sometimes joy comes in letting go
in letting life be life
in letting you be you
in letting me be me
and welcoming the mess of it all
there may just be a smile
hidden in the remnants of the day
or a giggle folded in with the laundry
When I encounter a problem, a conundrum, a quandary,
I want to fix it, as quickly as possible.
I work with what I know, and who I am, and what I have
To find a way around or through.
And that, sometimes, creates a bigger problem
My preconceptions get in the way.
If I could back off far enough, or shed my frame,
The problem might just be transformed.
Instead I build a kludge,
A work-around of convoluted wires and patches.
I solve one problem and create another.
Too often, it seems my theology is a mass of kludges –
My own and those of others.
The longer I stay in my head,
Requiring explanation or understanding,
The longer I delay delight.
For somewhere beyond what I can grasp,
You wait to gather me in.
I am bound by my own befuddlement.
But even in that moment,
You find a way to set me free.
Slowly, I am learning to release my questions
And, instead, be held by wonder.
I am on the deck of an old wooden sailing ship, conjured up from memories of pirate movies. It dips and sways in violent motion and I cannot stand without great effort. I am thrown against the mast and against the railings. I stagger and slip. There is a howling wind around me. It whips my hair and blows great sheets of water over me, drenching me with cold, wet saltiness. Then I am thrown again. I raise my voice to cry out in the storm, but though I am shouting, no sound can be heard above this turmoil. No one can hear my cry.
And I have no idea how to use the ship, how to steer, how to guide its passage. I am stuck here till the storm subsides. So I retreat inside the cabin and shut the door behind me. Two steps inside and I stop to listen. I had expected the same violent movement within the cabin – after all, it is a part of the ship in this storm. But it is calm in here. The lantern hanging from the ceiling sways in a comforting, slow rhythm. The wind is not whistling through the cracks. I look out the window and see that the storm is still in progress, but it cannot penetrate the quiet of this cabin.
I sit down at the table to rest and to take stock of where I am, of what is happening. There is a meal spread simply before me: manna and cool water. I begin to eat. My first bite stops me. A prayer of relief tumbles from my lips. I put my head on the table and sob with release from the pounding of the storm. I cry until there is no more tension within me and then I move to a bed which is secured to the wall and fall into its billows. I cannot move. Just before I slip into sleep, I whisper. “Thank you. Even within the storm, you provide an inner room of comfort and of rest. You give me peace, without which I am overcome.” I release myself to sleep, without fear of the storm, which I know I must face again tomorrow. Its bluster can wait. Today I rest.
8 11 95
I am having so much trouble centering in today.
I’m following every rabbit-trail my mind offers up.
No wonder I’m jumpy.
Maybe I should just become that rabbit
Follow the grassy trail before me
Stop to nibble on the tips of grass
Think rabbit-y thoughts
What are those like?
What are the thoughts of a squirrel? Dog! (?)
So, here I go, down that rabbit-trail
And here’s the mystery:
You are there, too.
Ponderous, deep, theology is not necessary.
A simple, grateful, receptive heart is quite enough.
That is where I am today.
I nibble the grass.
I feel the shadow of a passing cloud.
I manage to notice the simple joys around me for just a moment.
And I find a new way into the center.