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."

the kit

trinkets

I keep thinking that I’m stuck
With a do-it-yourself kit for salvation.

It’s not turning out so well.

As much as I’d like to fix myself,
I just don’t seem to have the right tools
Or skills
Or know-how
Or even (deep sigh) initiative.
(I’ve lost the excuse that I don’t have the time.)

So, I sit here, with pieces-parts
Scattered across the table.
They fit together awkwardly.
There seem to be pieces missing,
And pieces that don’t fit.
And pieces that I’d like to hide.

I beat my head with my fist.
(Gently, of course.)
I sigh.

That’s when I hear your chuckle.
You sit down beside me and survey the scene.
You sort through the pieces
And carefully polish a small glass bead between your fingers.
“This one is for Tasha,” you say quietly,
And place it in your pocket.

I’m taken aback.
I want to grab it back from you.
“How dare you take this part of what is mine?”
You give me a look that takes my breath, as well.
I am appalled by those words
As they tumble from my mouth.

I want to stuff them back inside,
But that’s been the problem all along –
Those things I hold inside so deep
That I can deny they are a part of me.

So I revert to whining.
“I am already incomplete …
How can I possibly afford to lose more?”
My self-pity tumbles out,
And sits writhing on the table.
She scuttles to the far edge
Scooping scattered pieces into a pile.
She hovers protectively over them,
Shifting from foot to foot.

You shake your head and pick up another piece.
“This one is for Jorge. See how it bears his name?
And this one is for Raymond.
And, ah, Rachel needs this bit, just here.”

I sit with my mouth open and my hands trembling.
Self-pity reflects the horror in my heart,
Tearing at her hair and fretting to herself.
Will you take it all?
Will I be left with nothing?

My fear, which has been hiding under the table,
Clambers out into the light.
She is followed by the large and lumpy shape
Of my disdain, who turns her eyes toward me
And shakes her head with deep revulsion.

This project has fallen into disarray
And taken me with it.
But you sit beside me, unperturbed.
My cadre of false friends do not distract you.

You clear a small area on the table
And give me an encouraging smile.
From another pocket, you take a small stone.
It is an opal, small and deeply luminescent.
“Brenda sent this to you, knowing how you’d love it,”
You say, as you place it before me.

It wakes the tiny Hope within me.
She comes forward to hold the stone quietly to her heart,
Whispering her thanks, admiring its soft colors.
Then she wanders to the pile guarded by Self-pity
And finds a small seedling, ready for planting.

“Brenda would know just where this one would grow,”
She says and brings it to you.
“Do you think you could get it to her?”
You nod and Hope is joined by Delight.

These are the better angels of my nature.
In their hands, and yours, my project is transformed.
I thought it was a do-it-yourself kit.
But, no.
All these pieces scattered across my table
Are but signs of your abundance,
An invitation to do-it-together.

Who knew?

You did, of course.
And, when I make room,
I do, too.

[photo by nerissa’s ring per cc 2.0]

The vector

fractal 2.jpg

This day, let me be
A vector for kindness,
A conduit of grace,
An instigator of joy.

Let me pass on
The infectious love
That flows from your heart
Into all the world.

This day, let me turn my fear
Into a grateful and gracious dance.
Let me learn that your touch
Is the touch that heals.

When my soul begins to itch with impatience,
Let me feel the movement of your grace
And join a flow that can unite us all
Even at a distance.

There is a quantum entanglement
That runs throughout the universe
And you … and I … are caught, as one,
In that choreography of deepest love.

 

[image by Nick Spratt per cc 2.0]

To fix … or to bless

morning 2.jpg

Too often I start my day
With a list of things to do …
Or to do better.

I wake to ‘the first day
Of the rest of my life,’
And immediately try to remake it
In the shadow of yesterday’s errors.

I thrum my soul
With guilt or regret
For what was done poorly
Or not done at all.

I look to the future
But the windows are coated
With a film
Of leftover shoulds.

Guilt, you know,
Is really a poor motivator,
Though it is often the whip
Of first resort.

What if,
Instead of trying to fix,
I could learn to bless?

What if I could learn
To focus on the beauty,
Rather than the flaws?

What if I could wake
With a heart that is grateful
And hopeful
And full of blessing?

Now, there’s an idea.
Maybe I should fix that flaw …
Maybe I should add ‘gratitude’
To my list of things to do better.

AAAUGH! Another should!
But it makes me chuckle
And that might just be enough
To break the spell.

Satan is the Hebrew word
For ‘the accuser.’
True for me.

Today, at least,
I leave his curse behind.
And enter this day
With the blessing of beauty.

And I am grateful.

morning.jpg

[photo is by James Walsh per cc 2.0]

the turning

morning light.jpg

When I remember
To give you the first fruits of my morning,
When I turn my mind, my heart,
First to your call,
Silencing the pull of other voices,
That is when my heart finds home.

Why, then, do I neglect this turning?

Who knows?
Who needs to know?
These questions just delay the turning.

It’s not about fixing me.
It’s about finding you.

So … I tilt my head,
I tilt my heart,
To listen.

And there you are.
I hear what I cannot quite hear.
I know what I cannot really know.
I find, despite my fears,
That I do believe in you.

I believe just enough to cuddle my soul
Within your whisper.
I believe just enough to breathe with you.

In and out,
We exchange the thread of life.
In and out,
You cleanse my heart of dread,
And seed my hope.

And so these three arrive with my turning
Faith, hope, and love.
Your love, of course, is what evokes my own.
And mine must follow, once I turn and see.

Good morning, Holy One.
Thank you.

[photo by Susanne Nilsson per cc 2.0]

the ugly narcissus

narcissus.jpg

How long have I looked into this pool,
Watching that image for change
Hoping it would grow a bit brighter,
A bit more worthy?

How long has my hand been stayed
Just above the water
Wanting, desperately, to fix the faults
Within the image floating there?

How long?

Isn’t it time to let the ugly be
To look away from the wrongs that seem so glaring
To live, rather than to be frozen with regret
To move away from the pool into the day?

I’ll never fix that face
Nor find perfection there.
I’ll never even modify the expression on that face
By looking in the water.

The trap is not the beauty or the lack thereof
But the fixation on the image
And the fantasy that perfection
Is the necessary first step toward acceptance.

But … what is that?
A movement other than my own within the pool
A hand upon my shoulder
A face besides my own looks up at me.

The look within those eyes
As they gaze on my reflection
Seem filled with tears of love.
They drop into the pool and blur the vision there.

The spell is broken.
Narcissus turns and is wrapped in an embrace so full
That all preoccupation is lost in deepest consolation.

[image by cea + per cc 2.0]

your story

prayer.jpg

Oh Holy One,
I turn my heart to you.
I tune my ears,
Seeking the frequency of your heart.
I close my eyes,
So I might see beyond distractions.

This moment of turning
Turns the world.
Until, at last, I glimpse a different story.
It is a story more true than
The one that shouts to me from the TV,
Working to stir my fears.

Your whispered presence
Tells a deeper story.
Not about distance,
Not about disease,
Not about death.

Your story holds a secret melody
That sings of hope,
Of healing, and of resurrection.
You placed yourself within the struggle
To bear, with us, its pain and loss
And walk us through to promise.

Slowly I begin to understand.
Stories are life incarnate:
Life held at a distance,
So that I might better see.

The stories I listen to,
The stories I tell,
Shape me.

So, help me hear your story
The one you speak within my heart
The one that holds the world with love
The one that makes me one with you.

Oh Holy One,
Help me to pray.
Help me to hear your voice amid the storm.
Help me to walk with confidence upon the waves,
Looking only on your face.

Teach me, again, your story.

 

[photo by Via Tsuji per cc 2.0]

Wisdom

wise eyes.jpg

Wisdom is anchored in love.

You cannot really see anything
Until you risk loving it,
Until you can see its inner self –
And God, herself, deeper still.

For deep within all,
Is the ALL that called it into being;
And calls it still, to bring it to its essence,
Just as I am called and refined
In and through deep love.

Wisdom is seeing with God’s eyes.

[photo by Johnny Silvercloud per cc 2.0]