A new year — Advent 1

Roger Hutchison - Advent 1

 

 

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?

Light a candle in the dark places and stay alert.


Thank you, Roger Hutchison, for this beautiful image of Advent1.

Close to your soul

 

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?


Anne Sexton, from Letter Written on a Ferry.

Bigging it up

The smallest of things… (thank you, David Kanigan)

Live & Learn

bird-in-hand-jpg

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.

~ Kyo Maclear, from How a stressed woman found solace through looking at birds (Macleans, January 22, 2017)

Find Kyo Maclear’s new book on Amazon: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation


Photo: Thank you Sawsan @ Last Tambourine

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Lightly child, lightly

I am again at a moment in my life when the value of time has become bright and focused. I sit on my porch to watch the wind blow across the mountains providing a way for trees to bend in gratitude. If there is energy to draw or read or pray, I use it with an awareness of how different things could be.
This is healing time, I know. Yet I still hear the call to ‘pay attention’. It can come from surprising places but it is the same. ‘Pay attention’ – as I read this entry from David Kanigan I was once again reminded…

Live & Learn

Benoit Courti

It’s just time:
the book I read,
the letter I write,
the window I look out of.
Just a sleeve I keep trying to mend,
the spool diminishing.
Just my one hand writing words,
my other hand weighing the silences between them.

Li-Young Lee, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Memory’s Landscape. Photo:Benoit Courti  (via mennyfox55)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

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