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]

 

i am

small child looking at himself in a store windowThe whisper of ‘i am’ within my soul
Is the echo of ‘I AM.’
Its breath would not be
Without the greater breath of life.

Yet, your great mystery is veiled,
Lest i be overwhelmed.
You hold back in order to give room,
In order to give time
For me to be.

I feel your tug upon my soul,
Your fingers brush my cheek,
And my hope catches its breath
In deep desire of you.

It is the first light of morning,
It is the call of a new day
That lets me take brief notice
Of eternity’s heartbeat in my own,
Calling me to be.

[photo by Lisa E per cc 2.0]

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]

beyond

universe in a water dropOf course we use metaphors.
Of course we try to understand the ineffable.
Of course we fall short.
Of course we try again.

Can you explain beauty
Or describe love?
It is all so marvelously immense.

I’m grateful – no thrilled –
To be a tiny part of a universe
That is so far beyond my grasp
And so filled with wonder
And so deeply interwoven.

I’ll never understand.
Isn’t that grand?

[photo by Andrew Kuznetsov 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]

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?

letting the image speak

pensive cat

There are some images that speak for themselves.

As soon as you try to nail them down with words,
You make them smaller.
You tighten your focus, and lose the fullness.
Analysis can be good
But sometimes grateful acceptance is even better.

 

[photo is my own – you many use it under cc By-NC-SA 2.0]