at the edge

old engraving of the reality beyond - the 'flammarion'Sometimes my mind seems to flicker
At the very edges of a new reality.
Ideas blink on and off,
Just out of reach.
A new fragrance hangs in the air.
An almost melody calls my heart.

The old understandings
Now fall like a chiffon drape
Ruffling in the wind
Across the window of my imagination.
What once seemed solid and sure
Is revealed as a faded fabric
Filtering the light.

Thomas Kuhn would speak of a paradigm shift:
The unmaking and remaking of foundational frameworks.
But the image I feel
Is that of walking through a series of veils,
Hanging on a line to dry.
Each reveals, even as it hides.
Each gives way to another.

Or, instead, I begin to catch the threads
As they unravel from an old tapestry.
I find that they can be rewoven into a blanket.
Beautiful and new, it covers all.
It holds fresh stories
Not painted on its surface
But cuddled in its folds.

[public domain image, drawn from wikipedia]


universe in a water dropOf course we use metaphors.
Of course we try to understand the ineffable.
Of course we fall short.
Of course we try again.

Can you explain beauty
Or describe love?
It is all so marvelously immense.

I’m grateful – no thrilled –
To be a tiny part of a universe
That is so far beyond my grasp
And so filled with wonder
And so deeply interwoven.

I’ll never understand.
Isn’t that grand?

[photo by Andrew Kuznetsov per cc 2.0]

Soul as arête

I think of soul as anything’s ultimate meaning, held deep within.  – Richard Rohr, paraphrased

a soul visualizedIf you have not found your own arête, your true soul,
Then, you are in competition with all others
For a place in the universe.

When you do find it,
When it is shown to you,
All others become your siblings.

You can find brother sun, sister moon,
Uncle mountain, mother earth,
And cousins in all your fellow travelers.

The strength of others becomes
A bulwark rather than a threat
As you meld your different gifts into a greater whole.

When you find your part to play,
When you play in joy with others,
All the world befriends you.

The gift of being,
Even the gift of joining others
In discovering your mutual gifts – is, itself, a gift.


[the image above, by Ade McOran-Campbell has been placed in the public domain by the artist]

the heart of it all

manifestation - seeing the unseenThe heart of it all
Is not a piece of flesh
But a warm and generous embrace.

Life is not centered on substance,
On things – or even beings
But on relationship.

The most precious thing in my life is not a thing.

It’s harder to see relationship
But I am learning.
It’s not the smile, but the connection it brings.

It’s like learning to see life itself.
It is a mystery that you cannot hold still.
It is a mystery that holds you … still.


[photo by Maltz Evans per cc 2.0]

I wonder …

sunriseI wonder …
and when I do, judgment falls to the wayside.

All the fingers of my mind,
That try to grasp and hold – and fix – reality,
Release their grip.

Gentle wonder
Wakes to beauty
Rests in grace.

I am held in the open palm
Of God’s dear hand

In the twinkling of an insight,
I am changed.
My soul is released into the mystery.

I find that I am held
Even as I am freed.


[Thanks to Maria Popova in her post on gentle wonder as a corrective …]
[photo is my own]


ninety-six years of quiet blessing

Aunt Nan

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of my aunt.
Her obituary was not filled with a list of accomplishments,
But the room was filled with a host of people she loved.

She was a pillar that supported the roof over my childhood
She made the sandwiches for our tree house lunches
She took us swimming and held us with her laughter.

As we grew, she gave us books
That pushed us beyond the boundaries of our small backyard
Suggesting that the grace and love of God were big enough for more.

Because she loved deeply and let herself be loved
She gave us ninety-six years of quiet blessing.
She taught us to be grateful … and we are.