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]


Sometimes I wonder if God doesn’t get impatient with me …

Again you fall?
Again you fail?
Again you find yourself in a mess?

Yet there is something
Deep inside me
That won’t let me give up.
That continues to call me to more.


What if …
What if that very call is God’s spirit,
Planted deep within?
What if I am made for evolution rather than perfection?

What if the voice of impatience is my own?
What if the slow, insistent urge to unfold,
To turn imperceptibly toward the sun,
Is the true expression of God’s response to my fumbling efforts?

What if the narrative of my life
Is not a fall from grace
But a release into it?
What if that was the plan all along?

Again, I must start anew?
Of course, of course.
Always anew; always more.
That is the call of God.

And if for me
For you, too.


[photo by Fadil Elmansour per cc 2.0]

I wonder …

sunriseI wonder …
and when I do, judgment falls to the wayside.

All the fingers of my mind,
That try to grasp and hold – and fix – reality,
Release their grip.

Gentle wonder
Wakes to beauty
Rests in grace.

I am held in the open palm
Of God’s dear hand

In the twinkling of an insight,
I am changed.
My soul is released into the mystery.

I find that I am held
Even as I am freed.


[Thanks to Maria Popova in her post on gentle wonder as a corrective …]
[photo is my own]


rabbit’s question

rabbitOne day, there was a rabbit that came to the Master with a question. Being a rabbit, she really didn’t have words to ask, but she came close and thumped her back feet and looked into the eyes of the Master in a way that he understood. He reached down and brought the rabbit close and whispered in the rabbit’s long and very sensitive ears.

“I do love you,” the Master whispered. “I always do.”

And the rabbit, after realizing that was indeed the answer to her question, curled up beside the Master and went to sleep. And this was the rabbit’s dream:

She was in a rough country, stormy and dark, very little grass, no gardens. She wondered why she should be journeying in such a place and whether any good could come of it.

And the master whispered through the dream, “I love you, always.”

And the rabbit began to hop along the path that appeared before her, stopping, on occasion, to eat a lonely sprig of grass beside the dusty path. She hopped on, unsure of why and where she was going, only sure that the path was there in front of her.

She kept hopping along for quite a while, until finally, she noticed that the grass was a bit more abundant, the sun a bit brighter, and there was small stream beside the now-less-dusty path. She stopped for a drink and to eat her fill. There was a hollow log beside the trail, so she snuggled in for a nap.

And she dreamed within her dream that she was again beside the Master, that he held her close and whispered in her long and sensitive ears, “I love you.” And she realized this was still the question that she most desired to ask, and the answer she was seeking. This was the reason she kept hopping along the trail, and this was the destination.

And she slept on, with a rabbit-smile in her heart.

[photo by Robert Allen 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.

dear little one

dear little one

My dear little one,
Here is the eternal truth:
You were born of love; into love; for love.

From the start,
Our love flowed around you,
Holding you, cuddling you.

And as you grow into awareness,
As you begin to see and know,
Your laughter becomes our joy.

We watch you explore creation,
To make your own creations within it,
And we delight in your delight.

When you return our love,
When you smile at our smiles,
The day is full.

This exchange seems so deeply right.
It whispers of the love of God
That keeps creation dancing.

Could it be that God, herself,
Is whispering this same refrain
In my soul’s ear?