Holy Saturday…


I am grateful for these words from Jan Richardson. Holy Saturdays are always uniquely quiet. All motion seems to slow or stop. There is a strong desire for connection as the earth still shakes under our feet.

“On this Holy Saturday, I have been thinking about how this is not a day for answers. It is a threshold day, a day that lies between, and so resists any easy certainty. It is a day that invites us to make a space within the weariness, the fear, the ache. It is a day that beckons us to turn toward one another and to remember we do not breathe alone.”

IN THE BREATH, ANOTHER BREATHING
For Holy Saturday
Let it be
that on this day
we will expect
no more of ourselves
than to keep
breathing
with the bewildered
cadence
of lungs that will not
give up the ghost.
Let it be
we will expect
little but
the beating of
our heart,
stubborn in
its repeating rhythm
that will not
cease to sound.
Let it be
we will
still ourselves
enough to hear
what may yet
come to echo:
as if in the breath,
another breathing;
as if in the heartbeat,
another heart.
Let it be
we will not
try to fathom
what comes
to meet us
in the stillness
but simply open
to the approach
of a mystery
we hardly dared
to dream.

Quote: Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons
Image: “Breath Will Come to the Desolate Bones”

Simply Lent 11…

The Well of Grief

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief,
turning down through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe,
will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else.

a friend who carries my story died this morning. Sudden, unexpected he is gone. I carry him into this quiet night, grateful for all we shared and sad for what is no more.


Poem: The Well of Grief in David Whyte: Essentials
Image: Evening on the Isis @David Whyte, Oxford May 2015

 

 

‘echos of the uncanny…’

I didn’t know if there was anything like a God. I didn’t care. But it was mostly clear to me we were not just castaways in some tohubohu bearing an ensign of meaning only for those desperate enough to concoct one: I felt mostly certain more was going on than met the eye—despite not having a real clue just what that “more” might entail. My assuredness on these matters owed less to faith than it did to experience, for I’d been hearing echoes of the uncanny since early childhood.


It is that time of the night. The time when this side of the world is quiet in slumber, the time when hearing ‘echoes of the uncanny’ may not be so unusual.

I lay in bed – listening.

It may be the voice of my grandmother or the laughter of my aunt, long since gone before my eyes. I may hear rain tapping on my window or the call of an owl high in the sturdiest branch of a tall pine by the lake.

Tonight I invite these echoes. This is the evening of Thanksgiving, a time of gathering. Today my sister’s house was filled with family, ever-growing. We celebrated my nephew’s wedding this summer and happily the new couple was among us. There were partners and their relatives, parents from different generations, for which we are ever grateful. And for the first time, in more years than I can count, my brother, his wife, and youngest daughter joined us at the table having recently moved from the West Coast back to North Carolina.

Reflecting on this celebration, I begin to reminisce on Thanksgivings from times past. My first year in college, far away, in Colorado, I can hear echoes of laughter from my aunt and uncle’s voice as we sat with my cousins around a huge table in New Mexico. My first year in graduate school, again too far to come home, my apartment was the place to go for all the divinity school “orphans” spending the holiday in Cambridge. I can hear echoes of Boston accents and remember the taste of New England chowder. Over the years this particular holiday has always been filled with new voices and unique stories

The echoes of these voices, and many more, never fade. I consider this group of people travelers on life’s journey. There is no rhyme or reason as to how most of these gatherings occurred. They were opportunities to experience something greater than what can be organized. Doors were opened and one more place at the table was set.

As the quote above describes so well, ‘more is certainly going on than meets the eye’. To be comfortable with this description creates a world filled with curious and blessed moments.

I lie in bed listening for echoes that stir a grateful heart.


Quote: Ayad Akhtar, Homeland Quote: Elegies: A Novel (Little, Brown and Company, September 15, 2020)
Photo: David Kanigan

Silence

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed
the blueprint to a life
It is a presence
it has a history a form
Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence
.

It was an old theme even for me:
Language cannot do everything.


Adrienne Rich, Cartographies of Silence, 3 and 7 [extracts]

 

thank you, Karl DuffMindfulBalance

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