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 beauty of friendship

friendship's beautyFriendship is a beautiful thing.
It sings softly in the corners of the day.
It smiles quietly when you come through the door
And misses you when you are gone.

It is almost imperceptible at times, but then
It anchors your soul when storms come,
And rejoices in your joys, sending them soaring.
A simple hug from a friend can heal your soul.

I am so grateful for the gift, for the gifts, of friends.

[photo by Justo Ruiz per cc 2.0]

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.

Things that wake my soul

asymmetrical beauty

The things that wake my soul:

  • Beauty – particularly the movement inherent in asymmetrical beauty
  • Deep honesty toward myself – which opens the door to connection
  • Improbable hope lived out with grace
  • Kindness – especially unbidden and (almost) unseen
  • Friendship’s glance – and its extended cousin, a loving gaze
  • Laughter – the kind that draws you in
  • Whispers beneath the stars

And that inexplicable, unpredictable touch of the universe, when it says, ‘YES!’

[photo by Attila Siha per cc 2.0]

why should I be surprised

autumn leavesWhy should I be surprised that I cannot understand true mystery?

True mystery is not something that can be solved.
It cannot simply be puzzled out and then set aside.
Instead, it burrows deep, pulling me with it,
Until, amazed, I find myself somehow at peace with what I cannot know.

I cannot know – yet I am known.
I cannot grasp – yet I am held.
I cannot find my way – yet, in that way, I am found.

It is, indeed, a mystery.

Imagine that!

[photo by Andrew Birch per cc 2.0]

a tapestry of grace

tapestryPraise God
Praise God
Praise God
For the redemption of my days
For the times when my fumbling attempts at kindness
Hold a tiny hint of true grace
And the words that stumble from my lips
Give warmth.

It is God’s warmth,
But my lips.

I am grateful for the gift of connection
That comes from such an offering:
Connection with my friend
And the connection of us both
With the love-beat of the universe.

This small offering
Is but one thread in the great tapestry.
But it is one thread
And the full tapestry is made of threads
Like these.

Praise God.

[photo by marc falardeau per cc 2.0]