“…Show to me this day amidst life’s dark streaks of wrong and suffering the light that endures in every person. Dispel the confusions that cling close to my soul that I may see with eyes washed by your grace… …that I may be well in my own soul and part of the world’s healing this day that I may be well in my own soul and part of the world’s healing this day. (Wednesday Prayers from Celtic Benediction)
We close another day. May we sleep when we are covered by the blanket of stars and awaken to the rising sun, renewed and ready to meet the day. Tomorrow begins with deep concern and reaching for hope. Wherever we are- imagine how we are connected- in safety, in spirit. May we see one another and be part of the healing.
And so a new year begins… in the Christian tradition, we mark another circle around the sun.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent – a time to begin anew. As the month of December begins energy pulls toward Christmas.
Every store we enter, every advertisement we see, many songs we hear — all focus on the importance of preparing for Christmas. This is often chaotic, stress-building preparation. Preparation far from the call to collect oneself and gather with others to intentionally listen for sounds of God’s arrival.
Advent is a time set apart to live with a sense of wonder and anticipation. It is a time to settle the noise around you, to wait for something to come- something exciting and new.
Does your heart race? Do you feel a bit unsettled?
Put your ear down close to your soul
and listen hard.
How still must one be to hear the soul’s message? How quiet?
We live in a noisy world. Sitting to write I turned off all the sound makers. No TV, no music, no blowing fans. For a brief moment I felt the presence of silence. It was solid- hanging in the air, it surrounded me, strong and calm.
But it did not last long. The noise makers I could not control begin to buzz with motors and gears. The heater came on, the ice maker filled with water and dropped cubes into the tray. Birds arrived on the feeders with song and chatter.
Does the call to still quiet have anything to do with noise from outside?
The Pantheon of Smallness was a way of thinking about smallness differently. Sometimes we make small things, sometimes there are small bird songs, but it can have an enormous impact. Sometimes you have to whisper to be heard. Our culture is very much one of “bigging it up,” always upping the noise level in order to produce a louder signal. What you see in the bird world is sometimes that the smallest tweet can actually pierce through the cacophony in a different way. That became a metaphor for thinking about art. Emily Dickinson did quite miniature work that had a very profound, almost epic, impact, culturally speaking.