multilingual mystery

Persian alphabet blocks

To me, religions are like languages: no language is true or false; all languages are of  human origin; each language reflects and shapes the civilization that speaks it; there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say or say as well in another; and the more languages you speak, the more nuanced your understanding of life becomes. Judaism is my mother tongue, yet in matters of the spirit I strive to be multi- lingual. In the end, however, the deepest language of the soul is silence. – Rabbi Rami Shapiro

And so, the tower of Babel is redeemed
When we build the conversation, together,
After, first, listening to the silence of true presence.

Somehow my heart knows the language
My tongue is loosed to sing
Before my mind can catch the melody.

Somehow, sometimes, if my mind will follow, rather than lead
I can wake to the deep reality
That is always, always, holding my true self.

And then the cascading voices,
The orchestra of life,
Is deep, and rich, and full.

All nature sings …
And we, as a part of the singing universe,
Find our tiny selves expanded within the One.

There are no words
And yet, I cannot keep quiet,
Not when that deep quiet within me stirs to life.

 

[photo by Dr. Bashi™ per cc 2.0]
[Again, I am grateful to Richard Rohr, for opening up my morning.]

 

Lullaby realization on Mother’s Day

singing a lullabyMy mother’s lullaby was a version of an old Welsh song. I remember it like this:

Sleep my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.
While the weary hours are creeping,
Angel guards their watch are keeping,
While my little one is sleeping,
All through the night.

As a child I focused on the ‘angel guards.’ It took me a long time to realize that the words she was singing most fervently were those in the refrain: “all through the night!”

Here’s to Mom and to moms everywhere
Who sing comfort, even when they are exhausted
And who embody those angel guards.

[photo by Carol Von Canon per cc 2.0]

strange universe

image of an atom

In this strange universe,
It is the valence of relationships –
The rushing of electrons round the nucleus –
That holds all things together,
Even as it keeps them from collapsing in upon each other.

In such a universe as this,
Is it any wonder that the One God is a relationship –
An ever circling dance of love –
That both holds the whole and differentiates each part?

Well, yes.
It is a wonder.

 

[image – By JC713 [MIT (http://opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]

the donkey

gentle donkeyI am back on the floor of the canyon and see the path as before. I begin, again, to walk the path, not sure where it is leading. I walk and walk, but I seem to make no progress. The scenery around me is so much the same, from step to step.

This sense of futile movement only increases as I enter a bank of fog. Indeed, I worry that I might inadvertently step off the edge of the trail and fall into a ravine. A sense of fear joins my sense of futility and I am tempted to stop altogether.

But then, I am joined on the path by a wise and gentle donkey, who just appears beside me, as I walk. His step is sure and he seems to know this path well. His presence strengthens me and quells my fear. It is good to have this bit of companionship. Occasionally I reach out to touch him; resting my hand upon his back as we walk; steadying my step.

I continue to doubt that I am making progress, but there is really nothing else I know to do but walk. And so we do. At last the donkey takes me to an overlook, where we can catch a larger view. To my surprise, we have actually progressed quite a long way from the floor of the canyon.

Later we stop to rest. I ask the donkey who he is – he is so wise and benevolent. His name, he says, is Jesus – and, indeed, he is.

I am mortified that my meditation has cast him as a donkey. But he only smiles: that is the best I can do right now, and he does not despise the role. He is willing to lead me through the canyon and carry my burdens. Someday I will grow to the point where he is no longer a donkey.

4/28/82

[photo by Laura Wolf per cc 2.0]

Again?

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

Again?
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]

image and likeness

likeness

Let us make humans in our image; according to our likeness – Genesis 1:26

Richard Rohr offers a nugget of understanding:
The image is Christ in me;
The likeness is how I live it out.

I like that – that I can somehow be like.
Then, I might actually like myself.
Like, wow.

[photo Thomas Rousing by per cc 2.0]