Blood moon

The moon slips into a red robe.
So much is hidden from me.

Light moves,
changes everything.

Wonder unfolds,
with or without me.

I don’t have to but I can
be awake and watching.
 

   —January 31, 2018

Solitude

         In the morning, while it was still very dark,
         he got up and went out to a deserted place,
         and there he prayed.
         And Simon and his companions hunted for him.

               —Mark 1.35-36

Find your deserted place,
dark and empty,
far from words:
not just solitude,
but soul-itude,
where you are
the I AM within you.

Pour yourself out of yourself
until you are empty.
Abandon what you think;
let the stone be stone, the light light,
wall and window and mountain
be themselves,
and so with you.
Leave behind all you identify with,
all you hang onto to know yourself,
so there is only God,
and God’s emptiness you enter,
a night sky full of love.

No one can say where you are, or who.
You are in God.

Beloved, stay there as long as you can,
until you can’t be anywhere else.

 —January 30, 2018

Big bang

On those days
I feel I’m sucking up sunlight
undeserving

I retreat into your darkness,
into the before-me,
into the very big bang of you

where you are just about to say
“Let there be light,”
forgiving and forgiving and forgiving.

   —January 29, 2018

Ice work


sun ice 7 copy.jpg

Ice on the path
makes walking difficult,
you pick your way carefully,
progress is slow and awkward.
Only light seems to move through it
with ease and grace,
make joy of every turn.
We are held in a great stillness
that has been here a long time.
The glossed stones and leaves,
the iced trees, the iced trunks of fallen trees,
the rimed twigs and branches,
watch me balance my way along.
They are not moving.
They are not growing.
They are not thinking.
They invite me to join them in their work:
not hurrying,
not hurrying.
 

   —January 26, 2018

Demons

God, I do not know what burdens people carry,
what demons they wrestle with silently,
what triumph it may for them to appear normal,
to be decent, to show up.
Give me compassion for each person,
aware that spirits haunt us all.
Give me grace to bless and not to judge,
to heal and not to hurt,
even those who invite hurting.
Free me from my own demons,
my ego and its demands on myself and others.
I do not know another’s inner story,
its landscape, its dark places, its villains.
I don’t know; I don’t need to know.
I only know your tremendous love
even for me, and equally for them.
Help me remember.

   —January 25, 2018

Unclean spirit

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         Just then there was in their synagogue
         a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out,
         “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
         Have you come to destroy us?
         I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
         Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”
         And the unclean spirit, convulsing him
         and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
         They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another,
         “What is this? A new teaching—with authority!

               —Mark 1.23-27

I like the ancient wisdom that distinguishes
between the person and the spirit that inhabits them.
You are not the unholy spirit you have inherited.
You are still you.

An “unclean” spirit is one outside religious law.
Don’t you have in you the residue of some infractions?
Imagine this: it’s not evil. It’s shame.
But it’s not you.

Your shame recognizes the Holy One,
who has indeed come to destroy it.
It will not leave you without making you cry out.
But it will leave.

Imagine this: Jesus has power over your shame,
authority over what diminishes or misleads you,
power to cast it out, to restore you to yourself,
to set you free.

   —January 24, 2018

Leavings

We notice the obvious ones,
the graffiti, the tall buildings with names,
the signed letters.

But the wolf can tell what creatures,
innocently scampering by,
left their scent.

As you walk down the street
you trail blessings and resentments,
you radiate your own strange energy.

The dye on your soul runs,
touches everything.
Choose. It matters.

   —January 23, 2018

Do you believe

Some folks are sure there’s no God there—
the one, of course, who never was.
Abandon proof of what you know to be imaginary.

Instead: Have you ever known love?
Have you ever felt the wash of a stream
flowing through you from the impossible?

Have you felt a surge of self-giving
not of your own making,
toward a neighbor, a lover, a child?

Has water ever flowed unexpectedly?
Have you ever followed a silent Voice,
from a dry rock drunk deeply?

Don’t argue over someone else’s fantasy.
Believe, not in the treasure in someone else’s field
but the gem you stumble on in your own.

What mystery allures, believe in that.
What deep root sustains, believe in that.
What births love in this world, believe in that.

You may doubt you have been provided for—
but are you here? Are you breathing? Are you—
your hands, your thoughts—not a work of wonder?

Ignore the idea that has nothing to do with you.
Turn to the One who draws you into wondering,
who gives you this thirst, who is this asking.

Drink plenty from this deep-welled strangeness.
Throw your life into the fire of love
and whatever catches fire, follow that,

and believe in the fire.

   —January 22, 2018

Psalm 62 meditation

          For God alone my soul waits in silence
                —Psalm 62.1

O Love, I silence my soul and its thoughts,
         empty of all but my desire for you.

For you alone I wait.
         All other desires I release.

All my other desires push me around;
         you alone give me life.

A steady voice deep within me calls out for you;
         I hear it calling.

There is no success or deserving;
         no rank or degree of righteousness:

there is only reaching out for you,
         and learning to trust.

You are the power of love.
         I am your vessel.
 

   —January 19, 2018

Follow

         “Follow me.”
               —Jesus. [Mark 1.16-20]

Jesus,
you are not sending me off;
you are calling me to stay close to you,
you who go before me in my own life.

You are not asking me to do something strange,
but inviting me to be my true self,
to be who I am created to be.

You are not sending me to a foreign place;
you are calling me home.
The compass in my heart
already points to you.

Every moment you are going ahead of me;
you are right here.
Give me grace every moment to follow you
into this very moment.

   —January 18, 2018