an imagined choice

candle lightI woke this morning with the vestiges of a troubled dream still roiling my soul. It remained, not so much in my memory as in my emotions. It was unsettling, and threatened to take me to a dark place. Suddenly, I could understand the idea of omens and evil spirits. I could feel the power of the imagination.

Nothing about the physical world around me was different. The sheets, tousled upon my bed, the blanket tossed aside, the taste of my morning coffee, were all as they had been yesterday and the day before. But my heart was troubled.

And now I faced a choice. I could let the dream take my imagination, or I could let my imagination take the dream. That idea … that different tone … started as a small point of light in the center of my soul.

Like a candle in the night, it flickered there, faltering, fragile in the darkness. But I cupped my hands around it and focused my attention there. Small as it was, it warmed my hands. That warmth traveled up my arms and found my heart. It began to expand within me until I found that I could breath again.

I took a deep, full breath and shook my head, and shook my soul. It broke the spell of foreboding. I listened to the chimes outside my window and the quiet breathing of my husband, there beside me. A sense of gratitude began to rise within me, just as the night began to fade to day.

Not all evil is imaginary, but sometimes imaginary evil can threaten to steal your soul. And sometimes even the evil that is real grows stronger through imagination. Even then, sometimes, you can choose to see the light, and welcome it with gratitude.

You cannot really hold the light. But sometimes you can choose to let it hold you.

May you find the light, today.
May it hold you in its warmth.
May you learn to choose hope, when you can.
And find room to be grateful,
Even now.

 

[this image was placed in the public domain by Noubi noubi]

 

Now

resurrection

He is risen!

Now … we can rise, as well.
To life
To love
To joyful celebration.

Why wait?
Eternal life starts now.

“The risen Christ is the standing icon of humanity in its full and final destiny. He is the pledge and guarantee of what God will do with all our crucifixions.” – Richard Rohr

[image cropped from photo by lady habib per cc 2.0]

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]