off to the mountains

I’m off to the mountains.
My soul longs to absorb the colors of the wild;
To sit in the presence of the mountain
And let it sink its roots into my heart.

The touch of that deep quiet has faded
And needs to be renewed
So that I, too, might be renewed.
The attention of my soul is too easily distracted
By the flash and dazzle of the market
And the vitriol and terror of the news.

So, I will sink my feet into the numbing cold of a stream
And let my soul sigh before a columbine.
I will relish the quiet conversation of friends
Whose voices carry the whisper of the divine.
I will remember the solid grace of solitude
And the gift of mutual interdependence.

I am grateful to be able to make such a pilgrimage,
In the company of others whose hearts are open to its peace.
There are no guarantees on the mountain,
Except that it is there – deeply, powerfully there,
And its gifts of beauty and grandeur and challenge and grace
Play upon the wind and call me to its depths.

I’m off to the mountains to store up images of hope
To feed my soul and smooth the edges of my anger
And give me a bit of grace to share.
I go in hope and confidence that it still has gifts to share;
That my heart will still be open;
That its terrible beauty will do its work in me, again.

I’m off to the mountains.

[so … no posts for a bit.]

hold on (in times of change)

chaotic storm clouds

This is one of those times when the world is changing so fast that about all we can do is hold on …

Hold on and watch the miracle of new creation,
For we are witnesses to a new reality being born out of chaos.

It is of some comfort that the last creation started with chaos, too.

We hold on in hope … and hope does not disappoint, because even this new world is held in the hands of ultimate, intimate love.

Or, maybe, there is just a bit more we can do. Perhaps we can let go of our own efforts to control, and use our time, instead, to receive and pass on that love.

That we can do – even in the midst of chaos.

[photo by Jo Naylor per cc 2.0]

The Tragedy of Tragedy

tragedy's maskWhen tragedy occurs, it seems we must hurry to find someone or something to blame, removing our own guilt and complicity, our responsibility for response, by pointing outside ourselves. What else are we to do with our anger and fear, but place it at a safe distance?

Unfortunately, and all too often, othering is what created the space for tragedy, in the first place –  or, at least, what placed the most vulnerable where they will take the brunt of the impact.

Can we learn to respond first with compassion? Can we learn, when we must blame, to blame the othering, and not the other? Can we learn to see – within our very selves – both the victim and the perpetrator, as scary and disgusting as that may be?

Oh, Holy One, help us to learn to love all ‘others’ as ourselves – as, indeed, they are.

[photo by Isabelle per cc 2.0]



holding on to faithThe deep roots of faith
Support the suffering, grieving souls
Who are redeeming tragedy with forgiveness
That mirrors the unfathomable love of God.

Unbelievable belief
Faithful faith

Honoring the beloved ones who are now held close
In the very arms of the One who conquered death
… for them and for us all.

[photo by Hannah Swithinbank per cc 2.0]