Talk with the Preacher

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In the dormancy of Lent we can take our cue from fallow fields, lying vacant but not abandoned in order to become more fruitful.   In these forty days, we can ask to be emptied of our attachments to the past, which can make us brittle as Lot’s wife to our possessions, which can weigh us down like the rich young ruler to preference for head over heart, which can harden us… Read More

Maybe Sweet Jesus, talking    his melancholy madness,      stood up in the boat        and the sea lay down, silky and sorry.    So everybody was saved       that night.          But you know how it is when something     different crosses        the threshold — the uncles           mutter together, the women walk away,    the young brother begins       to sharpen his knife.          Nobody knows what the soul… Read More

Zero Circle by: Rumi (Version by Coleman Barks) Be helpless, dumbfounded, Unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace   to gather us up. We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty. If we say we can, we’re lying. If we say No, we don’t see it, That No will behead us And shut tight our window onto spirit. So let us rather not be sure of anything,… Read More

They say the wheel was invented and fire was discovered.   When you sit in the circle and rub together the sticks of your life, what grey smoke-signaled stories rise in the starry black sky?   Listen and pay attention.   Warm what has grown cold. Shine a light on what has darkened. Stoke the embers around your gritty ashes. Fire up the vitality lurking in your everydays. Fan the flame of… Read More

Trying to Be Thoughtful in the First Brights of Dawn I am thinking, or trying to think, about all the imponderables for which we have no answers, yet endless interest all the range of our lives, and it’s good for the head no doubt to undertake such meditation; Mystery, after all, is God’s other name, and deserves our consideration surely.  But, but – excuse me now, please; it’s morning, heavenly bright, and… Read More

              The Old Poets of China Wherever I am, the world comes after me. It offers me its busyness.  It does not believe that I do not want it.  Now I understand why the old poets of China went so far and high into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist. Mary Oliver

for the week of Epiphany… Hello, sun in my face. Hello, you who made the morning and spread it over the fields and into the faces of the tulips and the nodding morning glories, and into the windows of, even, the miserable and the crotchety –   best preacher that ever was, dear star, that just happens to be where you are in the universe to keep us from ever-darkness, to ease… Read More

We ended yoga class and Wednesday Night Words discussion on Luke 24 and vocation with this beautiful poem by Mary Oliver, my favorite. Wild Geese  by Mary Oliver You do not have to be good.  You do not have to walk on your knees  for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.  You only have to let the soft animal of your body  love what it loves.  Tell me about despair, yours,… Read More

Kindness Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken… Read More

What to Remember When Waking David Whyte In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans. What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough… Read More