Saturday, December 31, 2011
It's about a peace worthy of and consistent with, our own immensity, the beauty we are surrounded by, and the one who dreamed us up. And it goes way beyond a promise about where we will spend the time that extends out beyond this life after we die. The most immediate part of it is.....How will we spend the time that we have here?
Late last night the word came in that the results of the test confirmed that I was not facing, at least at this time, a dance with cancer. I was alone so there is no one to confirm to you that there was no sigh of relief but instead just the hint of a smile and then a closing of my eyes to once again enter the world of sleep. This possibility of cancer arrived back towards the end of summer after I had undergone a standard physical. I am glad to be able to say that from that moment on there has not been a moment of worry. I came to understand several years ago that worry is a wastage of this amazing life we have been entrusted with. And it's not true that worry doesn't have the power to change anything. Worry has the power to change a lot. It changes our experience in the here and now, and not in a good way.
But I have also come to know that telling others to not worry is a wastage also. Not worrying is not an act of will. It's the fruit of trust. It's the ability to accept what is and to respond in a way that's worthy and consistent with the simple profound beauty it is of having been given this immense privilege of living this one short and unrepeatable human life.
All I can say is that a number of years ago fear began to be displaced from my life as a traveling companion. Does that mean I now live with zero encounters with fear? No it doesn't. I have this suspicion that as long as we live in these fragile human earth suits, fear might just pop up now and again. But I have also, first hand come to know, that if we have the courage to face our fears, even (especially) the worst of them, and if we can recapture the imagination to believe that it is possible to live a life that is defined by peace (real tangible unshakable peace) and not fear, it can radically change this human experience.
I've also come to know that the spirit works in ways that even goes beyond mysterious. (And I'm not talking about the healing of the body in this instance...I'm talking about the changing of how we experience pain, and difficulty, and change, and challenge, and ignorance, and darkness and ugliness and negativity and the like) I think it could be said that we who have been raised in Christian circles have even had the idea of God's mysterious ways malformed in us to where it has left us living in a way that keeps us working against the Spirit and actually rejecting the Spirit. I hear people say "the Spirit works in mysterious ways" all the time by rote, and then they go on living like they really don't believe it. The Spirit is committed to us and intent on setting us free....free even of the fear of death that is jerking people around in ways they aren't even aware of. And mysterious doesn't mean abracadabra kind of stuff. It usually means a slow steady unrelenting gentle working that is often going on without us even noticing it. But if our imaginations remain stumbling around in the shallows, unable to imagine that a life lived free of fear is even possible (even when we don't get delivered from the tough stuff)....we might just miss it.
I would love to live like a river flows
Carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.
~~~ John O Donohue
Friday, December 30, 2011
"While beauty gladdens our hearts, it makes us lonely too for what cannot be. True beauty is woven through the heart of life and is ever engaged with forces of ignorance, darkness, ugliness and negativity; yet domination and power are not beauty's way. Beauty works from within these conflicts of forces and her brightening may or may not appear. Where beauty seems absent, she is often hidden and still at work in the slow industry of transformation. So much of beauty is not immediately apparent and indeed it could take a long time before it becomes visible. Often it takes a lot of struggle and committed attention and generosity, even sacrifice, in order to create beauty. The work of beauty is slow and patient; it is transformation through which the darkness of suffering eventually glimmers with the learned refinement of true radiance."
BEAUTY...The Invisible Embrace
BEAUTY...The Invisible Embrace
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
How much time do you spend caught up in the natural healthy rhythm of the world creatures live in? You do realize that you are a creature don't you? Is your life efforts spent attending to that world? Or is your time spent more knuckled into the offerings of the out of sync rhythm that is often creating damage to the creature world we were given the task/privilege of watching over with great care?
"Outside there is great distance. When you walk out into the landscape the fields stretch away towards the horizon. At dawn, the light unveils the vast spread of nature. Gnarled stones hold nests of fossils from a time so distant we cannot even imagine it. At night, the stars reflect light from the infinite distance of the cosmos. When you experience this distance stretching away from the shore of your body, it can make you feel minuscule. Pascal said, "The eternal silence of those infinite spaces frightens me." There is a magnificent freedom in Nature; no frontier could ever frame her infinity. There is a natural wildness in the earth. You sense this particularly in wild places that have never been tamed by human domestication. There are places where the ocean praises the steady shore in a continual hymn of wave. There are fresh, cold streams pouring through mountain corners in a rhythm that never anticipates the gaze of human eye. Animals never interfere with the wildness of the earth. They attune themselves to the longing of the earth and move within it as if it were a home rhythm. Animals have no distance from the earth. They have no plan or program in relation to it. They live naturally in its landscapes, always present completely to where they are. There is an apt way in which the animal who always lives in the "now" of time can fit so perfectly into the "where" of landscape. The time and mind of the animal rest wherever it is. The poet Wendell Berry says, "I come into the peace of wild things... / ...For a time / I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." ~~~ Eternal Echoes
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Spring is here.
No, not really. It was just that I awakened to a temperature of 56 degrees this morning and along with the dampness in the air...it really feels like spring. But the garden tells a much different story. Today feels really good though with it's ever so present echo of spring.
We are constantly surrounded by important echoes that are here to assist us. Some can be heard through things that we see, others through things we feel....and others through things we've just learned so deeply that forgetting them becomes impossible even when we can't see or feel what is always present for us to hold onto. Or that is always holding onto us.
And it is too often that people miss the echo. Maybe it's because they are looking for or expecting the wrong thing.
Monday, December 05, 2011
Today when you dare talk like this you will often be looked at like you are nuts. "What are you talking about? Finding shelter in the order of the cosmos" :-/
You're probably even more likely to run into resistance and correction to such a notion if you mention such an idea in religious circles because to the religious mind of modern times it just has a sound of New Agyness to it.
But why does it sound more far fetched than crazy ideas like looking for shelter in: money, economic ideologies, power, government, control, militarism, insurance policies, consumerism etc etc etc?
What's been more consistent and stood the test of time?
If you choose to spend any time considering that seriously.....then ask yourself what sounds more silly?
THE CRY OF OUR TIMES: TO AWAKEN BEAUTY
We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty. When the Celtic Imagination searched for the structures of shelter and meaning, it raised its eyes to the mountains and heavens and put its trust in the faithful patterns of the sun, stars, moon and seasons. Long before them the Greeks to had raised their eye beyond the horizon and recognized the heavenly patterns of the cosmos. There they glimpsed a vision of order which was to become the heart of their understanding of beauty. All the frailty and uncertainty was seen to be ultimately sheltered by the eternal beauty which presides over all the journeys between awakening and surrender, the visible and invisible, the light and the darkness. ~~~ BEAUTY...The Invisible Embrace