The Quiet Place

Deep within but right here
is a place of quiet
A place of quiet noice
a place, when there is suffering,
there is peace

An everlasting quietude
A place that wont be disturbed
whatever goes away

It is as if something would be asking,
asking me to come home
A warm radiation of quiet welcome
An offering of shelter, a place of warmth
in the midst of rain

The simplest of desires
just waiting to be acknowledged
To bring me home, back to the fireplace

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The Lord’s Prayer

God, the Infinite and Absolute
in whom the whole of creation burns,
may all my heart and mind be upon You.
Every moment unfolds in Your presence.
Every movement expresses Your will.
Guide me to You, my ever present
Source and Home,
each day of my life.
May I watch my mind with detachment,
and may I be shown the false beliefs
implicit within my troubles.
Turn my attention away from
temptation and distraction
and toward Your still voice.
For You are Here and Now
Everywhere and Always
Absolute and Eternal.
Amen.

Pleas From a Broken Heart

I can’t keep these crumbling walls upright
forever, their punishing weight is crushing
my mind, my soul.
I’m like a man balancing a broomstick
on his nose; the slightest breeze
has me scurrying to retrieve
my shattered pieces of pride. Yet I can’t
help myself, I’d lose this gig in a
heartbeat if I could.

The holding pattern of
wanderers idly wasting their time in this
earthly waiting room is unbearable.
Painfully and delicately spending our last
precious moments trying to sneak
in one more look at our worn-out minds
which seem like old magazines left behind by
a kind soul.

Before my name is called, to relieve me of this
lifetime of waiting, perhaps I’ll step outside
and enjoy the mild autumn breeze. The golden glow
reflecting off the fiery maples beckons me oh so.
But I fear I’ll miss my call, and there,
I longingly watch the swallowtails dance
in the evening twilight, wishing I were
one of them instead.

Meeting Life at the Table

In conversation with my dad this evening he mentioned something an old seminary teacher of his used to talk about regarding scripture study:

There are two ways to read scripture.  One way is to lay it on the table, put it to sleep, and do surgery on it.  The other way is to sit at the table with it and have a conversation.  The first way to read scripture refers to an analytical approach: breaking it apart, examining how it’s built, looking at where the pieces came from and how they fit together.  The second way refers to an ongoing, living dialogue.

The point in this differentiation isn’t to say that one method is better than the other.  To continue the metaphor of looking at scripture like a person, there is much to be learned from looking at how a person is put together and built.  This sort of examination can give an explanation for why they move the way they do, what allows them to make sounds, why their voice sounds like it does.  But it is quite another thing to listen to just what the person may say to you when they are awake.

It occurred to me that it’s much safer in a way to keep this metaphorical messenger asleep to examine him.  It puts the situation on my terms.  But to keep him awake and become involved in conversation with him engages me personally and takes me out of a safe position of control.  I am then no longer an objective bystander, but am subject to the effects of the message with which I am engaged.

It also occurred to me that this metaphor might apply to my life story.  It is my natural preference to examine things analytically, my own life included.  How am I built?  How did my past create the patterns that I see in my mind now?  Who in my past did I learn my habits from?  I still think that there is something to gain from this approach, not in the least being gaining some sense of distance or detachment from my own patterns.  But what about this other approach?  What happens when I allow my life to actively engage me in conversation?  What message is my life speaking to me when I give up a safe position of control and listen attentively?

My Journey So Far

I flew halfway around the world to pursue an understanding of life,
only to be told “God is within.”

I was furious and spent years in depression abroad.

At last I flew halfway around the world to return home,
only to find it no longer there.

I am lost and wandering.