Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Shadows Flee Away

 

Written on Christmas Eve, 1513

I salute you.  I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.

There is nothing I can give you which you have not.  But there is much,

very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.  No heaven can

come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.  Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it, yet within

our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see.

And to see, we have only to look.  I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver.  But we, judging its gifts by their covering,

cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.  Remove the covering, and you

will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there.

The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.  Your joys, too,

be not content with them as joys.  They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering,

that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.  Courage then to claim it; that is all!

But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together,

wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings,

but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and

forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.

~ Fra Giovanni ~

Summer life

“Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
-Mary Oliver

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

Yes, attention, astonishment – but I’ve had trouble with the “tell about it” part. My blog has languished, as I prepare for Marian’s visit, the Elderwoman series, and this month’s SWW gathering. It didn’t help that the modem died over the holiday weekend (it has been replaced). My response to being without internet access for three days is worthy of a separate post.

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

But it’s been a wonderful summer. I attended a college reunion where we wandered by kayak and canoe on the Delaware River; had bike riding adventures with cousins Mia and Keir; and visited son Ben in NYC. His new apartment is near the Chrysler building; the photo of it was taken from the roof of his building.

Yesterday I discovered a video about Star Island, where I spent a week in July/August. It shows the stark beauty and rich history of the place.

There is more, always, but it will have to wait; work beckons.

afternoon with a soul mate

Today my friend Gail stopped by on her way traveling from West Hartford, CT to Syracuse, NY. Reconnecting with old friends is heartwarming. We told each other stories about our lives and caught up. With such a soul friend, even though time had passed, it was as though we had seen each other yesterday; the conversation was immediate, free, deep, and easy.

In our past, we shared raising and home-educating our children; we found we embraced similar spiritual interests; we were both involved in creative pursuits  involving textiles, and we’ve shared the joys and challenges of life.

Gail reminded me that, no matter the time and distance between friends, we are never far apart. For this I am grateful.

At the end of our visit, we enjoyed a Japanese meal together. All in all, it was a very satisfying day.

Sun & Solstice, Mead & Marigold

Still glowing from the Sanctuary Without Walls gathering this afternoon, which focused on the Summer Solstice.

A restful, peaceful time that included meditation, laughter, talk of spiritual practices and their relationship to light and dark, the warmth of friendship ~ and the sweet, solar glow of mead.

Our mead communion included first fruits: cherries and strawberries.

Blessings of peace, friendship, sustenance, summer, and sunlight to all!

Creative Interchange

Recently I enjoyed an inspiring meeting with a friend whom I met through our mutual involvement with the Women’s Interfaith Institute in the Berkshires. We had reconnected at a recent WII event, so it was a pleasure to have some time with her today.

What happened when we spoke was an experience of what theologian Henry Nelson Wieman might call creative interchange: “whatever it is in human life and experience that transforms us in ways that we cannot transform ourselves.” That was one way, a naturalistic way, that Wieman expressed what he understood God to be.

As my friend and I shared our thoughts, challenges, hopes, with one another, letting down our guard, opening our hearts, we found ourselves drawn to a level of conversation in which we both sensed an expansiveness, a freedom, a growing energy. It was collaboration at its best, at its most “holy.”Already some fruits are ripening from that exchange.

That’s what I love most about bringing people together in groups for learning, sharing, and perhaps even transformation. Wherever two or more are gathered in the name of holy creativity, amazing things can happen.