not fair

reciprocity collective 1.jpg
 

not fair

It’s not fair.
Thankfully … it’s not fair.

Fairness can be boring
Tit-for-tat
This-for-that
An even exchange with no sense
Of enduring obligation.

It is like a contract,
Formed to make sure all are satisfied in the end,
Satisfied enough to pay no attention to each other
Satisfied enough to leave and never look back.

But when you have been given a gracious gift
You are connected to the giver.
There is a tie that a grateful heart maintains.
It brings a sense that you must give, as well.

Often, I struggle
Under that sense of obligation.
But reciprocity is the first step toward love.
Would that I could but see that cycle of giving
As a bond of mutual care.

Then, I might learn to join that dance with a sense of joy,
Both giving and receiving with an open heart,
Grateful for the dance, itself.

The focus, when you sign a contract,
Is on what is exchanged.
The focus, when a gift is given,
Is on the relationship.

And that is a true gift.

reciprocity collective 2.jpg

[My thanks to Raymond Boisvert for this insight.]

[photos of the Reciprocity Collective  at Tedx Providence 2018 per cc 2.0]

words

words.jpg

sometimes, words won’t do
they are just too tiny
just too constrained
inadequate

but the absence of words
can leave an awkward emptiness
a sense of isolation
separation

so let us build
a tiny bridge,
a fragile conduit
with our words

let us reach
with faltering hands
to touch the cheek of hope –
the hope that we all share

the hope that we might be
both truly ourselves
and truly one
with all that is

such is the gift of God
selfhood and community
a mystery to be honored
with our tiny, hopeful words

[photo by Jennifer Fred Merchán per cc 2.0]

new

beautiful day.jpg

it’s not the turning of a clock
but the turning of my heart
that makes for a new year

some days are just one more
of the days that went before
until I stop to notice

so, this year
is less about resolutions to break
and more about attention and appreciation

the nice thing about this frame
is that as soon as I remember my intention
it’s already accomplished

What a delight
to face the new year
without anticipated guilt

I’m smiling when write ’19’

[photo by jesuscm_Huawei P20 series per cc 2.0]

God, herself

When you remember
That whatever you do to others
You do to God, herself,
You see an even deeper reality to
“MeToo.”

Refusing to listen to words of truth
Is a refusal to listen to God
And a denial of the very heart of the relationship
That holds the world together.

Nevertheless, She persisted.

[photo by John Mavroudis from the cover of Time Magazine, 10/18]
[My gratitude to joekay617 for this reminder]

a good day

blissful dance

A good day
Is one in which you dance the dance you were born to,
And hear your own heart cheerfully applaud
Even as the world sighs with deep gratitude
And the Holy One nods and winks in your direction.

It is a gift to give your gift.

 

[photo by John Getchel per cc 2.0]

[Kudos to On Being’s newsletter – The Pause – for the reminder about what makes a good day.]

the moonbeam’s box

holding a moonbeam
At the end of the day (or the beginning)
The heart of my faith rests in my heart.
It’s not the creeds or doctrines.
It’s not the smells and bells.
It is the hope (and sometimes realization)
Of the touch of the Holy on my soul.

That hope and promise of relationship,
My hope – our hope together –
Is what has held me firm,
Even as I question and struggle
With the forms and frames that have been dictated to me.
The path is not the destination.

“Spirituality is the moonbeam.
Religion is the box we try to catch it in.”
We need the box,
Else the real is too elusive for beginners.
And we are all beginners, to the end.
But the box is not a substitute for what gives life.

A God who loves me:
That is the source and joy of life.
An invitation to reciprocate that love,
(For love is full only when it is freely returned)
That is the mystery.
That holy circle of grace is all in all.

[The quotation about the moonbeam is from DR. KWEETHAI NEILL, PHD]
[Thanks to Timothy Luke Johnson for the insight that it is the experience of God, not correct doctrine, that is the abiding power of Christianity.]
[photo by Judy van der Velden per cc 2.0]

Fierce beauty

two friends embraceThere is a beauty so fierce
That it cannot be hidden.
Neither wrinkles nor scars
Can mask its magnificence.

It flashes out from eyes alive with joy
And exudes peace even as it struggles.
For there are those who are anointed
With the touch of the divine.

That touch, in turn,
Flows from their fingers
And whispers from their lips
Dusting the world around them with grace.

This is a beauty that expands with time.
Familiarity breeds … amazement,
For its kindness is ever deeper, ever true.
Its very constancy adds to its glow.

The glory of a sunrise,
Even on the highest summit
Cannot match the beauty
Of a fiercely loving friend.

[photo by Mike per cc 2.0]