Friday, February 2, 2018

it is enough...

The sun is out and the snow has fallen: a perfect Berkshires winter morning. The head colds are petering out, albeit stubbornly, and Tucson's KXCI is on blue tooth (check out this near perfect community radio station @ Loved ones will gather with us tomorrow night for an intimate time of music and story-telling and on Sunday we share brunch with family and my Sunday School teacher from Vermont. This brings to a close a full month of marking our service to God in the local church ministry. 

Soon a new round of teaching begins. We're planning a modest trip to Ottawa too in order to visit with L'Arche and explore housing options that might be affordable and satisfying for our special needs dog. Locally, new music is brewing and awaiting practice. There is new poetry for compassion brewing as well from artists like Grace Rossman who knocked it out of the park at the recent Four Freedoms "Songs and Sounds of Solidarity" concert.

On the Feast Day of St. Brigid and the celebration of Candlemas, a time when there will be at least 10 hours of sun light in our parts and the earth is shifting towards more light, my heart is filled with gratitude.  A friend asked me, "Do you feel unburdened by letting go of church or grief?" After a pause I replied, "The anxiety and dread are gone so I would say I am experiencing release." But it is quiet release, not at all exuberant. Rather more like David Whyte's poem, "The Winter of Listening," that Parker Palmer recently shared with those who follow him on On Being.

No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,

what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

Indeed, it is enough...


Annie gal said...

The journey deep into the heart of God often needs a new language or two to get by our mental and emotional constructs that our ego has built in an effort to somehow try to protect our vulnerabilities. It's a good and necessary journey, but not easy. I commend your efforts to not effort. Hugs.

RJ said...

Thanks so much, Annie gal, I am grateful.

playing for our lives: a concert to combat local homelessness June 15 @ 7 pm

In an interview with Krista Tippett a few years ago, the late Jean Vanier gave contemporary people of compassion his antidote for despair:...