About celia

I write because I love the windows created by words. I write as a way to think, to share, to connect. I write to test ideas and to clear my mind. I write in response to the small "i am" that echoes the greater "I AM."

at the edge

old engraving of the reality beyond - the 'flammarion'Sometimes my mind seems to flicker
At the very edges of a new reality.
Ideas blink on and off,
Just out of reach.
A new fragrance hangs in the air.
An almost melody calls my heart.

The old understandings
Now fall like a chiffon drape
Ruffling in the wind
Across the window of my imagination.
What once seemed solid and sure
Is revealed as a faded fabric
Filtering the light.

Thomas Kuhn would speak of a paradigm shift:
The unmaking and remaking of foundational frameworks.
But the image I feel
Is that of walking through a series of veils,
Hanging on a line to dry.
Each reveals, even as it hides.
Each gives way to another.

Or, instead, I begin to catch the threads
As they unravel from an old tapestry.
I find that they can be rewoven into a blanket.
Beautiful and new, it covers all.
It holds fresh stories
Not painted on its surface
But cuddled in its folds.

[public domain image, drawn from wikipedia]


universe in a water dropOf course we use metaphors.
Of course we try to understand the ineffable.
Of course we fall short.
Of course we try again.

Can you explain beauty
Or describe love?
It is all so marvelously immense.

I’m grateful – no thrilled –
To be a tiny part of a universe
That is so far beyond my grasp
And so filled with wonder
And so deeply interwoven.

I’ll never understand.
Isn’t that grand?

[photo by Andrew Kuznetsov per cc 2.0]

Soul as arête

I think of soul as anything’s ultimate meaning, held deep within.  – Richard Rohr, paraphrased

a soul visualizedIf you have not found your own arête, your true soul,
Then, you are in competition with all others
For a place in the universe.

When you do find it,
When it is shown to you,
All others become your siblings.

You can find brother sun, sister moon,
Uncle mountain, mother earth,
And cousins in all your fellow travelers.

The strength of others becomes
A bulwark rather than a threat
As you meld your different gifts into a greater whole.

When you find your part to play,
When you play in joy with others,
All the world befriends you.

The gift of being,
Even the gift of joining others
In discovering your mutual gifts – is, itself, a gift.


[the image above, by Ade McOran-Campbell has been placed in the public domain by the artist]

the heart of it all

manifestation - seeing the unseenThe heart of it all
Is not a piece of flesh
But a warm and generous embrace.

Life is not centered on substance,
On things – or even beings
But on relationship.

The most precious thing in my life is not a thing.

It’s harder to see relationship
But I am learning.
It’s not the smile, but the connection it brings.

It’s like learning to see life itself.
It is a mystery that you cannot hold still.
It is a mystery that holds you … still.


[photo by Maltz Evans per cc 2.0]

the beauty of friendship

friendship's beautyFriendship is a beautiful thing.
It sings softly in the corners of the day.
It smiles quietly when you come through the door
And misses you when you are gone.

It is almost imperceptible at times, but then
It anchors your soul when storms come,
And rejoices in your joys, sending them soaring.
A simple hug from a friend can heal your soul.

I am so grateful for the gift, for the gifts, of friends.

[photo by Justo Ruiz per cc 2.0]


Sometimes I wonder if God doesn’t get impatient with me …

Again you fall?
Again you fail?
Again you find yourself in a mess?

Yet there is something
Deep inside me
That won’t let me give up.
That continues to call me to more.


What if …
What if that very call is God’s spirit,
Planted deep within?
What if I am made for evolution rather than perfection?

What if the voice of impatience is my own?
What if the slow, insistent urge to unfold,
To turn imperceptibly toward the sun,
Is the true expression of God’s response to my fumbling efforts?

What if the narrative of my life
Is not a fall from grace
But a release into it?
What if that was the plan all along?

Again, I must start anew?
Of course, of course.
Always anew; always more.
That is the call of God.

And if for me
For you, too.


[photo by Fadil Elmansour per cc 2.0]

The Gray Wolf and the Wind

gray wolf advancing“I COMMAND YOUR DAY,” he growls, that gray wolf of late assignments and neglected duties. “I will eat your life, will consume your energy, will wear you out for no gain.” He relishes his role. “I don’t even care if you succeed in your tasks. It’s your soul, your spirit I am after. I can throw you crumbs of accomplishment and you will eat them eagerly and still you will starve.”

I am beaten. I slump against a fallen log and sit with hollow resignation, waiting for his teeth to tear my heart. I can fight no longer. I have nothing left to throw up in my defense. He circles the tree, my form, with gritty pleasure. He licks his chops and chomps his teeth in anticipation.   I wait.

My heart faintly whispers a plea, helpless and with no faith to send it upward, it hangs upon my lips and drops to the ground. I am defeated.

“But I am not.” An angel has seated herself beside me on the fallen log. She removes her cloak and wraps it round my shoulders. It is warm and smells of adventure. It wraps my soul. Then she stands and plants her staff in the ground. She draws a circle in the dirt, surrounding me, surrounding the log, surrounding herself.   “This place is claimed as holy,” she proclaims.

The wolf is pacing now, angry, suspicious and with glaring eye. He charges at the circle, but at the last moment diverts his steps. He growls and throws his anger at the circle, at the two of us within it. He rails against the barrier and gnashes his teeth. “Why do come you to rescue this pitiful soul?” he demands of the angel. “Why waste your effort on one who has nothing to give, not even a whimper of resistance. This one is of no value to you. Leave her and let me finish my feast, it is no loss to you.”

“If she is insignificant, why do you want her so?” The angel asks.

“I gain pleasure in defeat… she is giving me what I desire.” The wolf replies.

“You want to extend your kingdom beyond its current boundaries, but she belongs to another kingdom, exists within another’s realm. You cannot claim her soul. You see, it is you that have been defeated already. Eating at her only feeds your fantasy that you can regain what you have already lost.”   The angel is calm and measured in her reply, but it is clear that she is on her guard. Confrontation with a wolf is not to be taken lightly.

“Fool, fool!” The wolf shrieks and paces. “You think your words can put me off, you think that you have strength against me when it is obvious that I have the power of this world. You cannot resist me.”

He cannot contain himself in his anger. But instead of charging the circle, as it seemed to me that he would do, he turns and charges off into the woods.

When we are alone, the angel turns to me and helps me to my feet. Her cloak is still wrapped around my shoulders. She grasps my shoulders in her hands and gazes into my eyes. “Do not give in to despair. The great wolf’s only power is deceit. Do not give in.” Her voice both pleads and commands. “Take this cloak, this staff and claim your ground as holy. Do not let him enter.”

As the angel turns to go, she slips a leather belt from her waist and hands me a pouch that was hanging from it. “Do not forget to eat.” She says, quietly. “Feed your soul on truth, on the words of hope, on relationship.” Then she is gone.

I sit upon the log, wrap the cloak around me and open the pouch. I eat the manna with a grateful heart. Around my heart I draw a circle with the staff. “I claim this as holy ground,” I whisper and hold the staff tightly in my hands.

My heart whispers a prayer of its own, “Save me from the wolf’s breath.”

The wind answers. “I will save.”


[image cropped from photo by Kurt Bauschardt per cc 2.0]