Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dance by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Tell me a story of who you are, and see who I am in the stories I am living.

And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice.

Don’t tell me how wonderful things will be . . . some day.
Show me you can risk being completely at peace,
truly OK with the way things are right now in this moment,
and again in the next and the next and the next. . .

I have heard enough warrior stories of heroic daring.
Tell me how you crumble when you hit the wall,
the place you cannot go beyond by the strength of your own will.
What carries you to the other side of that wall,
to the fragile beauty of your own humanness?

Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.
And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again.

Show me how you offer to your people and the world the stories and the songs you want our children’s children to remember, and I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.

Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude, knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging. Dance with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding neither against me at the end of the day.

And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.

Don’t say, “Yes!” Just take my hand and dance with me.
This is a letter from me to you. It is a letter from God to you, imploring you to share, to encourage, to reach out, to recognize the weak and the strong face of Christ in others, and within yourself. This is a letter about loving the light within each person and honoring that light in all persons. It is about letting Love IN and holding it to the light, dancing in life with Love. This is the message of Gabriel to Mary on the night of the Annunciation. "Come dance with me."

The word, perichoresis, is used theologically to describe  the "mutual inter-penetration and indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity." Literally perichoresis means "around - contain,' and choresis is related to chorea, from the from the Greek word χορεία (=dance). Perichoresis is commonly used in reference to the Spirit, who is eternally in dynamic, reciprocal relationship with Word and Source. Perichoresis refers to the relationships of our hearts to God and to each other. Our awareness of this indwelling divinity, this Spirit by whom we are all connected, all unified as holy harbingers of Godliness is entirely dependent on our consent, our receptivity, our "Yes."

Molly Marshall, in her book, Joining the Dance: The Spirit, Gabriel "calls life forth from from the emptiness of Mary's womb...The birth of the Son is a collaboration of human and divine. The conception requires the Spirit's fecundity and Mary's fruitful yes. God's creative movement accords with the receptive participation of the human partner." Christ is born through the Spirit of consenting hearts of "Yes" in shared relationships.

May your heart be open to the dance of the Spirit. May you realize the birth of the divine Christ within you and honor God's light within all who share this glorious dance of humanity and creation. Life is a sacred gift from God. Share. Trust. Love. Dance!

Namaste my friends, on this beautiful Christmas celebration of divine renewal! Thanks be to God.
Artwork: Annunciation Henry Ossawa Tanner

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent by Thomas Merton

Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,
Skies, and be perfect!
Fly vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,
And disappear.
You moon, be slow to go down,
This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence
Towards the four parts of the starry universe.
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth.
We have become more humble than the rocks,
More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent,
holy spheres,
While minds, as meek as beasts,
Stay close at home in the sweet hay;
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.

Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our
solemn valleys,
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin,
Toward the planets' stately setting,
Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

Read this poem slowly. Read it, perhaps two or three times so you can feel into the words and rest deeply into the place from which Merton describes the scene of Advent unfolding. Read and rest with the words until you step out of time and feel yourself  "more humble than the rocks, more wakeful than the patient hills." Smell the sweetness of hay and hear the lowing of the beasts in the barn and in the vast open mountainside the sheep graze in a silent starry night. Let the words of the poem, like the coming of the New, pour over you slowly, slowly and gently lift you into the flow of the journey to Bethlehem.

May the serenity of the season surround you~Peggy

Saturday, December 3, 2011

O Come!

I have always sensed great beauty in austerity: the paintings of Andrew Wyeth, the Belgian fog, the stark vast flint hills of Kansas, medieval chants. These stunning landscapes of solitude have called my heart into mystery all my life. In austerity, the clutter and noise of business fades away, leaving only what is essential; as if all of time is poised in quietude's vast open arms, waiting for my soul to enter.
“O Come!” the silence whispers. “Be. Here. Now. Stop. Listen.”

There is a universe in this one silent, open instant. “O Come!”

Ransom my mind from captivity in the business and distraction of time! Hear my bounded heart, crying for the True! You, O Silence, are a balm for my bloodied shackled body. I am exiled in the turbulence of Chronos, choking on each breath, missing moment after moment in which austerity peeks from behind “ the shroud that is over all the peoples, the woven covering that is over all the nations” (Is 25:7) and invites me to that sacred slice of Kairos.

"Be still! Be. Still. In the simple,  the timeless hospitality of austerity I am gathered into the unbounded arms of God with Us, Emmanuel, transcendent Christ, and held  transfigured into timelessness itself.

“O Come!” The Beloved waits.

“Keep watch!” The owner of the house stands waiting at the door. Do not let him find you sleeping!

Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

May the open arms of austerity, the calm peace of solitude, beckon to your soul - Be Still! May you realize your abundance in simplicity. May the voice of the Beloved whisper softly to your heart, "O Come. Come into my love, my peace, my joy. Listen! I am waiting, always waiting just for you."

Advent Blessings, Peggy

austere -plain, simple, stark, sparse