pilgrimage

A new year dawns.

My beloved has left on a jet plane. He is Hawaii bound. He will join his two older sisters for a sacred time of sharing breath and paying homage to the odd and powerful mystery of kinship.

Cooper’s eldest sister is dying. There have been years of silence and wrangle and now, now the time for transcending hurt has come.

It seems fitting, somehow. In the midst of paradise three people of soul and story will open themselves to the ache of the old and the invitation of the new and their vulnerable courage will free them each.

We are called to such freedom. The compassionate heart of the Christ calls us to such freedom.

A new year dawns.

We are the vulnerable and courageous and life is so very short.

May the time of transcending hurt come to us each.

so much

Gratitude takes up space.

Gratitude swells and transforms and it is alive alive.

The kindnesses of my life sprung from the heart of human grace are tender mercy. Love lives in my home and it visits in the form of children who share life and laughter as well as questions and ache. The tender goodness of thick coffee and attentive hearts are ground for the stretch into the unknown of each day.

The artistry of the Holy pounds in the power of the Great Lake outside my window and it spangles in the still of night and the need to stop and pay homage lives in every “thank you” breathed on every day. Two bald eagles dipped blessing over our heads yesterday. Two.

Where is the space for so much gratitude?

dust

It is so elemental:

A thumb-full of ash traced on forehead.  Eyes that meet as words are spoken about inevitable death.  The deep knowing and willingness to name the beauty and vulnerability of living and the sometimes elusiveness of surety.  The breath of the Holy inspiring being.

We gather each Ash Wednesday and share such intimacy.

And we are changed.

 

soul song

 

I am newly home from a ten day pilgrimage to Ireland.

The trip sought to stimulate questions provoked by land.  How is it place shapes soul?  Do  rocks and stones indeed cry out story?

Indeed they do.  The group visited sites where intrepid souls carved out space in which to worship and learn.  Centuries ago, the building blocks of shelter from the wind and cold were heaved out of the land and placed one upon the other and within that stone womb life stirred.

Those on pilgrimage stood in shell after shell of worship space.  Many of them no longer had roofs, since conquerers throughout time have had a keen sense that spiritual questing often leads to resistance of civic power used to oppress.  Worship site after worship site had been sacked by powers seeking to silence the sound that can not be stilled: the keen and croon of soul.

We who journeyed joined with that song; the song of soul seeking voice, witness, community and healing.

We listened to the wind and the song of the stones.

We sing on.

terrified

I love the long ago disciples of Jesus.  They spent a lot of time clueless and terrified.

And yet those bunglers are the best kind of teachers because in our lived solidarity with their ineptitude there is such hope.

Easter and Eastertide are such a wallop of emotional power.  There is such despair and such hope and such desperate need to find something that makes sense that might be future-shaping and given the body-wriinging of crucifixion and resurrection and road walking, Jesus is so patient!  When encountering the lot of them after his resurection, the first thing he says to them is “Peace”.

It seems he knows that while terror bound it’s near impossible to allow anything in.

I’m feeling such gratitude for the power of a Holy heart that knew that what is needed is a beat or two of peace.  What he taught those disciples after he rustled up something to eat is that when we allow ourselves to be open to peace and to hope and to the good of unclenching, there is room for breath;  deep and grounding and freeing breath.

I’m feeling a deep sort of compassion for the clench of the world.  We all want, we all need, we all ache for peace and all along?

That peace is.   One breath at a time.