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Embracing Moments of Collapse

Deborah Anne Quibell

Feeling baffled? Our guest columnist suggests "to honor these moments of bewilderment, to hold them as holy pauses that are rich with the potential for psychological and spiritual awakening."

I learned at 5:42 a.m. this morning that the word “baffling” was a sailor’s adjective, in the eighteenth century, for winds that blow variously and make headway difficult. I know. This seems a rather strange morning practice—to sip tea in the dark and browse online etymology dictionaries. But for many months now, I have been reflecting on the holiness of human bewilderment—what happens during those inevitable moments in life that leave us baffled. The core questions, the aching why and some version of what is this all for, are nothing new. They circle around the human experience of suffering, loss, tragedy, pain, disease, and trauma. Intellectual understanding betrays us and spiritual philosophy evaporates in these baffling moments. We may understand lessons and the acquisition of character and wisdom through suffering. We may have studied, endlessly, about attachment or karma or the nature of the mind. And while all of this was once the ground upon which we stood (and will most likely return to again), right now there is no standing. There is no ground. We are suspended somewhere betwee …

About the Author

Deborah Anne Quibell

Deborah started writing poetry at the age of five. She fell in love with the mystics in her teens, and began a life of...

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