Have you ever noticed That there are some people Who seem to hold a brightness In their spirit? Their eyes are more alive. The day lifts a bit When they come into it. They bring a quiet joy. There is a confidence within them, But it is not focused on themselves. They seem to be held by an assurance That the world is deeply right. What if, perhaps, they caught the holy virus? And what if it is spread by smiles? Even the tiny upturn of a lip, The twinkle in an eye, can bring exposure. And what if I, too, could be a carrier, A vector of life? Ah! That would make me smile! (And did I just see the twinkle in your eye?)
My job is not to be good But to offer good to the nearby world. Going to seed Might actually be a good thing.
[photo from nature has no boss, used with permission]
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.
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?
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.
Good news! Spring has not been cancelled!
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 1/31/20:
“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 and 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]
“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]