It is there
Deep, deep within the forest
Deep, deep inside my soul,
Deep within the smiles and words of friendship
Deep in certain books or poems
It is there.
Some call it life force, or beauty.
Some call it prahna or pneuma or ruach.
Whatever it is, I find it undeniable.
It is, for me, the deepest reality, and best hope.
I think I’ll call it love.
[photo is my own]
Words can only do so much.
They cannot contain the deepest truth,
But they can point the way.
They are not the handles for reality,
But they are tools for exploration.
And, so, let the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart
Hold true – even when they are too small
To hold truth.
[photo by Jan Glas per cc 2.0]
Every true friendship
Holds the whisper of divinity.
What some see in the sunrise,
I glimpse within your smile.
The hug you bring in greeting
Is always a double embrace.
These truths hold my heart
And feed my life.
[photo by Corey Balazowich per cc 2.0]
There is an image,
An exchange I witnessed,
That has been percolating
In my memory for years.
You’ve probably seen it, too:
A young mother
With her infant bouncing on her lap.
They are enthralled with one another.
What flows between them,
Almost visible as their eyes connect,
Palpable in the air between them,
Is the exchange of life-giving love.
The infant is held by something
So much stronger than her hands.
The mother is upheld
With something just as strong.
Their gifts to one another
Are so tangible
Yet each is filled,
Full of a love that will not be contained.
A rush of life between them.
This is love incarnate.
Love enfleshed; love fulfilled.
This is how life is passed on.
Birth is just the beginning.
Perhaps this shows me why
The Christ came to us.
To look us in the eye
And give us life.
God breathed upon the clay.
Christ looked on us with love.
The Spirit, now within us,
Empowers life’s eternal flow.
It is like breath:
Receiving in; giving out.
Each delightful exchange
Brings life anew.
[image cropped from photo by Robert Moores per cc 2.0]
Deep calls to deep, they say.
I believe it.
It skips my head and grabs my heart.
The universe moves
And something shifts within me
I feel the quantum change
Small and vast at the same time.
There is a truth spinning at the center
Humming in my soul
Vibrating across the strings of my heart
You can’t pin it down.
Observation, itself, makes it shift.
Only one aspect at a time can come into view.
It is simply too big, too vast,
Logic looses its grip.
It cannot hold.
But where logic pushes away,
Love draws close.
The heart of it all calls to my heart.
I know that it is true,
Not because I’ve figured it out,
Not because I’ve grasped it,
But because it holds me
And I feel its embrace.
[photo by NJ per cc 2.0]
There is a change coming
On the wings of the wind.
It blows where it will, they say.
And it wills to blow change.
It wills (yes, it does)
To blow love into the hearts of the earth.
It wills (I am sure)
To help us cuddle closer to each other,
Or to cool our anger
Or soothe our frantic, fevered mind.
It blows in gales
Or moves in quiet whispers,
Whatever will best bring the change it seeks.
It blows across my heart and yours.
Its ancient name was ruach or pneuma.
It is the breath of God.
And it is still bringing life to this clay.
It is still calling us to truer life.
We cannot control it
Or even understand it.
It does not follow any particular set of rules.
And so, the life it brings is far beyond
Even my dearest hopes and dreams.
And, if I can release myself into its flow,
My breath becomes its faint but eager echo.
Its wings are mine.
It lifts me – it lifts us –
To the very heart of God, herself.
[photo by Victoria Nevland per cc 2.0]
I finger my thoughts, slowly, like beads on a string,
Turning them in my fingers, observing their texture and color.
One by one they pass through my grasp.
I can hardly tell why each one arises, nor how it morphs to the next.
Each seems so real and intricate as it sits between my fingers
But as I let it go, it turns to vapor and dissipates.
There really are no beads before or after the one I hold;
Not that I can see.
Could it be that the time I spend in my head – planning or trying to understand
May actually be frittering away the life you have opened for me
Opened – but it’s out of sight, so, out of mind.
How do loosen my internal focus, so I can grasp a broader view?
Let me learn not to worry about the last bead or the next –
To focus less on thoughts and more on moments
To trust the string of your love
And let the beads arise and fall in grace.
This is my prayer
Today and tomorrow
(If I can anticipate the next day’s bead upon the string)
Let me come to life, one bead at a time.
[photo by Vicki C per cc 2.0]