Do you not know?

patterns of light
Do you not know
Oh little one
That worship shapes your soul?
That words continue to call worlds into being?
That coming is joy, not duty?
And that, oh, I do love you.

Do you not know
Oh little one
That I love you into being even now?

Listen to your heart and come.
Let go to the joy
Let go in sweet abandon
Let go into my arms
I will catch you
And embrace you

Would that I could dance with you.
That I could slip into the melody
Lose myself in the embrace
And stop concentrating on the next step
Or trying to do it right.

Would I could simply receive the embrace
And let go into love and music.
Would that I were not just me.

Ah but my little one
I made that ‘me.’
I love that ‘me.’
And I embrace that ‘me’
Even now.

You can step on my feet as you dance
I do not mind
So long as you dance.

I just wish you could embrace the mistakes as well
It would be more fun 
For us both
If you would let me remove your worries 
And just dance, love, be.

I can handle the rest.
Believe me.
Believe me.

I do love you. 
And all the whole I call you to be.

It is love that calls . . . 

And joy that answers

Ah! Amen.

3 12 08

[photo by 李小克 Klaire Lee per cc 2.0]

deep circle of grace


May your heart find peace this day.
May you breathe in the holy breath of hope.
May it strengthen your soul and fortify your step.

May you know, deeply know, that you are not alone.
Just for a moment, may you feel the embrace of deepest love,
Circling round your very being, holding you tight.

May you know with deep assurance
That you will never fall,
Except you fall into those arms.

[photo by Demetrios Varoumas per cc 2.0]



squirrel in a cage
The best moments any of us have as human beings are those moments when for a little while it is possible to escape the squirrel cage of being me into the landscape of being us. – Frederick Buechner


I try for a moment every morning
To pry my attention away from the urgent
And focus on the eternal.

It is not easy.

Sometimes my distractions are discomfort:
A headache or a cold.
Sometimes it is the email, screaming in my inbox.

Or that damn list.

Sometimes it is just guilt:
The friend I should have called,
The closet where I’ve hidden what I should have cleaned.

They are all squirrels.

So, I try one or more of the methods I’ve been given –
I focus on my breath or close my eyes and smile
Or practice grateful reflection.

Each of those can help.

But what really makes the difference
Is when you sneak up beside me
And remind me

You are here.

That is when my soul can finally release its grasp upon the urgent
And fall into your sweet embrace.
That is the moment

I find myself, again.

[image filtered from photo by Chance Fry per cc 2.0]

I’m the exception

one time too manyJust when I think I can’t forgive that @#%&! one more time,
Just when I think that seven times seventy is way too generous,
Just when I wonder how to continue to forgive in the context of consistent offense,
I remember how I treat myself.

I passed the seven times seventy mark with myself eons ago.
Yet, I still give myself the benefit of the doubt.
I still look with grace upon my own actions, finding excuses for my misbehavior.
That must be what he meant when he said, ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

Well, phoey.

Just when I think it can’t be done, I remember that I’ve already done it for myself.
I’m the exception to my own rule
And the proof that one more moment of grace is not too many,
It is the only way to keep moving forward.

[photo by madstreetz per cc 2.0]


a Narnian encounter (4)

giant's hand[This is a continuing meditation. Part 1 is here; part 2 is here; part 3 is here]

I sit on the beach quite a while, absorbing the wordless lessons of the waves, watching the small shells wash in and out with the receding water. After a bit, the giant comes to join me. He sits down with a harrumph and digs his toes into the sand. He reaches out beside himself, smoothing the sand as if it were a blanket. He digs out a shell and turns it over in his fingers, admiring its beauty.

At last I turn to him. “I never asked your name,” I say with some hesitance, realizing that I have been happy to use him as a messenger and even as transportation, but I have not even stopped to reach to relationship. How often do I do that? How often do I place importance on utility over relationship? I turn my head to hide my embarrassment.

“They call me Cecil, they do,” he answers me.

I turn to him. “That’s very like my name,” I reply. He nods and smiles. He knows this. He seems to know my name without even asking. “Tell me about yourself.” I venture.

“I’m big,” he says, as if that is a revelation. “I’m not so good with words, but I know deep things. I feel them in my heart before they come into my head. The thinking part is harder for me than the knowing part.”

“We make a good pair, we do.” I say this almost before I think it and he smiles.

“We do,” he says. “Always, we have.”

With that reply, I find within myself a resonance. It is as if, for just a moment, I, like the giant feel it in my heart before it comes into my head. I give him a sideways glance and see that his smile has turned into a wide grin. He reaches out his hand on the sand beside me and drums his fingers. He is inviting me to play some kind of game with him that I do not know.

I put my hand on his and drum my fingers. I feel his movement beneath mine and feel its echo, its resonance, its strength as it is transferred into me. Again the knowing comes before the thinking. Cecil is not just a companion. Cecil is part of who I am – the part of me that touches deep.

The voices on the wind give conformation. Somehow I trust their truth.

This is me. This is the meeting.

[kudos to Jonathan Haidt with his metaphor of the rider and the elephant …]
[photo by Benzene Aseel per cc 2.0]

amphibious soul

a startling frog

We are, by nature, amphibious souls. Our spirits journey on a path that is somehow parallel and somehow separate from the journey of our days.

So, how do we move forward in both? When I work at my desk, where is my spirit? When I quiet my soul sufficiently to hear the whisper of God, what happens to my work?

Is it love that drives the act of mercy, or the act of mercy that evokes my love? My tendency is to think that it is the spirit that moves the hand. But what happens when my spirit is recalcitrant? Is it possible for my hand to move my spirit?

I try this little experiment: I close my eyes and smile. When I do this with intention, I can feel my spirit expand and my soul lift in joy. The smile has evoked my joy.

So, if I am truly amphibious, there are two ways in: the way of action and the way of contemplation. Actually, I think James says this: faith and works are inextricably linked.

So, which comes first? The frog or the egg; the tadpole or the hopper? Maybe it doesn’t matter where I start – I can get there, just the same.

I close my eyes and smile. I cherish the second path, grateful for a way around my heart, when it is feeling churlish.

[photo by John Clare per cc 2.0]