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]
Wise ones tell me that there is a true me and a false me.
The true me is the one formed in the image of God
And gifted is particular ways
To reflect that image.
The false me is the one that I think the world wants to see.
It is the one I want to see,
So that I can feel that I am ‘worthy.’
The same is pattern seems to be true in collections of people.
There is a true family and a false family.
There is a true church and a false church.
There is a true society and a false society.
The whitewash is not working.
Our efforts to be ‘right’
Are, so often, so wrong.
So, how do we learn
To step aside
From the false companion?
Step away from the question of worthiness.
Put down the chore of living up to the law
And accept that you are already accepted.
When I was a kid, I thought of this as ‘do-overs.’
But that just set me up for another round.
When will I learn?
It’s not do-overs.
[photo by Mirjana Veljovic per cc 2.0]
Why 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.
[photo by Andrew Birch per cc 2.0]
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
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
[photo by marc falardeau per cc 2.0]
As you snuggle into sleep at night,
May you be wrapped in a deep sense of peace,
Grateful for the day’s challenges and delights.
May your dreams be touched by the heart of God,
Filling you with hope and courage and purpose.
May you wake to the assurance
That you are fully, deeply loved.
May you live each day in the knowledge
That nothing can separate you from that love,
No matter where you go, or what you do.
May your smile continue to light up a room.
May your eyes crinkle with delight and wonder
At all the beauty of the world around you.
May you add your creativity to the larger dance of life,
And receive with joy the gifts that come your way.
May your hands be quick to help.
May your words be full of kindness.
May your friendships be true.
May you embrace your life with grace and gusto,
Giving and receiving joy along the way.
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.]