not fair

reciprocity collective 1.jpg
 

not fair

It’s not fair.
Thankfully … it’s not fair.

Fairness can be boring
Tit-for-tat
This-for-that
An even exchange with no sense
Of enduring obligation.

It is like a contract,
Formed to make sure all are satisfied in the end,
Satisfied enough to pay no attention to each other
Satisfied enough to leave and never look back.

But when you have been given a gracious gift
You are connected to the giver.
There is a tie that a grateful heart maintains.
It brings a sense that you must give, as well.

Often, I struggle
Under that sense of obligation.
But reciprocity is the first step toward love.
Would that I could but see that cycle of giving
As a bond of mutual care.

Then, I might learn to join that dance with a sense of joy,
Both giving and receiving with an open heart,
Grateful for the dance, itself.

The focus, when you sign a contract,
Is on what is exchanged.
The focus, when a gift is given,
Is on the relationship.

And that is a true gift.

reciprocity collective 2.jpg

[My thanks to Raymond Boisvert for this insight.]

[photos of the Reciprocity Collective  at Tedx Providence 2018 per cc 2.0]

the space between the words (2)

whispered wisdomSometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.

I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.

Here’s an addition to this collection, added 1/28/19:

Matt Fitzgerald.png

“Let beauty be beauty, don’t worship it. Let your family be your family, don’t expect everything from them. Let work be work, don’t let it define you. Let our nation be our nation, not something to kill for.

Let life be what it is: a beautiful gift full of trouble, days of joy and contradiction, expiring in our hands. Life isn’t everything. We shouldn’t try to wring eternity from existence.”  – Matt Fitzgerald [as posted here]

Image of Franz Kafka

 

Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts, Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]

 

Hannah Bonner

 

Tears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]

 

 

Frederick Buechner

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

 

 

photo of Richard RohrJesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” – Richard Rohr – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]

 

 

[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.]  [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]

the space between the words

whispered wisdomSometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.

I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.

Here’s an addition to this collection, added 1/17/19:

Matt Fitzgerald.png

“Let beauty be beauty, don’t worship it. Let your family be your family, don’t expect everything from them. Let work be work, don’t let it define you. Let our nation be our nation, not something to kill for.

Let life be what it is: a beautiful gift full of trouble, days of joy and contradiction, expiring in our hands. Life isn’t everything. We shouldn’t try to wring eternity from existence.”  – Matt Fitzgerald [as posted here]

Image of Franz Kafka

Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts, Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]

Hannah BonnerTears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]

Frederick Buechner

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

photo of Richard RohrJesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” – Richard Rohr – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]

[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.]  [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]

fingers crossed

fingers crossedOn the edge of change
In the swirl of this, still new, millennium
So much is urgent and hopeful, yet full of tragedy and despair.

All the institutions of the old order,
Economics, education, religion, civics,
Seem in helpless disarray.

Yet there are sprouts of green amid the rubble.
There are prescient urgings and faithful actions
Calling a new world community to life.

What is this, emerging among us?
Could it be a new turning toward each other?
Could it be that a new world is rising, expectantly, in our midst?

So much change, yet so much deep coherence.
It reaches beneath the chaos to sing grace.
My heart is captured by this hopeful, unifying song.

Fingers crossed … I dare believe it might be true.
It certainly is true to my dearest hopes
And ushers in a belief worth believing.

[photo by Pamela Machado per cc 2.0 … Even creative commons is part of this emerging.]

off to the mountains

I’m off to the mountains.
My soul longs to absorb the colors of the wild;
To sit in the presence of the mountain
And let it sink its roots into my heart.

The touch of that deep quiet has faded
And needs to be renewed
So that I, too, might be renewed.
The attention of my soul is too easily distracted
By the flash and dazzle of the market
And the vitriol and terror of the news.

So, I will sink my feet into the numbing cold of a stream
And let my soul sigh before a columbine.
I will relish the quiet conversation of friends
Whose voices carry the whisper of the divine.
I will remember the solid grace of solitude
And the gift of mutual interdependence.

I am grateful to be able to make such a pilgrimage,
In the company of others whose hearts are open to its peace.
There are no guarantees on the mountain,
Except that it is there – deeply, powerfully there,
And its gifts of beauty and grandeur and challenge and grace
Play upon the wind and call me to its depths.

I’m off to the mountains to store up images of hope
To feed my soul and smooth the edges of my anger
And give me a bit of grace to share.
I go in hope and confidence that it still has gifts to share;
That my heart will still be open;
That its terrible beauty will do its work in me, again.

I’m off to the mountains.

[so … no posts for a bit.]

A L on liberty

Abraham Lincoln

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.

— Abraham Lincoln

The tyranny of self, of course, leads to the tyranny of others.
When self rules – at least the self that wants it all –
There is no freedom.

Once again the mystery –
Giving is receiving.
An open hand liberates.

[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0]

a moment in time

a moment in time

For the gift of time,
The gift of timing
I give thanks.

 

For the moment, at least,
There is no hurry,
There is only now.

Somehow I must still my heart
To know,
To be

Somehow, I wake to you.
I feel the whisper of your embrace,
And long to know it deeply.

I come, though I know not how.
I release myself to you,
And gratefully receive you, in return.

I am a single stitch
That helps to hold creation
To the heart of Christ.

In this, in this –
I find my hope and purpose.
Somehow it makes a difference.

And I am glad.

Amen

[photo by Cara Louise Horne per cc 2.0]