The mirror of my mind’s eye
Is much more flattering
Than the one framed on my bathroom door.
My imagined goodness, too,
Contains all the contemplated kindnesses,
Not just those actually done.
My projects are better when I plan them
Than when they reach completion,
With all their wrinkles and flaws.
The problem is
When I am content with imagining
Nothing really happens.
I must embrace the flaws
If I am to love the life that is,
If I am to live at all.
Like raw silk,
The slubs are part of its beauty.
They add richness and grace.
Those cracks, dear Lenard,
As you knew so well,
Are where the life gets in.
[photo by mary per cc 2.0]
In this quiet hollow,
In this deep, still, place
My heart at first is quieted.
It gives up the rumble of my days
And the persistent picking of my thoughts
And the undertow of worry.
All these are splashed upon the shore like foam.
They dissolve upon the great beach of your
Until, at last, they simply flow in and out without
They come and go, but do not call to me.
I find, at last a quiet space to be.
And there I sit and listen to my heart.
And to your whispered presence
In its hollows.
2 27 01
[photo by Kate McDonald per cc 2.0]
It can help to mark the endings.
Otherwise, things run together
And meaning gets lost in the tangle
Of next, next, next.
We can lose sight of the full circle.
We can fail to recognize when something is finished;
There is a quiet beauty in the sunset.
In the sigh at the end of the day.
It is a whispered permission
To let go what you cannot hold, anyway.
It is good to give it your best
And it is good to let that be enough.
That is when that period at the end of the day
Is, indeed, a blessing.
[photo by Sunny per cc 2.0]
For the gift of time,
The gift of timing
I give thanks.
For the moment, at least,
There is no hurry,
There is only now.
Somehow I must still my heart
Somehow, I wake to you.
I feel the whisper of your embrace,
And long to know it deeply.
I come, though I know not how.
I release myself to you,
And gratefully receive you, in return.
I am a single stitch
That helps to hold creation
To the heart of Christ.
In this, in this –
I find my hope and purpose.
Somehow it makes a difference.
And I am glad.
[photo by Cara Louise Horne per cc 2.0]
The intent of my soul toward my god.
The intent of your soul toward yours,
Finds us leaning deeply upon each other.
It makes me smile.
Neither of us have a handle on the almighty,
Neither can hold the Whole within our minds or hearts,
But when the spirits’s fruits grow up between us,
I count it as a confirmation.
[photo by United States Mission Geneva per cc 2.0]
Come with joy into this day, into this new year.
There is much to do and much to experience.
There is a dance, already begun, reaching out its hand to you.
There is a deep smile spread across the universe,
Offering you a whisper of undeniable hope.
Open your hand.
You have closed it so tightly around nothing.
For nothing is all that you can control.
If control is what you seek, you will come up empty handed.
But if you seek joy, well, take my hand and join the dance.
The future is closed or open by your choice.
Choose life. Choose relationship. Choose me.
I am as real as you dare to believe – as real as your very breath.
I AM – and life, true life, is yours –
It is out of your grasp, but within my embrace.
[photo by Leonardo per cc 2.0]
Giving thanks is part of a pervasive human activity: gift exchange. … So important is the pattern of give, receive, give back that some thinkers identify it as crucial for holding societies together. People who knit interconnections via gift exchanges create more stable communities than those whose only glue is external rules.
Ours is an age dominated by the contract not the gift. Contracts are engaged only when specific mutual benefits can be identified. Once the specified exchange is completed, the relationship ends. The gift and gratitude context, by contrast, assumes asymmetry and continuation. – Raymond Boisvert
This brief reflection changed my (thanksgiving) day. That dance of grateful joy – giving, receiving, giving back – is a reflection of the Trinity that Richard Rohr is introducing to me. An understanding of ‘god’ as a solitary, all powerful, all complete, separate being is just not big enough to express the mystery of love. It takes the dance of Trinity to help me see. It takes the dance of relationship – of giving and receiving and giving again – the very heart of the Trinity – to help me understand.
[photo by Adam Baker per cc 2.0]