Sunday, July 29, 2012

THE ALONE...AS THE PLACE OF GROWTH

Youth seems to despise solitude on the grounds that it is boring. Adults seems to carry some of that over from youth and then add to it feelings of terror in regards to solitude. Is it that adults are afraid of what they will see about themselves? Afraid of what they might hear in the stillness and silence?

I've heard some express that there is nothing that resembles God more than silence. Maybe deep down inside we sense that naturally? It seems people are afraid of God. It probably should be no surprise then that people fill their lives with activities. Even activities they believe to be God sanctioned activities. That even turns out to be an indication of an abiding fear of God and a need to do "God things" in order to stay on their God's good side.

Today, talk of solitude and silence conjures up notions of New Age Spirituality and Eastern Religions to many who have been influenced by Western forms of Christianity. And they avoid it like it's the plague or something worse. "God busyness" suits them better. And all the while they miss the endless stream of characters right there in their text who were formed right there in the solitude of the wilderness...and prison cells...and on mountain tops...and lonely desert places.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

BE DIFFERENT




This might be long. Maybe short by some people's standard of measure. But certainly long by probably most others who have grown accustomed to the short sound bite.

Sometimes all this can feel self indulgent. Do people care what I think or what you think? I adopted an explanation for why I began to do this somewhat publicly from one of my favorite writers. His letters are always worth the read, but it's mostly in the form of song lyrics he expresses himself and what he is thinking. Thanks Linford.

Some call it obsession
I call it commitment
I make my confession
I make it in public

I hope that it’s helpful
That others can use it
That it’s more than my ego
And my need to abuse it.

It was good to get away this evening, as it is any evening, to watch the slow setting of the day's sun. It's a time for me to gather my thoughts and steady myself again. I had just spent some time earlier listening the Bill Moyer's interview with one of my favorite journalists Chris Hedges. Pretty serious stuff. Not new to me at all though. It all began to happen back in '06', the year of an awakening to many things that then led to a year of repentance, a turning away from those things I had become entangled in. Stances that I could no longer defend.

If any of you watched the interview I linked to, I guess I am writing this to clarify something I find so very important. Many will hear someone speaking like Chris and automatically conclude that if I have linked to such a thing that I am espousing taking to the streets in revolt. Which I personally am not. I do relate to Chris though in many ways. '06' turned out to be about me learning to live as the resistance. And that kind of language so easily gets misunderstood also. And Chris and I might not agree on how that is manifested. I don't know him personally, so I can't say. But in the midst of this turning, I found my life waiting for me there. Not in a life of fighting others who I had deemed (or others had deemed for me)as the opposition. The life of resistance I awakened to was more of a personal resistance. I no longer wanted to continue to collude with systems and ideologies and meta-narratives...the royal consciousness...that are set against the life of love and grace and good news I had said all my life I believed in. I came face to face with the reality that the systems, and ideologies, and meta-narratives were just that, and a not so cool little trick had been played on me and I as an individual had fallen for it. And blaming someone else for it was futile. This was my deal to own up to. And to step out of it demanded I make a choice. So I chose. To say my choice scared a few people and was misunderstood by many others would be an understatement. To try to live in a way outside the royal consciousness leaves you leaving in a way that most just can't fully wrap their heads and hands around. 6 years later I get that and am okay with it. We've all got to do what our consciousness leads us to do. And learning to respect that in others who don't agree with you and your conscience is just a part of freedom.

While listen to the interview something from the closing chapter of The Shack kept running through my mind. And it is what I will end this with. I have no idea how all the uncertainty plays out in the days ahead. But I have come to understand that a life of responding is way different than a life of reacting. Responding is done from a place of trust...a steadiness...mindful presence. While reacting is done from a place of fear when the falsity one is holding onto begins to shake and crack and the shelter it all once had been slips from your hands. People do very crazy dangerous dehumanizing things from this place. I don't want to participate in that. And I am hoping the same is true for you.

I am hoping for a revolution though.

It's a revolution of love and kindness---"a revolution that revolves around Jesus and what he did for us all and what he continues to do in anyone who has a hunger for reconciliation and a place to call home. This is not a revolution that will overthrow anything, or if it does, it will do it in ways we could never contrive in advance. Instead it will be the quiet daily powers of dying and serving and loving and laughing, of simple tenderness and unseen kindness, because if anything matters, everything matters." The Shack

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

SECURITY IN THE UNKNOWN/UNFAMILIAR

We grow attached to familiarities and want to hang onto them tightly thinking they offer us a sense of security....when all along we never feel secure. It's hard to fathom that it is in the letting go of them and stepping into the unknown/unfamiliar that something better moves in.

SINCE YOU CAME

It is not water
I cannot lie in it
nor can my hands reach forward
...for any rhythm to draw me near
to where a shore might be

It is not ground either
no place for a foothold
nor can my eyes find mountains
where fields might serve the stay of stones
that harbor only hunger for the here and now.

It is not completely fire 
though the burning has begun 
to singe the chords that tie the heart's basket 
to the one tree I thought I knew. 

It is more the air that has lost it's nerve 
to hold the vase of thought 
the word scratched air 
that lets the white rain in 
to wash the red font of memory. ~~~ John O'Donohue

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

CREATING RUSTIC POTS FOR BONSAI AND OTHER USES

A little silence, stillness and solitude, as well as a little putzing around exercising the creativity inside you that longs to be exercised...is a great way to spend a day...many days...a nurturing ritual. It's a subversive act of resistance.

Monday, July 09, 2012

UNTIL A NATURAL RHYTHM CLAIMS YOU

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.




















Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.














Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Words by John O'Donohue