When will I learn
Is an oxymoron?
(And, also, unnecessary)
Sometimes, 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:
“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]
“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]
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]
“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]
“Jesus 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]
Looking forward to giving thanks.
It is an interesting exercise.
It holds blessings
And hidden challenges.
There is a grace in preparing food
In anticipating the laughter and hugs
In remembering the favorite delicacies
And simple dishes of past years.
Making the cookies that grandma made;
Fixing the ‘right’ dressing
Or the green bean casserole
These are all are a kind of sacrament.
They honor family
And weave a tapestry of memory
And help to keep the place at the table
For those who no longer attend.
But we must remember
In the remembering
To actually be at the meal
With those who actually come.
There is no confection,
There is no perfection
(Even if perfection were possible)
That is better than presence.
So, I pray that I will remember
To attend to the family
More than the meal.
To let the mess become a miracle.
For that is the way of grace.
Where did I put myself?
Surely, if I run around
Peeking under every thought or action
Second guessing every move,
Surely, I will uncover my true self.
Instead, the empty box remains empty.
All the busyness is just a desperate attempt
To fill the void and distract the mind.
There is still no substance, there.
The more I fuss and fuddle
The more I do and do
The more I hide behind the masks of effort
The less my heart is sure
The less my soul is true.
So, finally, I fall exhausted in a heap.
Relieved, at least, there is a me to fall.
(At least, I think so … let me look.)
Have I managed to erase myself
Instead of just hiding my mistakes?
The perfect me is a fiction.
Even the efforts to be a better me
Fall useless to the ground.
Only this befuddled, messy me is left.
Yet, turns out, that is the me you love.
It is the real me
The one I keep losing under the mess
The one that I try to deny or fix
That is the one you hold within your heart.
And in that holding I am made whole.
If you love me
Maybe I can love me, too.
And then true transformation can begin.
Is your jaw tight?
Is your heart clinched around fear?
Is there a knot in the core of your being?
So, today I will set a different intention.
I will look for opportunities to smile.
I will listen for the kind laughter of friends.
I will release the world to the care of the Holy One
And step into the flow of grace.
All I have to do, is force myself to relax.
Arrrgh! …. Oh! Ahhhh!