persistent patterns

young girl yelling the final line of a poem

Quiet, quiet, quiet
Quiet as a mouse
I am the quietest
One in the house!

Our old patterns sneak back into our lives with unyielding persistence. We can’t keep them quiet. We don’t even see them coming till they are shrieking in our ears and we find ourselves back in the same old conundrums.

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the good news


What is the good news?

Is it that the very deepest truth of creation is joyful love?
That you invite me to join you in the process of loving creation?
That it is ok to open my soul to life, because it will not destroy me, despite what I fear?
That I can trust your goodness to keep me safe?
That ‘safety’ is really only the first step? Continue reading

Golem’s Redemption

golemAnd so I sit, a small golem-like creature in the dark cavern of myself, hiding from you, even as I long for connection. I shiver in my hidey-hole – cold and alone, peaking out from the crevice and then quickly withdrawing, lest I be seen.

My fingers are as cold as the stone they touch. My heart has lost its beat, my eyes, grown large, are still afraid to see. I huddle in my corner, closing my eyes and holding my hands over my ears, until I can stand it no more. Continue reading

Celebrating 50 years of Life Together

anniversary celebrationLife is found in relationship.
Even an introvert knows that.
And a good relationship gives birth to another
… and another and another.

This week I watched a tapestry unfold
The individual threads – each one unique –
Delighted in their interconnections;
Each enriching the other.

Friends and family, together.
Stories told and embellished.
Old memories unfolding into new ones
Held together with the kind of laughter
That needs no excuse to blossom.

Perhaps the biggest gift
Was watching the youngest generation
Inviting all the others to dance in sweet abandon.
It is a lovely promise of the years to come –
Love expanding to embrace – and to grace – the world.

[Tim and Anne Banks – 50 year anniversary celebration – August 7, 2015]

Manna in the Morning

vanilla wafersI can’t seem to keep my mind from wandering without my fingers on the keys. Something about watching the letters fall upon the page helps me focus. Somehow watching what has just happened lets me see a tiny bit into the future – thinking my way to the next word as the last one falls into black and white.

So I put myself in that space – in that little place of ‘nexting’ – letting it open up a focused opportunity for encounter. I am hoping for Your interference. Will You come? Are You there?

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schoolI come today to a schoolroom: wooden floors, old wrought-iron desks with wooden tops and inkwells, a slate black board, like a room from a museum. This room carries the echoes of an even older classroom with rows of benches, a pot of clay for tablets, and a stylus by each seat. They are quiet now, no students squirming in their seats, no teacher rapping on her desk or master tapping his foot on the floor. But there is an echo of the grand enterprise that inhabited such places – the task of wrapping minds around fact and turning it into knowledge. Continue reading

Ultimate Authority

book and hand pointing upwardA recent post by a thoughtful pastor friend reflects upon ultimate authority – and how it shapes our communities of faith.  It made me wonder: when push comes to shove, what is my ultimate authority?

I’ve lived long enough, failed enough, deceived myself enough to know that I need an authority outside myself.  I just can’t trust myself to be right all the time, even when I really, really think I am. Yet, there is no other human who meets the criteria, either. All are subject to the smallness of our own souls and our own perspectives. Continue reading