writing on retreat...

It seems that I have not written much of anything in two full weeks. I have another Leonard Cohen consideration brewing, but it is taking its own sweet time in achieving fermentation. Truth be told, I left my lap top home last week when we zipped up to Montreal for three days, too. Still. since we returned, I have been oddly distracted - emotionally unable and physically unwilling to sit in a focused way - so my discipline of written reflection seems to be on strike.

Or maybe a better term would be on retreat: its not that I am shutting down or even protesting; rather, this feels like a season beyond words. Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of playing a jazz gig at a house party. I was pretty rusty, but loved it all. Tomorrow I am playing with two great colleagues at the Berkshire Museum as a part of their recent guitar exhibition. When we rehearsed earlier this week it was pure ecstasy: laughter and joy, sweet harmonies and sexy rhythm'n'blues, and more songs tumbling out of each of us that we could cram into five hours. And I'll have the blessing of playing another jazz gig next week before returning to our dance band on the last Sunday of the month. So, maybe it is true as the wise old preacher observed: to every thing there is a season. 

This past sabbath I was able to construct my Trinity Sunday message around "the experience of the holy" using three Leonard Cohen songs. What better way to celebrate the mystery of God's love in our lives than through the music of a Zen Buddhist Jew from Montreal? This morning, in the daily Buechner blast I receive on-line, I read these words:

THE MUCH-MALIGNED doctrine of the Trinity is an assertion that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there is only one God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit mean that the mystery beyond us, the mystery among us, and the mystery within us are all the same mystery. Thus the Trinity is a way of saying something about us and the way we experience God. The Trinity is also a way of saying something about God and the way he is within himself, i.e., God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself love happens. In other words, the love God is is love not as a noun but as a verb. This verb is reflexive as well as transitive. 

If the idea of God as both Three and One seems far-fetched and obfuscating, look in the mirror someday. There is (a) the interior life known only to yourself and those you choose to communicate it to (the Father). There is (b) the visible face which in some measure reflects that inner life (the Son). And there is (c) the invisible power you have in order to communicate that interior life in such a way that others do not merely know about it, but know it in the sense of its becoming part of who they are (the Holy Spirit). Yet what you are looking at in the mirror is clearly and indivisibly the one and only You.

I reminded the faithful that even the words/names Father, Son and Holy Spirit were poetic symbols for that which we experience as grace.  The Cappadocian Fathers spoke of simulacrum - not formula - for this mystery. We concluded with "Dance Me to the End of Love." Clearly dancing and playing music are luring me deeper these days. Maybe the writing groove will be ready to return next week?


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