no magic

magicThere is no magic.

There is only mystery.

Magic presumes a mastery of the mysterious, where certain incantations will constrain the outcome. But mystery will not be constrained.

That is good news, when mystery is the very heart of goodness.

I want to release myself to the embrace of mystery.  I just don’t know how. So, I keep trying magic. Until I give up my attempts at control, I keep the mystery at bay. Such is my quandary.

I’d pray about it, except that I keep turning prayer into an attempt at magic, an Aladdin’s lamp. Three wishes will be granted for the rubbing.

Just like to me mess up a blessing.

Aauugh!

Why won’t I learn? When you bargain with a loving God, you only cheat yourself.

[photo by Linus Bohman per cc 2.0]

silence

silver seasThere are different kinds of silence …
The silence of midnight,
Where dark and quiet merge;
The silence of a friend’s absence,
Where that space in your heart rings hollow;
The silence of your lover’s sigh,
Folding you within its arms.

sunriseThen, there is …
The deep silence of the wilderness,
Where nature breathes life into your soul;
The stony silence of disregard,
That eats your soul away, again;
The silence of meditation,
Once the chattering mind has stilled,
Pointing the way to the silence that holds the world.

silent shore

May your day bring healing silence,
Quieting your heart,
Opening your soul as a receptacle, a conduit, for love.

Amen. May it be so.

[Photos by Mike Bizeau, from his wonderful blog, nature has no boss. The first is midnight in Greenland.  His thoughts on silence triggered my own. He added a link to a study of noise in our national parks. I am grateful for his blog, which greets my mornings.]

Those slubs

raw silkThe mirror of my mind’s eye
Is much more flattering
Than the one framed on my bathroom door.

My imagined goodness, too,
Contains all the contemplated kindnesses,
Not just those actually done.

My projects are better when I plan them
Than when they reach completion,
With all their wrinkles and flaws.

The problem is
When I am content with imagining
Nothing really happens.

I must embrace the flaws
If I am to love the life that is,
If I am to live at all.

Like raw silk,
The slubs are part of its beauty.
They add richness and grace.

Those cracks, dear Lenard,
As you knew so well,
Are where the life gets in.

[photo by mary per cc 2.0]

quandaries with prayer

restless

When it comes to prayer,
I am like a fidgety child,
Too tired to go to sleep.
My urgencies unsettle my heart,
Crying out for a way out.

My focus is me,
And so my prayers become
An incessant prattle,
Begging and pleading
For what I want.

It’s not that my desires are wrong,
It’s just that they rivet my focus
And overwhelm my heart.
Ironic, because prayer, for so many,
Is a path to peace.

And yet the instructions for prayer:
Ask, seek, knock,
Seem to confirm that focus.
Perhaps, I can find a bit of wisdom, there:
The way out is through.

I must bring myself to prayer
And all my baggage comes with me.
Until I speak my troubles,
I can think of nothing else.
And, besides, a friend will listen to prattle.

And so I come with all my messy pleas,
And sit down beside you,
And pour them out.
And you, my Holy Friend,
You listen.

That is a start.

[photo by Joe Benjamin per cc 2.0]

Not. Perfect.

learning to walk

So, here’s a surprise for you:
I’m not perfect.
Never have been.

In fact, perfect isn’t so good,
‘Cause you’d have to stop right there.
Any move from perfect goes away from it.

And perfect –
Doesn’t have many friends.
Too insufferable; too lonely.

What I am; what you are
Is unfolding; growing; transforming,
All of which embrace imperfection at their start.

Like a little one,
Learning to crawl; learning to stand;
It can be a lovely, messy process.

What it requires is a loving environment.
Where each new step is cherished
And loving arms reach out to hold you through it all.

I am grateful to have such arms around me.
We fall together; we help each other up; we laugh.
Perfect! (not.)

[photo by wrk per cc 2.0]

my reflection

reflection

They say I am made in the image of God.
It is true that I do have some beautiful feathers.
There is an iridescence in some of what I bring to the world.

Of course, there is also a strange awkwardness.
The image I present contains only the smallest hint of that Holy Three.
And when I study my own image, even that becomes blurred.

But none of that changes the gift of the creator
Which rests upon my being
And pours itself into the world.

Would that I could celebrate that gift and simply let it flow
Then, perhaps, I could turn my eyes from a static reflection,
Reflecting, instead, on the greater dance of love.

More than my own image is reflected in this pool.
Even looking down, I can see the trees, the sky.
If I look closely, I can see your smile.

[photo used with permission from Mike Bizeau’s beautiful blog – nature has no boss]

the very idea of God

 

wonderI
To touch the wind
To carry the ocean in a cup
To lift a star from heaven and hold it close
To hold within my soul a whisper of God’s presence
All, so far beyond me
… and yet, my heart does yearn.

II
The very idea of God
I cannot grasp or define or describe
Words are too small, too constraining
God will not be pigeonholed.
Aslan is no tame lion.
… and yet, the wonder will not let me go.

III
How I think of God
Makes a difference in the shape of my soul.
If, I think first of ‘God hates sin,’
I find myself the hated one.
If, instead, am formed by ‘God is love…’
… well …

IV
I cannot tell you what it means
For the creator to kiss my face.
I cannot tell you how it feels to be so held
That I come into being.
Could it be … perhaps … oh, my …
… that I am the very idea of God.

[image cropped from photo by Petras Gaggles per cc 2.0]