Beauty is not skin deep
It calls to deep.
Layer upon layer upon layer
Creating fractals of pleasure
That play, one upon the other.
It expands far into the distance
Even as it brushes my cheek
With life-giving moisture.
When I stop to notice beauty,
It breaks my soul open.
When I train my eyes to see it
My heart cannot help but follow.
And here is the secret:
Beauty is everywhere.
There it is.
[photo from the wonderful blog, nature has no boss, by MIKE BIZEAU used with permission]
Good morning, Holy One.
You smile upon the earth and the sun decides to rise.
You breathe and that breath stirs the trees and sets the waters skipping.
You kiss the earth and it blooms.
How then can my heart be dull?
How can I stop my voice from singing?
How can I sit alone and lonely in the face of such wonder?
For your constant ‘Yes,’ stirring my soul to unshakable hope.
That is what I need.
That is what you give, this holy morning.
[photo is my own]
The wind chimes
Hang outside my window
And when the breeze is low
I can barely hear them.
My ears are deaf
But my heart is held
By their quiet, soft, round tone.
They melt into that hollow.
Before the world begins its clamor
And the responsibilities click in place
I am held by unspoken beauty.
Even at noon
When the wind is still
And the chimes hang limp
The beauty of hope remains.
And in the evening
When the cool and breeze return
My heart is reminded.
I find I am held, still.
Is a bird self-aware?
Does it see its own quiet beauty?
Does it know the part it plays within the whole?
Or does it focus on the beauty that surrounds it,
Making it all the more beautiful,
In its unstudied grace?
Sometimes, I’d like to be a small bird.
Not so much for the flight,
But for the ease of finding the wind.
[photo by Mike Bizeau from the wonderful blog, nature has no boss used with permission]
There is a holy whisper in the universe.
Sometimes it is hard for my heart to hear it.
Sometimes I even doubt its presence.
But then, I am overcome by beauty.
And I am reminded.
It is so.
Sometimes it seems I will be pulled apart by chaos.
So much in disarray.
So much violence and anger.
So much pain and terror.
But deep below it all, there is an anchor of truth.
It holds me, still.
I often wish for a different reality.
I even try to make it so.
But my small fictions cannot do the trick.
The real is real.
And the very deepest real,
Is a call to unity – even in the midst of chaos.
Much of that struggle and pain
Is created when my fictions strike up against yours.
Even so, the struggle and the pain are real,
They stretch and tear and bind.
They do hurt – immensely.
But they are not eternal.
How can I release myself to the seeming chaos?
How can I become a part of that deep unity,
Without loosing myself?
So, I continue to construct my fictional self
Out of the rubble of my efforts.
All to no avail.
I fight the inevitable
Like a small child fighting sleep.
I whine and struggle, rock and fidget.
I push against the embrace
Until I can resist no longer
And I fall into peace.
And here is the wonder of it all
I am held in the arms of truth.
The chaos is not random.
It tumbles into patterns of fractal beauty
Where I am both lost and found
And my heart at last can hear that holy whisper.
[photo ashokboghani by per cc 2.0]
[Thanks to Richard Rohr, in his meditation blog, for helping me begin to see.]
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.]
What do you see … the grass or the light?
And how do you see the grass without the light?
Or the light without the grass?
[photo by Jean-Marc Linder per cc 2.0]