. I didn’t try it. I confess I might be a cynic, but I’m convinced there aren’t any religious formulas that work.
A friend of my sister’s once told her you must grieve everything. Anytime you have to say goodbye to something, someone or some place, grieve it. When you’re in a transitional phase in life, this can mean a lot of goodbyes. To things like: college, your first job, your apartment, your hometown, another town, another job and before after and in between, relationships. People are in and out of your life before you can blink and get their phone number.
Last year, I caught my favorite poet Billy Collins at a reading in San Diego. In the interview section of the evening, Dean Nelson from Point Loma University asked him to share some advice he gives to his poetry students. Without having to think about it, Collins said, “Dare to be clear.”