It is there
Deep, deep within the forest
Deep, deep inside my soul,
Deep within the smiles and words of friendship
Deep in certain books or poems
It is there.
Some call it life force, or beauty.
Some call it prahna or pneuma or ruach.
Whatever it is, I find it undeniable.
It is, for me, the deepest reality, and best hope.
I think I’ll call it love.
[photo is my own]
There is a change coming
On the wings of the wind.
It blows where it will, they say.
And it wills to blow change.
It wills (yes, it does)
To blow love into the hearts of the earth.
It wills (I am sure)
To help us cuddle closer to each other,
Or to cool our anger
Or soothe our frantic, fevered mind.
It blows in gales
Or moves in quiet whispers,
Whatever will best bring the change it seeks.
It blows across my heart and yours.
Its ancient name was ruach or pneuma.
It is the breath of God.
And it is still bringing life to this clay.
It is still calling us to truer life.
We cannot control it
Or even understand it.
It does not follow any particular set of rules.
And so, the life it brings is far beyond
Even my dearest hopes and dreams.
And, if I can release myself into its flow,
My breath becomes its faint but eager echo.
Its wings are mine.
It lifts me – it lifts us –
To the very heart of God, herself.
[photo by Victoria Nevland per cc 2.0]
I finger my thoughts, slowly, like beads on a string,
Turning them in my fingers, observing their texture and color.
One by one they pass through my grasp.
I can hardly tell why each one arises, nor how it morphs to the next.
Each seems so real and intricate as it sits between my fingers
But as I let it go, it turns to vapor and dissipates.
There really are no beads before or after the one I hold;
Not that I can see.
Could it be that the time I spend in my head – planning or trying to understand
May actually be frittering away the life you have opened for me
Opened – but it’s out of sight, so, out of mind.
How do loosen my internal focus, so I can grasp a broader view?
Let me learn not to worry about the last bead or the next –
To focus less on thoughts and more on moments
To trust the string of your love
And let the beads arise and fall in grace.
This is my prayer
Today and tomorrow
(If I can anticipate the next day’s bead upon the string)
Let me come to life, one bead at a time.
[photo by Vicki C per cc 2.0]
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]
The heart of it all
Is not a piece of flesh
But a warm and generous embrace.
Life is not centered on substance,
On things – or even beings
But on relationship.
The most precious thing in my life is not a thing.
It’s harder to see relationship
But I am learning.
It’s not the smile, but the connection it brings.
It’s like learning to see life itself.
It is a mystery that you cannot hold still.
It is a mystery that holds you … still.
[photo by Maltz Evans per cc 2.0]
the interesting thing about life
is that you must live it
you can’t save it up
or hoard it
or even spend it into debt.
it’s now … or never.
I keep trying to plan it …
but that doesn’t work.
it just won’t stand still while I get it right.
worrying doesn’t work, either.
in the end, I can only live right, right now
and only if I remember to do it
rather than just exist
let’s live 2018
see the beauty of the moment
seize the glory of the day
be kind to the earth and all it holds
be present with one another’s hope and pain
be grateful –
grateful for the very goodness at the heart of it all
we are part of that goodness
let us live it
[photo by Sonny Abesamis per cc 2.0]
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]