‘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

between the sun and moon

In-between the sun and moon,
I sit and watch
and make some room
for letting light and twilight mingle,
shaping hope
and making single glances last eternity,
a little more,
extending love beyond the doors of welcoming,
while wedding all the parted people,
even sons to violent mothers,
and searching all the others finding light
where twilight lingers,
in-between the sun and moon.

 

In celebration of twilight, dusk and dawn as they wait patiently for one another on this Solstice eve.


Poem: Padraig O’ Tauma
Image: Unknown (Google Images)

the Quiet time…

“Dawn is coming…… I step quietly from my bed, alive to the silences around me. This is the quiet time, the time of innocence and soft thoughts, the childhood of the day. Now is the moment when I must pause and lift my heart – now, before the day fragments and my consciousness shatters into a thousand pieces. For this is the moment when the senses are most alive, when a thought, a touch, a piece of music can shape the spirit and color of the day. But if I am not careful – if I rise, frantic, from my bed, full of small concerns – the mystical flow of the imagination at rest will be broken, the past and the future will rush in to claim my mind, and I will be swept up into life’s petty details and myriad obligations. Gone will be the openness that comes only to the waking heart, and with it, the chance to focus the spirit and consecrate the day. “

We rise to this day in anticipation. It is the first day of the new year in the Christian tradition. It is the first day of Advent.

May it begin with quiet time – time allowing for ‘ the openness that comes only to the waking heart’.


Quote: Kent Nerburn, Small Grace: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday life

Photo: David Kanigan

The heart’s whisper

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.


Quote: Howard Thurman

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