yes or no

Does it matter to the world
That I have lost my center;
That I find my heart jerked back and forth
With every new event
And the conjecture about what it means?

Does my own peace or angst
Add anything to the world’s unfolding?

The answer is either yes, or no.

Either way, it makes a difference
Whether I can find my way to peace, in You.

If yes -
If my own centering in Your presence
Can help in some small way
To remind the world that there is a center
And that we are all invited in -
Then it does make a difference
To one small corner of the world.

If no -
If my peace or angst are mine alone,
If there are no ripples from my presence,
Then, I might as well seek peace.
It will, after all,
Make a vast difference to me
Even if it is me, alone.

And I expect the truth
Is somewhere in the middle.
It is both yes and no.
I will not change the world, much.
But even a little can make a difference.

I know this because
The kind smile of a friend,
The simple sigh of one I love,
The joy that invades my heart
From seeing the pure joy of my granddaughter
Or the soft, proud smile of her mother
These make my life rich.

I am pulled from poverty of spirit
To the rich, full embrace of life
By little things.

And so, I resolve
To offer what little things I can
To life,
To You,
And, so, to the world.

I give my offering
As a ‘yes’ to the center
That gives its life to me.

[photo by piotr mamnaimie per cc 2.0; captured through flickr]

The web

Hope.
Quiet hope.
Deep assurance.
Holy breath.

These hold me here, in time.
These still my soul.
These hold me true.

Why then do I hurry past the moments of opportunity?
Why does my heart keep turning aside
To gaze at the plastic trinkets scattered on the path
Or run to hide from the angry voices shouted in the air?

How do I let myself get distracted again, again, again?

AAAUGH!

I turn to run and find myself stumbling into you.
You have been standing there, waiting for me.
I cry out again and release myself into your arms.
And you take me in.

You sit me down upon the grass.
I lean myself upon your frame.
And sigh a tearful, stuttering sigh.

You place your hand upon my shoulder
And whisper in my ear, “Here, here.”
Not ‘there, there,’ as I might expect,
But ‘here, here.’

And that with that brief turn of phrase,
My heart takes its breath and turns, as well.
And I am, for just a moment, here.

Here – the only place I can really be right now.
‘There’ is only fantasy, 
A wishful, fearful, fitful web,
Sticky with false promises.

Here. Here within your arms.
Here and nowhere else.
Here for just a breath.
Here, here, is life.

 

[photo by Susanne Nilsson per cc 2.0]

the space between the words (3)

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 1/31/20:

Monk.jpg

“It is a lie—any talk of God
that does not
comfort
you.”
– Meister Eckhart [translated by Daniel Ladinsky in Love Poems from God. Image from photo by Marta Nogueira, per cc 2.0

 

added 1/19/20:

“I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate. I’ve seen too much hate on the faces of sheriffs in the South. I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many Klansmen MLK.jpgand too many White Citizens Councilors in the South to want to hate, myself, because every time I see it, I know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and I say to myself that hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.” – MLK, [quoted in The Pause newsletter 1 19 20 by OnBeing. photo by Paulo O per cc 2.0]

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]