what I am not

measuring up.jpg

I am not Carrie Newcomer
I am not Rumi or Hafiz
I am not a brilliant prophet or great philanthropist
I am not even a good little girl
At least, not any more,
Not even on the surface.

So, what am I?

I am yours.
(and here a wry smile crosses my face)
I guess you are stuck with that …
With me.

But you are not stuck
And neither am I.
(and here a sweet chuckle rumbles your chest)
We are not stuck.
Deep within your embrace, there is movement.

Here, after your kiss
Exploded in the big bang;
Here, after your brooding spirit
Formed this blue marble in your hand;
Here, after my daddy’s eye’s twinkled
And my mom sighed;
Here you are: calling, calling me to be in you.

Not just me, of course,
You call us all.
Rock and tree
Sky and sea,
Even dark matter thrums in response.
And, somehow I know, we are coming.

We are all coming,
Every one.
In the end, love will win.
Love will melt the stubborn resistance
Of me, me, me.
Melt it into the quiet insistence
Of we, we, we.

The call … is irresistible.

Thank God.

[photo by Irish Typepad per cc 2.0]

 

the chrysalis has broken

emerging from the chrysalis.jpg

Today

May you trust the dawn,
Which I am bringing.

May your heart find a way
To hold both sorrow and hope.

May your ears listen, in quiet solidarity,
To the grief of cruel rejection.

And know that such a time as this,
Is meant for change, for growth.

The chrysalis has broken open.
Do not fear its breaking.

I have not abandoned you.
Nor have I forsaken my deep love for all.

Rest within my arms for just a moment.
Do not turn too quickly from the grief.

Let me rock you softly as your tears fall.
May you know, deeply know, that love prevails.

Already, I love you.
I always have.

You are a mystery, born of love.
And your wings will soon unfold into that truth.

You are emerging from the chrysalis that held you.
Its constraints no longer serve.

But it will take some time for the sun to dry your wings.
And the breeze of freedom to lift you for flight.

You can trust my love to win, again and always.
It is less about resistance and more about release.

My ways are not your ways.
They are strong and sure.

Love will prevail, not through plots and strategies,
But, as love always does, in loving.

In the meantime, may your heart hold on to me,
As I hold you.

[photo by Dagmar Collins per cc 2.0]

a bigger faith

faith.jpg

I need a faith that is bigger
Than my humble hopes and paltry prayers
A faith big enough to touch the wire cages
That hold the refugees I am afraid to recognize
As my siblings and my friends.

I need a faith big enough to offer hope.

And I need hope that is big enough
To draw me from my couch,
Not in guilt or anger, but in energetic love.
Ready to work within the unfolding,
Sure of the partnership of the One who holds us all.

I need a hope sure enough to evoke joy.

I need a surge of joyful surrender,
Rolling down the grassy slope into your lap.
Knowing that your embrace awaits –
An embrace that does not close around me
But opens me up to more and more.

I need the energy of your bracing love.

I need that breath of life that comes
When the emptiness is filled with You.
When darkness shines
And the hollows hold abundance.
When, at last, I know that love is real and all.

I need to know that faith and hope and love remain.

I need to know, to deeply know,
That you have not turned away from me
Or from this world of your creation;
That you can redeem even these moments of pain,
Within the whole of your infolding love.

[photo by Giampaolo Squarcina per cc 2.0]

brave hope

sunrise.jpg

Does the morning bring hope,
Or is it hope that brings the morning?

When my heart is dark,
And the world seems set upon its own destruction,
I focus my eyes on the horizon
And hope for hope to dawn.

I cannot seem to conjure hope
Any more than I can conjure the sunrise
Or the appearance of daffodils in spring
And yet – Ah! Look! – they come!

Hope and the dawn
Come, hand in hand,
Striding up the hill of morning
Throwing off the darkness with a smile.

Awake, my heart!
Wake to that cool, sweet rush of grace.
Do not resist the morning.
Do not let fear of disappointment rob this gift.

Let me greet the dawn with a brave, determined smile.
Let me gratefully receive this gift,
Rising strong – yes, strong – within me.
I will not turn aside from hope.

[photo by Dennis Yang per cc 2.0]

new resolution (mid January)

new years resolution.jpg

Let me adjust my eyes this year to see with a new resolution.
Let me pull back the veil, just a bit each day
So that I might see your glory,
Tucked into each small corner of this place, of this life.

Let me see you when I look at the dawn.
Let me see you when I hold a friend close in my heart.
Let me see you in the day’s unfolding.
Yes, even in the mirror, let me see you.

Even in the mud and muck and mistakes,
Even in the maddening rush of selfish flurry
That seems to engulf us all.
Even in my blindness, teach me to see with other eyes.

And then, slowly, perhaps, you will sneak out.
You will reveal the secrets of your mystery
That all, all, all is being called home,
Drawn into the mystery that will transform life to LIFE.

 

[photo by Marwa Morgan per cc 2.0]

in the image

mirror image

I keep trying to make you in my image:
Liking what I like,
Rejecting what I reject …

But then I remember that I got it backwards, again.
You ask me to love what you love
Leaving your fingerprints on all I touch.
Becoming a small aperture of grace.

Open me to this possibility – that you might
Live through me, in this small corner of the new reality,
Giving light to my light; life to my life.

[image by John&Fish per cc 2.0]

deep wood

dark wood

I am in a dark wood, trying to find my way. All the trees look the same. What seems to be a path will disappear in a tangle of brush after just a few steps. The moon has not come up. The sounds of the night wear a menacing edge.

I try to keep from panicking. I tell myself to breathe. How did I get here? How can I find my way home? It is as if I suddenly came to consciousness in this place. It seems I’ve been here quite a while, but unaware. Which means, unfortunately, that I can’t retrace my steps.

There is no visible threat, but my heart is beating in my ears. I can hardly think. I’ve heard the stories of terror and all of them are breathing down my neck at once. My imagination fuels my fear.

As I cast to the right and to the left, I see the dark form of a large tree. I make my way there and, circling the bulk, I push aside a low branch, and crawl inside the canopy. I find a place where there is a bit of room and I lean myself against the trunk.

With my back to the tree and a large branch on either side, I feel my panic begin to subside. Here, at least for a moment, I can breathe and take stock of my surroundings. Here, cuddled up against the bulk of the tree, I release my frantic wanderings and whisper a prayer.

Then, to my surprise, I begin to notice other things. I feel the slightest breeze and it carries the scent of pine upon its breath. I notice that the ground beneath me is covered with a blanket of pine needles, softening its surface. The branches on either side are full of life, earning their monicker of ever-green. I raise my eyes to see the stars through the highest branches, punctuating the night sky with hope.

The moon sneaks out from behind a cloud. It had been there all along. It’s face wears a craggy smile as it sends its shimmering light upon the grasses down the hill. Turns out, this tree is at the edge of a clearing. From it, I watch a cautious doe lead her fawn out into the open space. She lifts her head at a sharp sound and sniffs the air. Then she resumes her grazing.

The wood is full of undeniable danger, but it is also filled with beauty. Now my prayer has turned from desperation to gratitude. For a moment I am in a wood that is deep with wonder. It is the same wood – mysterious, and whispering grace.

 

[photo by ShinyPhotoScotland per cc 2.0]