Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"listening with bison..."


she tiptoes
towards him
on a gentle path
of whispered
silences and loving
intent...

her heart is all
he hears
as the perfume of her
kindness
wafts
across the snow-strewn
grasses
of
a western winter
near the
great salt
lake

he feels her
awe,
he senses her
respect for his stories of
running with
the wind,
and grazing under
a silent sun
amid the
song of cottonwoods and
the drumming of a thousand wild
ponies'
hooves pounding
the earth as Ute and
Arapaho maidens
cross the plains and
find their way
toward water, and
corn,
and the
soft summer promise of
a prairie
full of fireflies
under a blanket
of south dakota stars...

he hears her
coming,

he stands still...

willing
her to come closer...

to listen
with him
to the
ancient
echoing
songs of the
Navajo,
and
the laughter
of a warm
wind
through
tall
grass in
winter....


inspired by the above photo of Trina King on Antelope Island next to Utah's Great Salt Lake.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"quiet...."


I need some
quiet...

the kind of
silence
that
penetrates
deep
beneath the
self

beneath
the one you see,
the one
that
screams and claws
for
a voice,
attention,
recognition...

I need to put her
in time out
and
not give in...

because the
true me,

...the one who knows there
is no
real answer
but the
one that comes
from within...

from within
the
silence of a silent
heart....

needs...

not wants,
wishes for,
imagines,
or hopes...but needs

to be quiet

needs to
cast off from
the
familiarity of
her own
"voice"

and drift into
the middle,
the core,
the center of
her stillness...

she needs to
be quiet...


really,
really
quiet...

sshh....

you can do this...


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Into every house..."


"In every house where I come,
I will enter only for the good of others..."

- Hippocrates

Why are you
here?

She asks from behind
the veiled
mask of
suspicious
distrust,
and fear of judgment...

Are you here to tell me
what I should be
doing,
thinking,
handling
differently...or better?

If you are....

But,
I am not.

I am not
here to tell her
what I think she
has forgotten to remember,
to suggest
a tack that
I might take,
a text I might turn to,
a treatment to begin,
or someone
to call....

I am here to
"do no harm..."

I am here for the
"good of others..."

I am here to
advocate...

for her.

I bring with me no opinions,
no judgment,
no "if only you'd have..."
suggestions of
what she could have done.

I can only know those
things for myself.

I am here to
help,
as support,
to offer a hand,
a common humanity...
to be tenderly solicitous,
ineffably kind,
pitifully patient,
to lead with my heart....

always with my heart...
not a trial,
a theory,
my research,
a dogma,
a system,
a second opinion,
a book, or a
regime....

Those things may be what
she
later
asks me to
bring to the bedside...but
my love is not
conditional
on what she decides, and only if
it matches my own
beliefs

in fact,
her choices are none of my
business...

my business is
to love...

I am here to
"do only good..."

and so,

"here i stand,
I can do no otherwise;
so help me God..."


here I stand,
on her threshhold
hoping she
will trust the purity of my
motives...

I am here to serve...

I have no
conditions of service,
no rigid outline
of what I will...or will not do

I am listening

and right now,
I simply know,
I must "
do no harm"

For the wisdom
it takes to know what
that will look like...each moment...
I pray....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"sent..."


"who did sin,
this man, or his parents,
that he was born blind..."


it is too much
to bear
this weight of
blame

they keep asking the same question,

but it is
the one I live
with night
and day....but mostly
in the night

what did I do?

what could I have done
differently?

was it something I ate?

was it
the argument we had on the
night he was
concieved?

was it the love we made
under the stars,

the pleasure we found in
eachother's laughter
that
first day in the market when
I bought
olives from his
table....

it could not be the boy's
fault...he was
born
blind

he'd yet to have a moment
in which to
sin
before his sight was
taken from him....

it had to be someone's fault

our God is
a good God,
He is a loving God,
a God of mercy,
a God who led our people
out of
captivity in Egypt
and fed them
manna in
the wilderness...

so if it is not the boy's
sin...

it must be ours....

and if this is the case
I am shattered,
inconsolable,
broken with
sorrow and
regret....

but wait,
there is another
in the
street...

it is the one they
talk about
in the temple
the marketplace,
at the well...

he is coming,
and they are asking him the
question....

he seems
tired and frustrated...

he, too, must wonder
who we
are...that our
son
was born this way...

but,
what is that he's doing
now,
spitting on the ground
and making
mud with 
his fingers in the dust....

he is touching our
son,
touching his eyes with the
clay and
asking him to
wash in the pool called
"sent"


and he comes,
here comes our son,
and he is
seeing...

my son is
seeing...

and I see too...

it wasn't about his birth,
or being born...

but being borne...

we all believe we are being
born into this world
by random acts of
circumstance or chance,
borne on the winds of human choices
or personal decision-making,
carried along blindly on
the haunting
strains of self-interest,
determination, or
luck...

that we are
dancing,
swaying,
keening to
its
music like
marionettes on
the strings of
a
cruel
puppeteer...

I played my part...
regret,
sorrow,
blame,
guilt...

our son, accepted his role...
victim,
such a sad story,
whispered innuendo,
the son of
sinners....

but this Master has clipped the strings
and we are free...

freely moving,
we are not borne blindly

we are sent,

sent into each moment
with every opportunity
to manifest the works of
God...

never sinners,
never separated from Him...

sent,
knowingly,
willingly,
purposefully
by His
hand....

sent...

never borne blindly,
he was
always sent...

I too,
have been sent....


Monday, August 22, 2011

"In the very act..."


"Master, this woman
was taken in adultery,
in the very act..."


they pulled her out of
school that day,
lipstick smeared,
skirt
too short and
twisted,
the hot pink lace of her
barely-there
bra peaking out
from a small tear in her
blouse...

caught in the
boys' locker room,

in the very act...

but where were the boys
the ones she'd
been with...

"oh they were
her victims"
they said under hot
angry eyes....

she lured them...you know...

why should they suffer the
embarassment of
being seen in this light,
we've taken them out
the back door....
we'll talk to
them later...

did you see
that pink bra?"

but where
are the other boys
the ones who called there,
who dialed
her cell phone as
a prank.

and what
about the other boy,
the one she liked,
the one
who
said he'd "always
wanted to get to know her...you know,  
just to talk"

she wondered that
day, as she walked alone
along the quiet path,
was it
because she was interesting?

it had been his idea to
meet at the gym
"it's quiet there and
we could bring our lunch
instead of eating in
the cafeteria"

she'd thought
"it's just like....
from a movie"

but it wasn't..
it wasn't like that at all...

didn't they see...

the
administrators,
teachers and
parents standing outside
the gym that day, the grownups
shaking their heads,  
hands on 
hips, and their own
"perfect" daughter's picture
safely tucked in  the
framed pocket of
their wallet...

didn't they
know
she'd been tricked,
manipulated,
fallen for the maybe "promise" of friendship,
acceptance,
love....

that's all she really wanted
you know...

the price too
high...

did they ask
her why,
did they even want to know?

not really...
they had the evidence
right in front of them...and
well...
it already added up

she was
observed,
witnessed,
found out,
taken
from the
gym...
in the very act?

he was
just a boy...
rough around the
edges,
a bit of a
loner...

but, this was the
last straw...
he was caught red-handed
the scent from five
soft green buds still
fragrant after sitting closed up
in
a ziploc baggie
under the hot sun of
a summer morning
in June

they all knew he was
trouble,
they'd felt it from
the start
the clothes,
the music,
no parents, just a grandmother
who didn't
watch him carefully enough....
tsk, tsk..

but did they
listen
when he told them
the truth,
that it helped her with the
pain,
made it bearable...
it wasn't for
him...it was for her...really

he was
her only hope
of getting
through
the constant pain,
the loneliness of growing old,
the welfare checks that were
never enough,
and now he'd lost it all...
his job,
his reputation,
his
own hope
that
maybe
he was more
than
they thought....

and and in light of
all this "evidence,"
they were right...of course...
they'd caught
him red-handed, with the "stuff"

he'd been
taken into custody...in the
very act...

but
sometimes
two,
plus two,
doesn't add
up to what we
think it
should...

it
isn't always
as simple
as
being caught
red-handed...
in the very act....

we have to
have
the wisdom of
Solomon,
the willingness to
listen...
really listen...

and then...

it takes a
scientist,
a mathematician,
a man of
stillness to continue
writing in the sand...

to look at things
from another
angle,
a different point of view...
to work out
the equation in
such a way,
that two,
plus two...

equals
five

2 + 2 = 5 (.80)

and then
to
help correct
the error in
their factoring...

to help them
work out from
a different
starting point....

one that
sees oneself and
others
as
whole,
undivided,
undiminished,
not needing to
compensate,
settle,
bargain,
compromise..
always
having,
expecting
seeing...from the
staring point of
being whole

not less...
never less
than
All-in-all...

where every
equation is just another
opportunity
to
love...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

"wild irises..."


I know I am
almost home now...

canyons
echo my coming,
and
wild irises
drink
greedily
along the
shimmering
path of a summer
brooklet
a thread of silver
that runs wildly through
the high meadows of
south park's
endless valley floor...

they share the
water with
antelope and a painted
mustang filly
skitterish and wild-eyed with
the boldnes of her own daring,

with cattle and
the occasional badger
making his way
from here to there...

each rivelut
a swath of diamonds
carved into the
dusty green of
sage and
earth so
dry it aches to be
near her...

the wild irises
live in the
bend of her arm
and
thrive
like hungry
newborns
blue
eyes staring
up into
the unclouded face
of
an endless
Colorado sky...


[the above painting, "Wild Irises," is by Denver artist, Kit Hevron Mahoney. To visit her website click on her name.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"i have a Father..."


I do not have a father with
whom to celebrate
a day in june,
someone to share a daddy-daughter
dance with,
or teach me how to
budget...

I do not have
a papa,
a gentle dad upon whose
lap I sat and
dreamed of being a princess...

or taught me how to
identify the
silhouettes of birds in flight...

but,
I have discovered that...

I do have a Father who
loves me without measure,
I have a Father who
moves me to tears,
I have a Father who thinks of
me every moment, of every minute, of
every hour, of every day, of every week,
of every month, of every year, of every decade,
of every century, of every millenia, of every
second of eternity...

and for all those years that I had no one to
purchase cards,
...filled with tender sentiments...
for,

for every June I wept in silence for all
that I would never know...

I now realize that
I always
had an inner knowing
a deep unbidden
fullness, a constant, conscious certainty that
I was not alone...I felt Him in those moments
when wisdom came as a surprise,
when I said, "no," and meant it, when I felt
beautiful and knew it was the truth, when I defended
my purity and dared the world to cross the line
because
He had my back...

I may never have had someone who would
look a boy in the eye and
demand he treat me with respect,
but I have a Father in whose
eyes I am
lovely...

and as the eyes of
His "I AM"
stare back at me from the mirror
and
assure me I am good and dear,
beloved and holy
in
His sight....
I feel His hand in mine
and face the day...

and with Him,
for Him,
because of  Him,
I celebrate Father's Day
every moment,
of every hour,
of every day....

and always will...


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"whither thou goest..."


"whither thou goest,
i will go,
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God, my God..."

 
-   Ruth

But why
would you follow me?

Why would you
willingly subject yourself to
this,
why would you
go where
you are a
sranger,
a foreigner...

I will not be able to
protect you
from the stares,
the speculation,
the "i wonder if...."
and "did you hear..." 
gossip
that
you might
feel from the moment
we
enter the
city gate....

you are not one of
them...
of us...

you are not one of the
"chosen people"

so, why...?

oh mother, but I am...chosen...

your son chose me

but more importantly,
that is not the point...

your God is a God of impartial and
universal Love...
so, how does a God whose love is
without patiality
align with
"choosing"

isn't choosing
contrary to impartiality...

nonetheless,
I am not waiting to be chosen,
i am strong
I am the one doing the choosing

and I choose your God...and you...

this is what you have
taught me...

to choose to live my life
with Him
at the center...

to choose to live after His example of loving,
of caring for all His
children...
including you...

I will never be a stranger
in His kingdom,
under His roof,
with His people....

all my brothers and sisters
all having
a common
Parent who loves us all...
impartially,
universally,
unconditionally...

Your God,
is my God...

now,
let's go home...

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Thou to whose power...."


"Thou to whose power
our hope we give..."

- Mary Baker Eddy

It's all Yours

every tiny shred...

all the bits and
pieces,
the flotsam and jetsam
wants,
I've gathered like
stars
into a constellation of
dreams

all the "please, dear God"
and
"if only" desires
I've kept hidden in the
treasure chest of
my secret
wishing

my hopes for the future are there,
for wiser choices,
more stillness,
quiet listening and growth in grace,
too...

for what I wonder
if I might,
someday
be,
with Your hand in
mine...

a purpose unfolded
a mission clearly seen
a vision shared

the hopes I've
thought were mine alone,
now echo in the chambers of what's
deep within me,
and are suddenly heard
as Your voice, 
Your preparation
of my
heart,
Your desire
for all that
You
want me to be,
to cherish,
embrace...

hope:
the threads of Your
plan for me...
golden threads that
weave themselves into
a tapestry,
a story written in
strands of virgin blue and
the softest shades of
sky and sea...

I'd give them to You,
to shuttle
in and out of my days and nights,
the warp and weft
of my living...

but,
these hopes and
dreams,
wishes and desires...

aren't they already
Yours...

promises you've
shared with me,
while still
sitting in the
deep space of
Your hands?

they have never
been mine to
hold,
own,
possess,
decide about, or
choose whether to
cherish...

and I
no longer
self-deluded
by
the mind that
thinks it
dreams its
own story...

I
open my hands and
in letting go
of all that says I am
a dreamer, 

I
watch a million
flecks of dissolving,
shattered,
self-determined
stardust dreams...

light
the path that
You have
laid before
me...

my hopes
are
Your promises...


Friday, August 12, 2011

"still..."


please...
do not
show me sympathy...

it will not be
what I need most
today when
the winds of self
rage,
screaming that life
is not fair and
i don't deserve whatever
injustice or hurt
is tearing
at my poise and
shattering
my heart....

do not say
you understand...

please do not say that
it's
okay if
I am angry,
hurt,
sad....

this is not what
I need from you...

i need to stay
in the space of grace

i need the courage to say
"no" to
any voice that
offers
sympathy

i am staying here
i will not come down and
be comforted

it will only suck me into the
vortex of
self...and this is
fatal to
my loving

so,
if you have anything to
give,
i hope it is
your conviction that
I am
like my Father,
that I am His daughter
filled with
grace...
unmoved by the
earthquake of heartache,
the winds of emotion,
the fire of heated words...

I am still,
still loving,
still certain,
still willing,
still
still
still

like a lake
at dawn...

still like
a cloudless
Colorado
morning


still
like a changeless constellation
hanging
from a navy
velvet 
night sky

still like
Him...

still poised,
still peaceful,
still sure of
His love
filling me,
stilling my heart...

still


[photo credit: Kristen Oyer 2011]



Thursday, August 11, 2011

"there is a place..."


"oh these vast, calm
measureless mountain days,
opening a thousand windows
to God..."

- J. Muir

there's a
place I love...
deep in the silent sanctuary
of a wooded
glade...
a place
where
the air is not heavy with
regret
but spiced with
forgivenss and grace...

it is as if every
tree,
leaf,
beast, and
flower are
exhaling the sweet,
sleepy, infant
mewings of
mercy,
understanding,
goodness
and
love....

each breath
a soft
gift of
compassion and grace

perfuming the air with
the redolent
breath of God

and
who am I
to
walk among
them

who am I
to
take in the heady
scent of
Spirit
and swoon with
rapture
in
His kingdom

to feel the grass beneath
my feet
rise, and yet rise
in humble
service to His guests
of which
I am most
blessed

oh, to drape myself
along a fallen
log and
breathe a musky perfume...
the forest's dark loam and
wet moss,
the brackish beauty of
a still, dark
pond humming with caddisflies
and speckled trout

to here Him whisper
"find me in the
darkness,
right here,
in this place where
the red fern
grows..."

to close my eyes to the
sun and still feel
her fingers
penetrate beneath
my skin and
warm
my bones with
her touch

this place of feral
loveliness
pulsing with Life,
this space beyond the common
thrum of humanity's
busyness
it takes my breath away and
suffuses me with
something
holy
something more sacred
than the
incensed air of a temple
a mosque,
a steepled church...

it is "the atmosphere of
Spirit,
where Soul
is
supreme..".

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"where dragons do not live..."


You are
leading me quietly,
peacefully
towards a lovely
destination...

You think I am awake to
Your intent

But suddenly
I flail,
I twist in your arms
like a child
in the throes of a nightmare...
chased by demons
only she can see
arguing with dragons
long-slayed
yet in her dreams,
still spitting sparks....

Please do not drop
me
and run

Please hold me tighter
and assure me that
demons do not live here
in the kingdom
with You...

demons live in places
where You will never let me
wander
and fire-breathing dragons cannot
sear
my peace
while I am in Your arms...

Shake me gently if
you must,
rub my shoulders,
repeat Yourself as
often as You think I need to
hear Your voice...

I know it is so much to ask
since You could have just let me
weep and flail
and race from dream
demons

But You chose to
wrap me in
angel quilts
swaddled in all that
You are to
children who have forgotten
who they are
and where they live...

Hold on tight,
and when the
terrors pass
I will waken
soft and sweet
with
sleepdust in
Your
arms....


Saturday, August 6, 2011

"nothing can close my eyes..."


"No evidence before the
material senses can close my
eyes to the scientific proof that
God, good, is supreme."

- Mary Baker Eddy

I stand here
with
eyes wide open

scanning the
horizon
searching the sky

looking for You
everywhere...
in the blackest
clouds heavy with
drenching rains, the loudest
thunder,
right there where I might be
tempted to
turn and run, right there
in
the flash and fury of
a summer storm...I look for You.

I cannot be made to
believe that You
have
disappeared,
scattered to the four corners
of obscurity,
been chased into hiding
by the darkenss of
fear or
doubt.

You are All and
You are here
and I cannot fail to
see you
in the depths of
my own
heart...
where the desire to
know you
to find you
to praise you...
is alive with promise
on fire with a desire for
You...

I see you in the
questions I bring to your feet,
I hear you in my prayers for
relief from the noise of doubt,
I see you in my longing
for peace,
my hunger for love,
my urgent,
relentless,
persistent
desire for something
bigger than
myself
to give purpose to my life.

I hear you in the pulsing
of my heartbeat
as it waits for peace to rend the
veil of pain and
bestow the Bridegroom's kiss
upon the pale brow of
fidelity with a
benediction of bliss...

I feel you
rise in me,
unbidden, like a
tidal wave of hope,
carrying with it all the
desires You
alone have
whispered to me on the
wings of angels
as they
flutter over the
dreams of
a girl
only asking to
be
Yours...

So here I stand,
eyes wide open
searching the sky,
ears eager for the first
strains of your
song,
all my senses
alive with
anticipation of your
presence
in
everything...

only You,
always You,

in all things...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"a symphony of silence..."


what do you hear
in the silence
that is not...

silent

rain dripping from
the eaves
after a sudden
evening thunderstorm

one that sent us
scampering to
take cover under the
shadow of a
chapel's wings...

a babbling brook that
sings her song
without invitation...
a message of constancy
that comes
unbidden from somewhere
higher than this
place...

barn swallows that
swoop and dart...
dark silhouettes against
the changing colors
of a storm-washed dusky
sky

the soft stir of
aspen leaves
brushing against one another
as an unseen breeze
sets them quaking
with the
evening's chill

a hummingbird
whirs as
she makes her last visit
of the day
to trumpet flowers,
poppies,
and spires of lavender
along the porch  rail...

i am not alone
in this not-so-silent
quiet place of
listening

i am companioned by
the music of
angels....hieroglyphic
notations of divine beauty written,
played,
sung along a ceaseless
tributary of
divine Love...

where Soul's
symphony
joins a chorus of
silence and
all i hear
is,

"you are blessed..."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"where they love to be..."



"Each individual must fill
her own niche in
time and eternity..."

- Mary Baker Eddy

emma's on deck
and clara's in the hole...

my heart leaps into
my throat...

this is it...

they are happy

they are where they love to
be
atop a saddle
astride a horse
dusty and
wild-haired from
the wind off columbia basin...

the gate opens,
partners paw and prance

and with the focus of
olympic athletes
they
enter the arena driven by a
single-minded
determination that
takes my breath away...

they are intrepid,
unflinching,
indomitable,
audacious...

boldly flying around barrels,
before they tear back through the center of
their universe like
fighter pilots returning from
a mission...

and then it's her sister's turn...
you may think they look alike...
but don't be
fooled by your eyes...
they
are each
their own...

the partnership each shares
with her horse is
as different as happiness
and joy

...and yet the same...

models of
restrained power
an urgency that
waits for just the right moment to
surge and
sit deep....
precision-tempered and
fearlessly wise

disciplined
daring
is their strength...

it never matters...
to either of 
them
which goes first

only that they
are there

at this moment,
in this place...

together...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Her outstretched arms..."


"...rest assured,
you can never lack God's
outstretched arm, so long as
you are in Her service..."

- Mary Baker Eddy

rest

rest assured...

never
a lack
never, ever....

you are loved...you are
so
dearly loved...

as a Mother never
loses sight of Her child's
needs...

so your Father-Mother God
has never lost sight of
you...

Her arms are stretched out
reaching towards
you,

run,
fall,
collapse,
release all self-determinism
and
rest....
rest in Her
arms

Her outstretched arms...

arms,
not folded in
exasperation,

but stretched wide open
reaching for you...

arms filled with
pure joy,
just so grateful you are
there,
looking in Her direction,
looking into Her
Love-filled eyes,
eyes that brim with
happy tears

let yourself go there,
let yourself
accept,
appreciate,
savour
all that She
offers of Her gifts

affection,
patience,
humility,
grace,
gentleness,
purity,
worth,
joy,
tenderness,
mercy,
meekness,
contentment
perspicacity,
trust,
kindness,
peace...

and share them

open the floodgates of
your heart
and
share them
generously...

they will come rushing up
from
the depth of a
fountain
so pure and
rich
that you will
be
lifted,
buoyed,
immersed,
washed,
carried along...

held
firmly,
strongly,
securely
in the
safest
place you can be

in Her outstretched
arms,
immersed
in
the healing waters
of Love...

the river of Her
pleasures...

the pleasure She knows in
loving,
holding
caring for
you...


Thursday, July 28, 2011

"on belay..."


"and you will hear a voice
behind you saying: 'this is the way,
walk ye in it..."


where is She?

should I be looking over my
shoulder,
listening for
the soft scuff of
footsteps
coming up
behind me,  but not
quite there?

should I be
slowing down,
leaning back,
keening an ear towards
where
I've been...

or is it more like having a
climbing partner...

someone who
has you on
belays,
holds you,
encourages you
to keep on climbing
to reach for the next hand hold,
to place your foot
a little to the
left,
a bit higher,
to center yourself over
your core...

this Someone
doesn't taunt you from
a place far
out in front
like an over-exuberant
running partner...

no,
She urges you to
take one more step,
to reach for the next fingerpost,
to push through the
resistance...
moment-by-moment...

and from a position
beneath,
below,
behind
you...Her eyes never leave your
back,
She bears your weight
without faltering,...


never pulling you
up
so that you scrape your knees along
the way...

but with an almost imperceptible
hand at the small of your
back...

She whispers,
"you can do it...I am here...
let go,
I will not let you
fall..."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"She comes..."


"Thy kingdom come..."

She comes bringing
all that She
is
and all that Her kingdom
contains...

She comes
to establish Her reign
within us...

She comes on the wing of
a prayer....

She comes in the darkness of
weeping

she comes when the
demons dance heavily on your
heart
and taunt you with
remorse
and regret...

she come in the
hour just before the
blue light of dawn
brings promise
of
the day

she comes...

she comes to the child
huddled beneath
a thin blanket
on the
edge of a barrio
in Rio

She comes to the
social worker
who
thinks she cannot see
one more
atrocity and
still
have hope

She comes to the
athlete
just before a race,
game,
chucka,
match...

She comes to
the sweetheart waiting
for a letter from
Iraq,
Afghanistan,
Pearl Harbor on just another
day in December, 1944.

She comes to her
parents, waiting for
the results of
a test that
will
change their lives
forever...

She comes to me in the
hunger of
my morning prayers
my longing for
Her gentle hand at the
small of my back,
Her softly whispered,
"I am here..."
in my hour of need,
Her message of
enduring mercy and
infinite,
endless,
immutable,
ceaseless,
immanent
grace...

She
comes and
carves a
home
within my heart...

She comes

Her kingdom
always
comes...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"inevitable grace..."


"inevitable grace..."
- Wm.Wordsworth

the promise of
inevitable grace
is  the voice of divinity,
speaking
to
humanity...

in a
language so
ancient and pure
that
the earth melts,
clouds part,
and
men
kneel, bending their heads...
waiting to hear
its music

because within the shelter of
its primal promise
there is
a sure,
sweet,
reliable
peace...

and
it comes
as
grace...

amazing
inevitable
grace...

it comes unbidden
to the heart
that
seeks
redemption,
forgiveness,
peace...

it comes on
the wings of mercy

it comes in
on soft footsteps,
through the storm...

unbattered by waves of fear or
douubt,
unmoved by cold
indifference or disdain...

it comes
unrushed...

bourne on
the gentle currents of
humility and
hope...

it comes to the
mother,
the child,
the king and the
servant,
the sage and the
simple...

it come without
trumpets or
fanfare...

it comes in the quiet blue of
morning...

it comes when the inner
sky is hushed with
the wonder of a day's awakening,
and the only sound is
the coo of a dove...

it comes with a touch so
tender that
we stand in
absolute
stillness
waiting
for more...

it comes and whispers
"you are mine..."

it always comes

inevitable and
reliable...

it comes as the
silent utterance of
Love...

grace...


Monday, July 25, 2011

"falling into place..."


open your hand...

go ahead...just open your
hand and
let
it
go....

let it go
let it all go...

every plan you've
held so tightly,
every small want
you've clutched to
your breast
like a love letter
filled with promises and
shared dreams...let it go...

the torn pages of
your planning,
the tattered lists,
the "first this, and then that"
steps which are dissolving
right before your eyes..let them go


let them slip from your
tired fingers and
flutter to the ground
only to be
scattered by Spirit and
rearranged
according to His
holy design...

let them go...

don't try to help...

to pick up the pieces and
frantically
put them back into
the old
order...to recreate the
former
dreamscape...

let go
let them go...
let them all go...

and you will begin to
see them fall,
piece-by-piece,
bit-by-bit,
pixel-by-pixel
into something that will
take your breath away...

each ragged-edge
of a Love-torn puzzle
transformed into lovely
slender fingers
reaching for its companion section
until
hand-in-hand
those
pieces...
perfectly positioned...
join in a conspiracy of
blessing,
a pattern of
beauty
layed out before you
in divine
syncronicity,
the flawless harmony of
Truth,
Life,
and Love...

"Love's work
and love..."

that "must fit...."

must always
fit...

so
go ahead,
open your
hands...and
let it fall


Sunday, July 17, 2011

"sacrament song..."


"sacrament:  an outward and visible
sign, of an inward and spiritual grace..."

this
is the 
holy, sacred ground
on which we
walk
in hushed wonder...
it is
filled with
burning bushes
and forgiven sinners,
floating axeheads
and
acts of grace so
amazing
that slaves are set
free
and the mute come singing
songs so sweet that
the lark
holds her breath in
awe

it all begins in
the place where men
and angels
meet
barefoot...

a space so intimate,
so infinitely
deep,
so fathomless
and yawning
that the echo of
its  growing
is heard before the
first burst of
it appearing...
cleaving the ground as it
searches for a sun
it has never seen, but
aches to know...

grace cannot remain
unseen....

love cannot hide in closets of
demure,
remain in
abstract, or
resist the birth
of its form

Mind longs to
hear itself echoing through the
corridors of learning,
see its words in print, and on the
lips of poets...

Principle realigns, adjusts, orders and
reorders creation
according to a divine design...never
tiring of
neat columns, ciphers and
variables,
carefully sorted
thoughts,
perfectly summed up
conclusions...

Soul bursts forth in song before the
morning dove awakes,
paints the sky with rainbow
hues so saturated that flowers bow
in deference...

Spirit dances through a field of
sunflowers so deftly that
the clouds part and
the seas
retreat at her command...

everywhere the blush of Love sits on the
cheek of a maiden or
washes the feet of the forgotten,
everywhere that Truth
lifts her voice in
justice and
comforts sorrowing

there is
the sacred,
the holy,
the breath of heaven
painting
a frosted blessing on
the window pane
of humanity
with the
hand of grace....


Saturday, July 16, 2011

"girl and horse..."


they were never ones to
care about
their colors matching...
socks
sweaters,
hats with gloves...

they never seemed
to 
dream of tulle or lace,
princess crowns,
or fairy wands adorned with
ribbons, glitter,
sequins...

they were not the kind of girls who
wanted new clothes
for the first day of school,
had a desire for
baubles,
and
bows...

they were always just a bit
"off the cuff"

willing to wear last year's
outgrown hand-me-downs,
the same shirt
every other day,
shoes that serve a purpose,
if not a particular
trend...
soccer cleats,
court shoes,
slippers to keep warm,
boots that stay in stirrups,
flip flops
for wiggling one's toes...

but...

when
crossing
the chaparral
in a dusty t-shirt,
jeans that could stand up on
their own --
stiff with corral grit and
stable grime --
a polocrosse helmet for a crown,
and
a racket for a scepter,

they are
perfectly tailored
for
chasing
a cowgirl's dreams
of
rodeos,
ranching,
a cloud of dust,
and
a horse to
call
a friend...

a pair of
roughriders

each beautifully
outfitted...from within

the perfect match of
heart
and
soul...

girl
and
horse





[photo credits: Ted Gast - Adventure Unlimited c. 2011]



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"a summer storm..."


"the storm may
roar without me..."

- Mary Baker Eddy

she sweeps in from
the west like
a severe maiden aunt
in starched
black taffeta and
pointy-toed black shoes that
lace up to a
place just above the
hem of her
stiff
skirt
that thrashes the air
around her....

i hear her coming...
a rumbling
under her breath, and the
flash of stern eyes
seeking out
a stain on my pinafore,
or hoping to catch me
napping over my
lessons...

in an instant
she is standing
over me

and with a thunderously
sharp
rap of her
heavy signet
ring on the edge of the
desk

i am awake

i cower and
shake,
wishing I could cover my head
with my books,
a sweater,
anything that will hide me
from her
disapproval...

that is,
until I see just the tiniest
sliver of a lace-edged petticoat
poking from beneath
her hem...

and I remember...
she is like me.

she was a girl...

and we both love
books,
and lavender oil,
and the color
of clouds
just before the storm...

and more importantly
I remember that
we are
both His daughter...

and within me
there is
a great calm...

the darkness parts
ever so slightly
and
a shaft of
kindness, the barely-there
smile that
surprises and delights
slices the
sky with an
unbidden beauty
that is
not
so different from
my own...

I rush to hug her
waist, and
she begins to cry to
softly silent tears of
surrender...

then the blackness of
her stiff taffeta
rips and
her arms open
and she takes me into a
place so pure and
clean that
torrential tears drown out the
pride of
something held back
and aching
for release....

I am the space she
needed
to rain her
pent-up hopes
upon....and
I am blessed

"Bridal grace..."


"...that our daughters may be as corner stones,
polished after the similitude of a palace..."
- Psalms

she was not
the kind of bride that
asked to be a
princess for a day...

and yet, she was...

she was never the
center of her own universe,
the eye of
any storm...

she was,
simply,
grace...

loveliness of spirit,
a joy to behold,
and
there was
kindness in her smile...

even when our eyes were
riveted on her,
she didn't leave us there...
we were pulled into
her vision, and there
our hearts could see only what
she saw...a lens 
so clear and
pure that the love she
held within her was
reflected in every
thing she touched...

his arm,
her mother's smile,
a brother's affection, 
the poet's song,
our tears of joy...

mingled with hers,
seemed to pour over
us like
liquid beauty
from a
cup she held  gently
in her
heart...

she
moved through the moments 
with the spiritual stealth of
a doe in the forest...
delicate steps that never
left a mark of self
upon
this day that was
hers to have...and
yet,
she gave it
willingly,
generously,
lovingly,
graciously
to us...

and we
were blessed
by
her...

blessed by a woman of substance
clothed in the purest of hearts...

blessed by a gentle woman,
a virtuous woman
a woman so lovely
that her face
refused to absorb the spotlight,
but reflected it with such luminance,
such radiant love...that
we felt its warmth
and
knew we were in
the presence
of grace...

sterling,
grace...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"pecking away..."


"they must peck
open their shells..."

- Mary Baker Eddy


peck

peck

peck
peck

peck....

every day
something comes along...
a small
injustice,
the harsh word
i long to take back and
swallow,
a feverish fear of
the unknown....
calling me
forward from this
self-centered
space of
me,
me,
me...

pushing me to
find a way
out of
the
cramped hollow
of the
self

it is the
deeper hunger,
the longing to be good
and true
that
urges me on...

encourages me to
gather all
my
strength and
peck away
at this
ego that seems
to be
all around me...and
yet,

just beyond the hardness of
that
myopic self,
I can see the light

it is not always
bright,
but I know
that it
calls to me
piercing what only
seems
a solid,
intractible
self-centeredeness...

that I somehow
know is
never me...

and so I peck,
peck,
peck away at the
hard dome of
where I am tired of
sitting as the center
of my universe,

waiting
for
a crack...

and when a sliver of
light, through that
delicate
fissure,
breaks through,
i close my
eyes and
let the warmth of its
first morning beam
touch my
face
with the
tender
hand
of
God...

and I feel
it awakening something
deep within me
that stretches into
this new
space...

and wants more

peck,

peck, peck,
peck....



"There is within each one of us
a potential for goodness beyond our imagining;
for giving which seeks no reward;
for listening without judgment;
for loving unconditionally."

— Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross


Friday, July 8, 2011

"who am I when..."


who am I
when the
lights go out
and the last lullaby
has been
sung
and the girls are
sleeping
soundly in their
little beds
under the eaves...

i think
i am a  sigh
cherished in
the heart of God,
a song that drifts across the tall
grasses of
a moon-washed Colorado
meadow...

i am the silent breath 
of my
waiting in
rapt wonder
for the voice of
God,
the the first strains of prayer,
a symphony of stanzas waiting
to be played
upon the empty page...

I am the scent of chocolate
and lavender...
the lingering
echo of something softly haunting
that whispers across the
nape of my neck and in the
hollow of my throat...

I am as still as a church mouse
waiting for the
floorboards to settle before
she scampers
deftly towards the
pantry doors
for cinammon and
nutmeg and
the the Joy of Cooking
resting on the
shelf

I am a child tiptoeing
though the forest
waiting in the hush of twilight
hoping to
find a band of fairies
singing around a
campfire after
a long day
of
pollenating flowers and
dusting the sky with
fireflies...

I am more silent than
a star and
more hopeful than
a question,
more endless than a
moonbeam and
as peaceful
as
the dawn...

who am I
when the day is
sighing in
her sleep...

i am
content...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"she is summer..."


she plays against the
backdrop of
a cloud
as subtle as the
grays and
blue of
twilight on
a midsummer's night
in Maine...

she is the call of the loon
and the whisper of
the wind through birch trees
on a granite ridge...

when the sea sings through the
sheets of a tall ship
rising the
crest of a storm and
the taste of salt
lingers on your skin
she is the
heaving breath of an ancient
mariner, the
rocking motion of
a night on deck

all the beauty of a starlit
night is reflected
in the fathomless depths of
her fresh water
ponds scattered along the Appalachian trail
where she
traces a path of
discovery....a maze of
delight

she is  a jar of fireflies
to read by,
the familiar creak and slap of
screen door on the
kitchen porch,
splash and giggle of
children at the shallow end,
the
scent of coconut oil and the
feel of hot sand between
your toes,
the buzz of horseflies and
the nickering of
mares across a moonlit paddock....

she is lemonade and
clinking ice, the sticky sweetness of
watermelon juice down your
forearms,
crickets, and sunflowers and
the tall, dry grass of
a south dakota
afternoon...

she is summer...


"the dance of summer..."


they are
executing the
intricate steps of
an ancient
dance...

a few steps towards
the lake
and one back into the
shadows...

a circling pattern of
girls and boys
on a
wide lawn of grass and
dust and a small
stream that
sings
a melody of
passage...

it is summer and the stars
are held above us
in a deep bowl of blue velvet
scattered with diamonds

in their cabins
they rest upon days
so full that
hours feel like minutes and
a week is like a day...

each hour
one less
to go...
until september comes
and they dream of
june again and
days of listening to
the voice of God whispering through
the aspens, and summer dancing
on valerie lawn


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"all that is within me..."


"bless the Lord
oh my soul
and all that is within me
bless His holy name..."


i start with You,
Father
I always start with You..

You are the center
of my life,
the starting point on my
vector,
the core from which all
things radiate, and
glow, and
light my path out of
darkness, out of
self...

there is nothing within me
but Your fullness,
nothing informs me...
my thoughts,
my decisions,
my conclusions...
but from the depths of the
unseen,
i hear
Your voice..

i spring from the well of Your
infinite Selfhood
i am poured out...a blessing...
from the heavenly
expanse of Your
heart....

i am pregnant with Your
promise,
bursting with
possibilities, 
alight with
the dawning of
all that You are....

a glimpse of
divinity
that bathes the earth in
the colors of
heaven

Sunday, July 3, 2011

"do butterflies cry..."


is this how it felt when
the earth shook
and the waters parted
and a man
          born blind
came seeing....

darkness

dissolution

shattering

uncertainty

release

surrender

i am not ready
     i cried out
alone and frightened
     car radio
playing one
     old Journey
          love song
after another
     as I drove through tears
          and rain
               and the sweet ache
                    of it all

          the darkness rushes
               past the window
                    as I fly through
               the silence
                    of a Kansas prairie
               the color of ravens
                         surrounding
                              my cocoon of
                         steel and song

          will I emerge from this chrysalis...
               this casing.... like a
                    butterfly
               transformed by
          a midnight journey through dark
               cornfields and sunflowers


take me in Your arms
wrap me in
Your promise
Father
hold me close to You and breathe
Your message of grace
into my heart...

i serve You
i love You
i long for You in my life

if You are at the core
of this
shattering
let me
yield to it
and
have the patience to
let You
and only You
put me back together
in Your way
according to
Your plan
full of
You

only You
can
eclose me from
this tight
swaddling
of
darkness and
despair, uncertainty
and doubt
into....

what...

I do
not yet
know

so I ask
through the lens of
a my
weeping:

can prayer
really
look
like
a tear...

wept

do butterflies
cry

Friday, July 1, 2011

"comparisons stink..."


"comparisons are
odorous..."

- Mary Baker Eddy

when we
compare ourselves
to someone else, or them
to yet another...we
send up a
scent so odorus that
everyone
is
offended...

stop it.

it stinks...

it just stinks.

and the sad part is we don't need
to do it
at
all...

each of us is perfectly,
uniquely,
wonderfully
original...

you are incomparable
and so is
she,
he,
him,
her...
me

when we compare
ourselves,
or others,
we
are not beholding

we are
looking in the periphery
where
nothing is clear,
and everything is
out of focus
in convex distortion

we
need to
stop it...

we
must begin to
look straight ahead...

behold our
neighbor, our friend,
our sister,
ourselves through the
clear,
clean
lens of
a single
focus...

each of us is completely
beautiful,
good,
strong,
graceful,
courageous,
honest,
kind,
worthy,
deserving...

and so is she...

celebrate your
wholeness
and hers,
and his...

there is no competition
when each includes
all, and each is undoubtedly,
absolutely
gloriously whole

just as no two snowflakes
are ever the same,
and yet each
has the same makeup,
consitution...
H2O

so you, and I,
and he, and them
are all made up of,
contain,
include,
are defined by...the
indivisible wholeness
of God's character and
nature...
Principle,
Mind,
Soul,
Spirit,
Life,
Truth, 
and
Love...to the infinite
quality
and
quantity...

All that God is,
in all of His creation...

we can't compare
what
is
exactly, 
identically
perfect...

the All-in-allness
of divine
reflection...

so let's just
stop

and begin to
celebrate
the
absolute
wonder of
one
another...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"papa, what color is the sky..."


papa,
what color is the
sky at night
and how far is
it 
between the raindrops?

where is tomorrow and
how many hours are there
in eternity?

why do birds fly and
who taught the
whales to
swim....

papa,
your hand is strong,
your
heart is big,

and sometimes,
you are silent...

i love this about you...

you are the place
where I can bring
my questions

and
you
have the courage

to be patient
to walk beside me
and listen

while I
wander, explore,
discover...

to help me
wait for
the
answers

from
within...



photo is of my brother-in-law and nephew, Seth and Wyeth Talmon

<

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"she waits for no one..."


"time waits
for no one..."
they say

then her name
must be Thyme,
i think,
as she plunges
headfirst into
each
moment of
her life...

first to rise in the morning -- 
leaving the night
behind her, she quickly
discards the "what was" amongst the
rumpled quilts and
warm sheets
of her
night adventuring
through the
hills and valleys of
dreams she
wakes from happy
and
eager to extend
into her day

she is
first to dive
headlong into whatever
she has
never done before
and
relishes every
new experience as if she
were
Hillary at the
summit
staking her claim
on the
top of the world

she is
a filly in the pasture,
a trill of
laughter echoing through
the valley,
a racehorse at the gate,
a poppy
leaning into the
sun...
a child, a girl
a woman
a sprite...

she is
Life....
lived as Love...

she is
light dancing on
water,
the wind through the
willows,
a hummingbird
darting among the aspen
leaves on
a clear Colorado
morning,
never looking behind
her,
always
moving

just
because

she is....

Spirit's
daughter...

"to know rapture..."


"rapture: [from medeival Latin:  raptura
meaning: to seize and carry off]
(noun) a feeling of intense pleasure or joy;
(verb) to transport from earth to heaven
at the coming of Christ;
to be raised or lifted out of oneself
by divine power."


i have known
rapture

it comes in the
silent hunger of a
heart that
yearns to know and
be known

there is a moment,
a coincidence,
where we finally surrender to grace,
and are caught up,
carried into the weightless,
burdenless,
space of spiritual trust...

when knowing the answer
is less important
than feeling like a child
in the arms of a 
Parent who 
knows All...
and
it is enough.

it is peace,
but more...

it is bliss,
but without reason...

it is poised
ecstacy...calm and
consistent...

it is flight but
without the beating of
wings...

the rising...
and still rising,
unhurried on
the thermals
of the unseen...

it is light holding hands with
the darkness and together
watching the changing faces of
the moon like
sisters
who know,
that
in the presence of
one,
the other
is
a miracle,
a divine surprise,
a moment
of
pure
rapture...

"our lips must only blessings know..."


"our lips
must only blessings know..."

- Mary Livermore


what will you
let pass
through this sacred
door when
the words..or actions... of others
feel like a dagger in your heart
and emotions run
high and the self is torn, 
ragged with
hurt

do you allow anything that
is said to you,
or about you,
incite your anger,
give you permission
to leave your post...to let
an unkindness
pass your lips,
cynicism slip across the threshhold of
your consciousness,
gossip cross your tongue,
criticism seep through your words,
sarcasm drip like a slow
poison over your
heart....

imagine a small child
sitting at the
doorway of your lips...

would what you say
make her smile with delight
feel appreciated,
nurtured,
adored,
blessed....

this child is
you
and she deserves the
very purest,
clearest,
most
sweetly perfumed
atmosphere
for growing in...

let your lips
only
know blessing
and
the child you are
will
smile with
pleasure,
twirl with delight,
live in
peace...