something

Outside the sanctuary, the first snow flakes of the year were slopping.

Inside the sanctuary, there were hundreds gathered.  We were there, pilgrims that we are, to listen to the heart of poet David Whyte.

Whyte wove a web of invitation to each of us to examine the temporary names we live under and add to them a name which honestly speaks the soul longing that thrums within each:  Pilgrim.

As pilgrims, we know our call to “set out beyond ourselves” as we learn to ask more and more beautiful questions about this journey that is our life.

In reflecting on the grand mystery that is life, Whyte quoted his dear Anam Cara, John O’Donohue, who said that “The great miracle of life is that there is something rather than nothing and that you are a part of that something.”

In the sanctuary of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church we who gathered were keenly aware of our being part of the great “something”.  As Whyte read his poems (the latest collection is entitled “Pilgrim” and is soul companion song), he left at the end of each reading a deep silence.

In that silence sang the longings, losses, and hope-beat of each heart present.  We were woven by reverence for the sacred scripture that is life lived courageously, openly and cracked-open painfully.

In the silence was the “something” sung through the ages.

It sings yet.

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.