Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sustaining Our Lives

Hey everyone- have not been on social media much. Long before current collective challenges the chronic illness I live with (M.E. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) was flaring and I knew I needed to step back from everything. Then there was my mother's death, followed by the hacking of my facebook page (so grateful FB got rid of the hackers.) Life!

Now I am finding it hard to see the misinformation and fear-of-fear denial (that could hurt us all) on social media. Turns out yelling, "No! Just. . . NO!" or "Aw, come on!" at your computer screen does little or nothing for a struggling immune system. :-) So I am taking a break. I am fine- I spend a lot of time in social isolation and always have lots of supplies and food because I often don't know when I will be able to get out. And the city is much quieter than usual- which I love.

But, in the meantime, I came across this little story posted by my dear friend Linda Mulhall. It delighted me and reminded me how stories- lived or told or both- open our hearts and imaginations to truths that can sustain us. Hope this one delights you as much as it did me. Be safe. Be well. Take care of each other. - Oriah

At forty, Franz Kafka (1883-1924) who had no children, was walking through the park in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully. Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would come back to look for her.

The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter 'written' by the doll saying, "Please don't cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures."

Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka's life. During their meetings, Kafka read the letters of the doll carefully written with adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable.

Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one) that had returned to Berlin. "It doesn't look like my doll at all," said the girl. Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: "My travels have changed me." The little girl hugged the new doll and took her home, happy. A year later Kafka died.

Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter, signed by Kafka, it said, "Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way."

Thanks to the Mentors Channel


  1. that last line. YES. thank you, Oriah, I needed this so much today!

  2. Having spent much of the last year ill myself, and either in hospital or in recovery, this latest health worry is a weight I, and all of us, would rather not have on us at this time. I am so sorry for your troubles. Still, this Kafka story and the wonderful message he left for the girl has touched me and made a big difference for me too, today. It also works for old ladies of 73, who need a way forward in the face of chronic illness. I wish the world was not in panic mode at this time. Panic has only made this harder for us all to resolve quickly. Panic about the illness has led to panic about the economy, and that panic feeds on itself. We can only hope that soon it will swallow its own tail and be gone. All the best to you! Carol

  3. Just came across your blog today after reading your poem The gave me immense happiness and positivity..
    You are blessed Mam... Please take care of urself

  4. Dear Oriah, today I mis quoted you. I sent The Invitation to over a hundred people with the wrong name in credit. I wanted to tell you that and apologize. Thank you for your work. May people remember to give you the credit.
    I’ve always loved the line: can you disappoint another to be true to yourself. Today I highlighted: can you sit with pain. Yours. And mine.
    I sit with the pain of so many. Their burden far surpasses my own. But I need not compare.

    I simply send gratitude to you and my honesty. Cheers to your health.
    Jocela Mae Crawford

    1. Thanks for letting me know about the attribution misstep Jocela- if you could send out an email to recipients with a correction that would be appreciated (and would prevent others from unknowingly sharing it as it was presented originally.) So glad the piece spoke to you. Many blessings, Oriah

  5. The "Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way." is lovely, do you know when that was added to the story?

    1. Rich, I don't. This is the story as a friend sent it to me. Oriah

  6. After many years having your book by my bedside, I'm finally reading The Invitation. I simply cannot read more than a page before the lump in my throat overwhelms me and tears in eyes start draining. You epitomize my heart and soul. I wish I could verbalize what my heart and soul longs to say, as well as you do. Oriah, your masterful at touching the heart of others and speaking truth, from a place I dream of getting to. May you continue to be blessed with insight, expression, good health and love. Thank you for your invitation to follow your lead. Infinite blessings

    1. Thank you. I am so glad the book is speaking to your heart. In these strange times I find myself mmoving toward poetry and music and art that keeps me taking long full breaths. :)