Tag Archives: Soul

Emancipation

Emancipation © twyatt2018

Emancipation © twyatt2018

I felt the stone in my heart melt like hot mercurial goo, a molten lava creating new continents of understanding; the beginnings of a new world where I was no longer a freakishly bulbous figure of too much.

I sensed a fresh scent in the air from a fresher shore of truth, shaped from the essence of all of God’s creation. I could see and be seen as knitted into this perfect weave of beauty; a part of, a coaptation of God’s magnificence and love.

I dared to step further and sink into this new earthly perspective where everything I had deemed as the imperfect physical me began to settle perfectly as is. Then, as I emerged wearing the same sixty-three-year-old coat, with deep pockets still stuffed by all of the worn-out stories that I was told about me, and that I have told and held onto about me, I notice a new lightness.

I am no longer weighted down like a round, red and white bobber by my size or shape or stories. I see and recognize that what felt before like walls and counter-weights has served me well, if not conveniently or elegantly. And, the physical attributes that I had wished all of my life to be changed? They now appear as a loving tether; a natural and useful link in humility, and lift of a kite.

I take yet a deeper breath; a more focused look, and I notice.

Acceptance seems to have settled-in beside me. She recognizes and welcomes the bundle of me as I have been, and as I am now.

Grace points me to a lifetime of experiences uniquely my own and perfectly fit between the grooves of hardship and learning. Failure and growth. Shame too, but then comes wisdom from within, the sacred and most convenient place I always look last.

I looked again. I felt again, this new idea of all is well. And a word rises from that broken stone; travels from this freshly cracked open heart, through a constricted-by-tears throat, and emerges with a gasp to open air.

Emancipation.

Note: I cannot attest to being able to hold onto this feeling of such sweet and full emancipation much after it’s first appearance. But, I am grateful for the brief reveal and taste of a new freedom. And pray it, if only but for a moment, comes for others too; by God’s love and in perfect ways and timing. It really is all about Love.

The Treasure of Lent

The word ‘treasure’ has been showing up in my morning readings; from different places, in different context. It finally catches me, slows me down enough to notice and ask:

What treasure does God have for me, long for me to accept?
What treasure lies in Lent for me this year?
What treasure lies in me?

And I wonder, what if I create a Treasure Box for Lent?  With paints and glued-on plastic hearts and maybe some buttons, and fabrics and ric-rac trim.  And maybe secret away little notes on scrappy pieces of paper in the box as Lent reveals her treasures.

“Is that okay?” I ask myself.  “To walk into this time before Easter with more a notion of creating something fun than sacrifice?

Yes.

Then, as eagerly as I ran to find the cigar box that I have had stashed away in my art supplies, ‘the achiever’ showed up all worried, just like when I am choosing the next blank-paged journal, that it might not be the right box? Asking performance questions about if I should or could finish it by a made-up deadline of Ash Wednesday?

“What is wrong with me,” I think. “Have I so quickly fallen into the trap of accomplishment without even the slightest glance and allowance for the process? Don’t you remember that God is more in the process business than outcome?”

“Go easy,” I hear. “It is the creating and discovery with God in the unknown that reveals the treasure.”

And so, I begin.  And invite you too, to listen for what might guide you from the grip of thinking (too much). What art, song, dance, sport might loosen sometimes-strident, merit-based ideas of faith and move us towards the gentler wonder and mystery of the unknowing, the un-thought? The yet-to-be-created, the undiscovered?  To listen for and explore how you might be called to discover your treasure of Lent.

“I am the Treasure, and the Glory of My Presence glistens and shimmers along the way.” – Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

“Lead us to the heart of life’s treasure that we may be bearers of the gift.” – Sounds of the Eternal, A Celtic Psalter by John Philip Newell

* Just a little note of support: It is never too late to begin a practice of prayer and play; to not put too hard of a deadline on yourself to start, do, finish, accomplish. Each day is a new beginning, and each response of the heart is a sacred journey.

More Art than Reason

I’m beginning to believe it is going to be art, not reason, that will save us. And by us I mean all of us.

Not a side, or tribe, or politic or country. But saved from the collective fear that has stolen our ideals of freedom, justice, equality, and most of all humans caring for one another.

If we were to accept that we have but one face, as children of God, then fear fades…like when you meet your first person of different color or religion or sexual preference and discover your coworker, fellow student, or friend-of-a-friend, retreatant or person sitting at the other end of your pew isn’t so bad, or different, after all.

One face that we all recognize as our own, and hopefully with the compassion and compass of more art than reason.

Roque Dalton’s “Like You”
A poem and a poet from El Salvador,
and shared by Hannah Atkins

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-
blue landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.
I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
love,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

Wash me over with Love

Where dust and grime has collected under years of neglect,
not noticed
Wash me over with Love

Where too parched a land has cracked, deep crevices exposing
deeper pain
Wash me over with Love

Where withered limb bends low close to breaking, nearly touching
the shadow of itself
in separation
Wash me over with Love

Where imagination has all but dried up after too many disappointments in itself
and its reflection
Wash me over with Love

Where histories harden hearts thirsty for recognition
and re-writes
Wash me over with Love

Where storybook pages turn yellow and crackling brittle from
not being turned and read
Wash me over with Love

Where clay river bottoms draw dry, no longer with purpose
of transport or host to fishes
Wash me over with Love

Water always runs to its lowest level;
naturally seeking and serving
the driest and thirstiest of me.
It is the last place of puddle that is filled first
when it rains again.
Wash me over with Love

15 Minutes Of Love

I have been invited to practice 15 minutes of Love a day, now and until Christmas. The only requirement is to pause, step into stillness, and focus on Love for a short time away from the flurry and distraction of a busy season. And my busy mind.

During this time, I am choosing a very simple practice called Centering Prayer – focusing on the word love as it reflects for me the essence of what I belief God to be; then, gently re-centering a hundred-thousand times if necessary back to the word. My intention is to simply call on and breath in love for the sake and goodness of Love, without expectation of what I might gain or accomplish in my practice or attitude.

… just sit with Love for 15 minutes a day.

There are many different and colorful routes to prayer and meditation. I invite you this season to follow a practice that makes sense to you, and leads you into Love. And in this, I believe we get to experience being One beyond our practice, and ourselves.

May love meet you in your moments, now and always.

Somehow

It was the hobo story.

Reaching deep into my own grandmother’s history of being a safe place for hobos that traveled by their house.  Cold water slapping me awake to how far we have come from being open to strangers and sharing our food. Ice cubes is more like it…

Then tears. They sneak back up now as I read Wells and feel seen by her. By you. Tenderness somehow all about me. And not.

Somehow this counts for something; for the people we tell to keep on moving. I’m not sure how but it does. I have to believe that it does somehow or we all are lost.

And we are not.

The point is simply this: how tender can we bear to be? What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?-Rebecca Wells