Monday, December 5, 2016

This and That...

I've been going through some of my journals and notebooks
lately and have come upon poems which were written at a
variety of times in a variety of places. So, dear reader, I
thought I would share them with you, as a gift for your
Advent pilgrimage.

hope springs
   so many re- words...
   so many beginnings again
   speaking in tones both soft and sweet
   both truthful and terrible
re-minding me
   that life moves ever onward
   with many stops and starts
   and new beginnings which are not new
   at all but simply are placing one foot in front
       of another yet again-
              in re-signation
                   and in hope.

taste and see
the soul can only
be spoken of in
picture-language and
it cannot be grasped
but flows like sand
through your fingers,
like a stream of living
water through your heart,

speaking of a Source
beyond all your knowing,
your small rivulet joined
to the roaring universal
river pressing relentlessly
and joyously onward to
the waiting, receptive Sea.

taste and see...
drink deeply...
be refreshed and renewed-
   she whispers her invitation
   in the dream-world between
   sleeping and waking
now, arise...
begin a new day
bathed in the holiness
of this moment.

how, then, shall we pray?
if all of life is linked, the atoms of each living thing
entangled with the other and the other and the other
in one holy enmeshing of existence, then
instead of asking God to intervene, to alter things
to our desires, to change the ways in which the
very nature of the world unfolds, perhaps we need to be
aware that in the linking lies the medium through which
our prayers may more- my hope and love and caring moving
through the essence of creation to reach your mind and heart and life.
the connections are already there, forming the very fabric of our lives,
the gift of the wisdom of the Infinite Mind, the Ground
of Being, the Creator of Life & Love-
      my prayer is my way of being linked-
                                      of giving love-
                                      of wishing peace & blessing
                                      even as I myself am
                                                      being changed and blessed.

the adoration of the magi
"The human creature does not
live by bread alone..." so the
wisdom of the ages tells us.
Our souls long to be fed by
what will never fade away-
though in this time of want and
deprivation, so many stomachs
cry for food and heads for shelter
and hearts for safety. Yet, in the
midst of want and need, a
yearning rises...for beauty,
for the gifts of music, poetry,
and art of every sort...for the
impractical necessities
without which our spirits starve.

The voices of the wise of every
age and culture, rising in
collective resonance, tell us that
to value only practicality is to
deprive ourselves of that which
truly feeds our humanity,
which makes life a worthwhile
pursuit- a taste of chocolate
on the tongue, roses in winter,
a good book, a child's painting,
kindness, respect, reverence,
laughter, joy...reflection of the
beautifully impractical gifts of
the Magi as they knelt in
adoration before a child,
recognizing in him the presence
of the Divine, acknowledging
in him the holiness of the Human.

taking time
Once upon a time,
in old Anglo-Saxon days,
"haste" meant "violence"...
and as the days are hastening
by toward the holy festival of
Christmas, we are hastening
to complete just one more task,
buy just one more gift, send just
one more care, attend just one
more party, the days marked by
the all-too-familiar litany of
doing violence to ourselves- to our
hearts & minds & bodies- as meals
are eaten on the run, or not at all...
and tempers fray when lines are long
and courtesy gives way to curtness...
as multi-tasking becomes the order
of the day, a struggle to keep a multiplicity
of plates in the time becomes
the task-master driving us, with every clock
the accusing enemy chanting

Where, oh, where, is the slow,
awe-filled anticipation of Advent?
Where is the silent, solitary moment
to sit before the fire and think of those
beloved ones no longer here? Where
is the mealtime shared, by candlelight,
with one we love, satiating body & soul
with food & laughter? Where is the quiet,
early-morning walk to feel the frigid air
and hear the hymns of the birds? Where
is the pause to listen, really listen, to the
oft-told stories of the elderly as they
recite the rosary of their cherished memories?
Where is the moment of just breathing in,
breathing out, pausing in gratitude for all of life?

Dear friend, there is still time...
time to go slowly-slowly-slowly...
to walk in awe-filled peace to
the the cusp of the
awaiting new year.
Will you make time?
             take time?
or only make haste?

Blessings. Advent blessings. And peace.

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