“the name of the place is Love”

the light is so bright…so bright…i can’t contain it…

blinding, searing, this great light…

light so bright…blinding light…

light, light, light of the world

fierce, threatening, illumining light

tell me, tell me what to do with this light

light that insists…spills through cracks

pursues you.

light.

will not be denied

cannot be fled from

light that names you

claims you

holds you

will not relent.

surrender my dear

surrender…

light is here…

has named you

framed you

and sends you forth as some

great, gentle, fierce

offering.

jacob wrestling with the angel (Genesis 32:24…)

would not let it go

till it blessed him.

just to be sure

he asked its name…

nameless hand of heaven

smiles upon us

urging urging urging

claiming us

for its own.

some grace tracing

the edges of our lives

singing forth the sound

of some sacred song.

sing darling sing

the air is singing around you

arms, light, very breath

pulsing with the praise, peace, promise

this now

run, run, run

to it

run, run, run

for it

your life is shameless

fetterless

exclamation

blessed

said

known

adored

approved

waited on

sheltered in haven

heaven hands holding

waving applauding

o silent chorus

of song

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i love this poem by lucille clifton, it captures the sentiment:

flowers

here we are

running with the weeds

colors exaggerated

pistils wild

embarrassing the calm family flower        oh

here we are

flourishing for the field

and the name of the place

is Love

~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day..” I Thessalonians 5:5

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“…love, unselfed, knocks more loudly than
ever before at the heart of humanity and…finds
admittance; that revelation, spiritual voice and vision,
are less subordinate to material sight and sound and more
apparent to reason; that evil flourishes less, invests less
in trusts, loses capital, and is bought at par value; that
the Christ-spirit will cleanse the earth of human gore;
that civilization, peace between nations, and the brother‐
hood of man should be established, and justice plead not
vainly in behalf of the sacred rights of individuals, peoples,
and nations.” Mary Baker Eddy

give yourself to love…

A friend sent me this beautiful letter recently:

“I was swimming this afternoon—weeping and swimming, which is something I haven’t done for a while, and trying to get myself together.  I was struggling with my fears and my anger and my profound sadness, and then I started to focus just on the swimming.  The slow, steady passage through the water–as if I was shedding an outer skin as I dove down into the water with each new breath.  And then I had this feeling: “this is unconditional love” and I felt a completely impersonal calm.  I had a similar feeling last night as if the pain was slipping further away and an impersonal calm held me in the balance.”

I’ve been thinking so much about friends, family—people all over the world experiencing profound change, sometimes severe challenges, and hard won renewal that comes with seeking and yielding to deeper answers.

today i came across this passage from Psalms…it’s one i’ve read too many times to count. but today it spoke differently to me.

why art thou cast down o my soul?

and why art thou disquieted within me?

hope thou in God for i shall yet praise Him

who is the health of my countenance and my God.

too often i’ve gotten caught on the “cast down” and “disquieted” parts…as in yeah…so cast down…feeling so disquieted…ok…now hope in God…and the journey to do so can feel like a slow slippery slope out of the swamp and up a muddy bank.

but today i read it so differently. the words nearly jumped off the page at me. “WHY are you cast down? WHY disquieted? almost as if to say, how you can be? you know where your hope lies! you shall, will, cannot be deprived of praising the infinite goodness of God, the source and presence of all life and peace and health and joy right here.”

it made me think of Kate Wolf’s song “you must give yourself to love…”

and made me ask…what am I giving my thoughts, my moments to?

for me disquiet is really about mental neutrality–an absence of real thinking, conscious clarity, a lulling, a passive acceptance of whatever thought comes my way…a state of mind that invites disturbance, darkness, confusion. it marks a need for awakening, regrouping, as if to say, “okay so where am i at? and what’s really true here? am i just going along with the flow of whatever junk comes my way?”

this morning i opened the Bible to Ezekiel 13:22: “with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad…”

lies…that would blind us to the good at hand…get us to turn on ourselves…doubt the convictions we hold in our hearts…distrust the power, presence and impulse to act on what we know is true.

the next time you’re tempted to feel sad…or even if you feel like you’re already drowning in a sea of sadness…

take a look at where your thought, heart, soul is anchored…is it awash at sea? gather it…gather yourself…gather your goodness…your pure heart…your love for all that is right…rally there…bit by bit you’ll find your footing…bedrock in the midst of stormy seas…you’ll find yourself rising…walking over the waves of doubt and darkness, gathering strength as you go.

give yourself to love…

come on…

give yourself…

to love…

it will not render you vulnerable

it will steady your heart

strengthen your knees

help you remember your wings

and how they know how

to read the wind

and with the Psalmist from long ago

begin to feel that song of

exalting praise…

the light that faces down the dark

singing:

i do hope

in God

the health

of my countenance

is here.

“To-day [may your] soul only sing and soar. [May] an [ever] increasing sense of God’s love, omnipresence, and omnipotence enfold [you.]” Mary Baker Eddy

“so live…”

how do we give our thanks

for all that is unspeakable

given without strings

or measure

Love that can’t be clocked

or logged

or counted

or contained

but flows

on

around

through

to.

exhaustless

unrelenting

offerings of grace

nudging tenderness

hovering

glancing

showering

blessing

asking nothing

grateful in its giving

paeans of praise

singing:

you are

you are

you are

so worthy.

worthy

of this grace

Love’s loving All

here sated

here secure

here able

loved

Love’s constant offering.

~~~~~~~

“Here, O my Lord, I’d see Thee face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen;
Here grasp with firmer hand th’ eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon Thee lean.” Horatius Bonar

“It has long been a question of earnest import, How shall mankind worship the most adorable, but most unadored, — and where shall begin that praise that shall never end? Beneath, above, beyond, methinks I hear the soft, sweet sigh of angels answering, “So live, that your lives attest your sincerity and resound His praise.” Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings

“And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.”  John 11

songs of stillness

carving out this moment

to the core of a hush

an anchored pause

a landed rest

even where worlds rush, converge

a breath

a light

a peace

opens

where

we are

already

a harvest

dawns

hearts, fields resounding

songs of stillness

~~~~~~

Still, still with Thee when purple morning breaketh,

When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee,
Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.

Alone with Thee, amid the changing shadows,
Solemn the hush of nature, newly born;
Alone with Thee, in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

So shall it ever be in the bright morning,
When hearts awaking see the shadows flee,
O, in that hour, and fairer than the dawning,
Rises the glorious thought, I am with Thee.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Be still and know that I am God” …and… “when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalms 46 and 139

“The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action.” Mary Baker Eddy

“on wings of faith…”

the other day a friend said to me, “it’s like there’s someone new here. i don’t know her very well.”

i asked, “is it like being made new, washed clean?”

“no,” she said, “more like she’s untainted, untouched and not willing to take the garbage any more. it’s me.”

it made me think about images we carry around about ourselves, sometimes the things we try to hide, hidden corners of supposed shamefulness, losses or absences that we assume are ours.

the thought of a bird came to mind: a broken wing, cradled to its side, careful, a bird, longing for altitude of air, the need to stretch, be carried, to beat its wings against the singing wind.

and i began to think of this bird as faith…faith that singes the air with its yearning, a certainty of deeper seeing; birdlike, ever driving for higher altitudes, clamoring to fly, pressing onward, demanding flight.

we are not broken birds, broken hearts or lives, our faith, knowing, certainty hobbled by doubts, improbabilities, fears. these are decoys that try to sideline, ground us, make us believe that our wings don’t work, that there’s no where or reason to fly, no Spirit to prompt or catch us, no updrafts of air and light for wings to dance upon.

what are the things that stall our moments, that try to shroud and crowd and darken out all light, that whisper lies? how often have we heeded them, given up, right on the cusp of certain dawning?

it will not do.

flight is imminent.

the pristine fire of your life is standing witness.

it calls:

live!

live!

live your life;

you are not broken or wasted or left behind.

you, marvel of Spirit’s mastery,

timeless,

on wings of searing Love and Life.

sometimes the rising, the standing, the awakening can be like the whole world coming apart; but really it is an unwrapping, a revealing of here, here, here you are…as you have been so all along…all darkness and clutter burned away, singing: here, here…such a relief to just be here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood.” Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy

“Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Corinthians 13

“And as on wings of faith we soar and worship,

Held by God’s love above the shadows dim

Hushed in the grandeur of a heart’s awakening,

Unfolds a joy unknown till found in Him.”  Susan F. Campbell Christian Science Hymnal

here…locate!

the trout run is early this year.

the taste of autumn in the air.

all too beautiful for words.

but words will have to do, as long as we leave enough space in between them for the air to speak.

the Ganaraska River is filled with trout swimming upstream, making their way from Lake Ontario, up through town, over the rocks, past the fisherman.  impasse after impasse, there’s no stopping them.

come on they say,

come,

get to the task.

the way is straight and narrow.

come:

find infinity

^^^^^^^^

i love this poem by Godfrey John:

Locate!

(Isaiah 54:2; Judges 18:10)

Where?

Here!

Friend, look close:

beneath your feet

is holy ground.

Under all questions

the heart longs

for a people, a place

in the morning light.

Where?

Here!

Look again:

place is community,

is one

whatever lies bright

in each of us.

Now under your hand

a purpose springs.

For place is prayer

in the wilderness.

As you walk the wastes

anywhere,

Love wills in you a sweet land . . .

let love go out of you left and right;

let each secret prayer embrace

the people in you, the desolate.

Place is the practice:

here locate!

*Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes…Isaiah 54:2

*When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth. Judges 18:10

“how to be alone…”

i loved this video by filmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis called: how to be alone. (click highlighted link to see video.)

there’s such a gentle grace and joy about it: the naturalness of embracing our lives, feeling at home wherever we are, the essence of peace, prayer and praise altogether. Here are some excerpts from the poem:

“If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

Take silence and respect it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.”

o…to cultivate the rich spaces of aloneness

the sweeping music of silence

voids giving way to a rush of peace

this passage from Mary Baker Eddy’s writings speaks to it: “My sense of nature’s rich glooms is, that loneness lacks but one charm to make it half divine — a friend, with whom to whisper, “Solitude is sweet.”

all roads lead …

every road leads home.

every road leads to God.

every road

every single road

byway

highway

desert path

mountain cliff

back alley

finds you with yourself

finds you in the hands of God

finds you running towards

running from

trying to find

all the things

you have

home

here

you

found

inescapable

grandeur

breathtaking

distinctability

you

home

inner trails

of  truth,

beacons,

inklings,

reminders,

yes

no…

the simple windswept quiet of your heart

your path prepared

unfurling

home:

all that is natural

logical

pristinely

you

” Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21

“Into His haven of Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition which guides you safely home.” Mary Baker Eddy

flying into morning light…

it isn’t Saturday yet, but i couldn’t resist posting this poem now. it’s by Fonda Bell Miller published in The Christian Science Monitor

To Do List for Saturday

Do laundry
Vacuum the house
Go for a walk
Find a dragon’s tooth
Use it to write in river sand
Slay the demons of dailiness
Climb a magnolia tree
Wait for the stars to appear
Wash in moonlight
Choose a perfect blossom
Curl up in it and sleep
Wake with wings unfolding
Join a flock of passing birds
Fly into morning light

to “slay the demons of dailiness.” how fantastic is that? makes me think of a favorite quote by M.B. Eddy: “Today my soul can only sing and soar.” today, saturday, every day.