at the edge

old engraving of the reality beyond - the 'flammarion'Sometimes my mind seems to flicker
At the very edges of a new reality.
Ideas blink on and off,
Just out of reach.
A new fragrance hangs in the air.
An almost melody calls my heart.

The old understandings
Now fall like a chiffon drape
Ruffling in the wind
Across the window of my imagination.
What once seemed solid and sure
Is revealed as a faded fabric
Filtering the light.

Thomas Kuhn would speak of a paradigm shift:
The unmaking and remaking of foundational frameworks.
But the image I feel
Is that of walking through a series of veils,
Hanging on a line to dry.
Each reveals, even as it hides.
Each gives way to another.

Or, instead, I begin to catch the threads
As they unravel from an old tapestry.
I find that they can be rewoven into a blanket.
Beautiful and new, it covers all.
It holds fresh stories
Not painted on its surface
But cuddled in its folds.

[public domain image, drawn from wikipedia]


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]

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]


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]

touching life

rolling pinThere is life in the chimes outside my window
As they ring their solemn joy into the dawn.

There is life in my grandmother’s rolling pin,
As it makes the pies that have fed the family celebrations across the years.
I hold that life in my hands as I shape the dough.

There is life in the rocks that we gathered to build our fireplace.
They hold whispers of that gathering
As we gather, again, around their warmth.

If chimes and rolling pins and rocks can come to life – can I?

[photo is my own)

Yoda’s mentor


When I read these words of St John of the Cross I figured I’d met Yoda’s mentor.

To come to the pleasure you have not,
you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.
To come to the knowledge you have not,
you must go by the way in which you know not.
To come to the possession you have not,
you must go by a way in which you possess not.
To come to be what you are not,
you must go by a way in which you are not.

As Yoda would say, “Understand or understand not – there is no try.”

[image cropped from photo by Michael Li per cc 2.0]