Sunday, January 16, 2011

One in the light

As the sun rose, it filled me
until I thought I was all light
and there was nothing left
of what I once called me.
Then suddenly I saw below
at the water's edge another sister of light.
My light streamed out to her.
Her light flowed back to me
and we were one in the light.
copyright Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
Lift your face to the daystar now
Experience the coming of dawn.
bathed in morning light, pray
that the lantern of your life
move gently this day
into all those places
where light is needed.
Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
from The Circle of Life

Carry the lantern of your life
into all those places where light is needed!
Wishing you a week full of lighted life!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Deep Stillness Blossoms

I write this on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
the last day of the Christmas season.

This "deep stillness" card fell out of an old book I am re-reading. Thus it became part of my Christmas altar. I still "sort of" celebrate Christmas (in my own way) until February 2, which is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Candlemas Day). I am no longer in touch with Reid, the friend who created this card so long ago. I love it when "old things" show up in my life.

Along with Reid's "deep stillness" design I chose one of my favorite Christmas cards of a modern day Madonna. It, too, is a card from the past sent to me by a long lasting though seldom seen friend, Nicholas. I often save a few cards for my treasure chest. I love finding old memories tucked away in special places. Every Christmas I pull out a few old memories; people from my past return and spend time on my holiday and holy day altar.

This Advent I spent hours dwelling on the quote, "DEEP STILLNESS BLOSSOMS." Perhaps it is because I have such an intense longing for stillness. Actually, with practice, the stillness can be found everywhere and anywhere, even in the midst of a busy mall or a flock of magpies, although that is not my favorite place to practice stillness. The deeper the stillness, the greater the possibility of the blossoming. The blossoms come later--often, after one has almost forgotten the deep stillness. You wake up some morning and you are greeted by a new blossom.

The blossoming seems to be the fruit of the stillness.

The "deep stillness" is a kind of womb we cannot live without.
As we grow further away from our mother's womb
we find new wombs to hold us.
~~new wombs to sustain and nurture us~~
Haunting memories lead us toward a depth we once enjoyed.
Deep Stillness infuses us and the blossoms become visible.
An inquisitive mind, an open heart,
a childlike trust, a yearning for the Divine:
all of these are like fertilizer for the waiting blossoms.
If you are reading this and don't quite understand what I am trying to say, try saying it in your own words and you will fathom the depths of these simple words.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mystical Morning

How could anyone sleep on a morning like this?
You are beholding one of our retreatants saying,
"Hola" to the new day.
Or, perhaps she is saying NADA!
How much we need such moments!
How much we need such mornings!
Drink in the wondrous inheritance of being!
Sip the nectar of morning!
O dear medicinal morning!
Awaken the mystic in me!
Awaken the poet and the monk!

How could anyone sleep on a morning like this?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

ADIOS 2010

Dec. 31, 2010--Jan 1, 2011
I am never quite certain at just what moment the old year slides into the new year and most of us probably don't feel all that different as the bells begin to ring out the old, ring in the new. There are some who go into the new year a little more intoxicated perhaps. And so I pray, as I sit in my writing room at my west window beholding the short, though lovely, display of fireworks that has just flashed across my sky--yours too. I pray that you will be intoxicated with life this year, inebriated with the spirit of joy and open to transformation.
I also say good-bye to 2010. I carry into the new year the joyful and sorrowful moments of the old year. I say good-bye (meaning God-be-with-you) in an all embracing way, in the manner you say good-bye to something or someone you once loved and will forever carry in your heart in some mysterious, inexplicable way, Namomi Shihab Nye's poem ADIOS seems the perfect way to say GoodBye so here it is. Eat the words and be grateful.

ADIOS by Namomi Shihab Nye
~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is a good word, rolling off the tongue
no matter what language you were born with,
Use it, Learn where it begins,
the smallest alphabet of departure,
how long it takes to think of it,
then say it, then be heard.
Marry it. More than any golden ring,
it shines, it shines.
Wear it on every finger till your hands dance,
touching everything easily
letting everything, easily go.
Strap it to your back like wings.
Or a kite-tail. The stream of air behind a jet.
If you are known for anything,
let it be the way you rise out of sight
when your work is finished.
Think of things that linger: leaves
cartons and napkis, the damp smell of mold.
Think of things that disappear.
Think of what you love best,
what brings tears to your eyes.
Something that said "adios" to you
before you knew what it meant
or how long it was for.

Explain little, the word explains itself.

Later perhaps. Lessons following lessons,
like silence following sound.
So there! Our work is finished for this year. We let it go. We wave good-by even to the blessings we have missed. They will come around again. Open your eyes. It is going to be a very good year.
Repeat after me!
It is going to be a luminous year!
ADIOS! 2010
ola 2011