A Blessing for Verdant Beauty

verdant beauty

May the love of verdant beauty fill our hearts

May the love in our hearts embrace our neighbors

May that encompassing love heal our world

 


Photo credit: Verdant Beauty by Ninabeth Metcalf, 2014

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Until again….

the path

The road is dusty and dry.

Brambles reach out – catching hold – refusing to let go;

Until I stop

Completely

Refusing to let go

Until with deliberate effort I peer inside

At the abundant life taking cover in the midst of a thicket of thorny stems whose roots go deep in search of the Living Water.

Until I stop and peer inside

At abundant life taking cover

Waiting for the cold dark night to cease

Until I stop refusing to let go

Until I drink the water letting it spread open my tangled thorns

Until I let go

And the Sun’s rays beckon the life to emerge

Let loose onto a road; verdant and lush.

 

Photo Credit: The Path, Ninabeth Metcalf

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Circling

 

deep-ocean-larvae-hitch-ride-powerful-eddies_284We become, in His last breath and the pouring out of blood and water;

Uninhabitable

Tohu va bohu

Falling falling

Into a deep darkness

Tarrying… tarrying… tarrying

Pulsing hovering mystery

Rising rising

Tehom and ruach

Birthed anew

Elohim speaks, “Let there be light”; and there was light

 

 

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Through the Garden

Stained Glass Chartres

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Garden

the seed splits

thrusting the kneeling One

beyond comfort, beyond knowing, beyond fear.

In the distance

loud hosannas reverberate

save us save us save us

ensuing madness deepens

crucify crucify

kill Him

Palms turn to torches

then spears

cheering becomes jeering.

Elohim and Sophia inhale exhale

silently encouraging, enticing, enfolding

As the kneeling One stands

Arms wide open

Heart exposed

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The Secert of Seeing

Forest Landscape II

Forest Landscape II

Closing my eyes;
the chatter diminishes
silence a hum
breath and pulse
flatten and widen
until
my lids lift
and
Love laughs with Joy!

Photo Credit:

Emily Carr, Forest Landscape II, 1939, Oil on Paper, National Gallery of Canada, data from University of California, San Diego. Atrstor slide gallery.

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Have I – Have We – Told You How Beloved You Are?

First Light

First Light

Beloved,

I am  – We are – sorry that you do not feel well today. It is such a spectacular day, We know it will cheer you up! Did you see the way the moon winked at the stars? The glow on the horizon lifting the cool azure sky? I felt the Holy Spirit, did you?

Have I told you how much I love you? Your be-ing fills me to bursting!

I know you worry sometimes that you are not on the right path but I try my best to remind you –  this is your time –  this is your season.

Yes, We tried many times to get your attention but you were not ready to hear how much We love you and want you by our side. You kept running afraid of your shadow, which was Us the whole time! Remember on January 4, 2008 just before epiphany when I told you to; “Shine your light not to change the world but to change yourself. Cast your light not to blind others but so that you may see the reality that surrounds you?” Shortly afterwards your world shifted. We know it was hard and confusing. Embrace the visions and the somatosensory experiences they are Our gift to you. Do not be afraid.

Remember the prayer you gave me in Chartres, how you cried, and We wrapped ourselves around you? You were so alone and scared and awed. I know you felt me with you and it gave Us so much joy to see you basking in the light that day.

You are my blessed, my Beloved; blossom and be confident in my Word, trust your instinct; be alive, be joyful, be humble!

Release your sorrow, poor out your grief. A broken pot can be mended and the cracks will remain as witness to a life lived!

Fear, yes, you do succumb sometimes but you must not you must ride with it; take a risk ride with it into the unknown. Your fruits will diminish your fear. Let your fruits blossom.

Despair, Oh yes, that too. Hold on, don’t let go. Turn it ; forgive, forgive, forgive.

Produce your art you have such wonderful ideas. Do not be afraid if it is not beautiful and pure.

Remember that the hands of Jesus are not clean and blemish free but gritty and scarred.

I remember on May 2, 2008 when you finally heard me answering your prayer! You felt like a parentless child and you let me take your hand! What a sunrise there was – did you see it?

Remember when you were 8 and you made that beautiful calligraphy for your father –“Little seeds of kindness grow and grow”? Let it be your mantra. You ask me so many times where to plant your seeds. It is not for you to decide my precious one, just blossom and let them fall; I will take care of the rest. Remember the seed does not always see the flower.

Beloved, you must slow down just a bit, those rocky spots are alive with grace. Do not fret about the weeds. Stop and look at the weeds, perhaps they are not what you think they are; what may be discomfiting to you may  be heartening.

You are my nascent Child, you will stumble, you will fall but We will be there to pick you up and pull you ever closer to me. Why limit yourself? Why say “only”. That boundary to possibility you must remove. My abundant love answers your plea and moves you forward. You are Our gift to the world.

Arise to the East there you will find me. Remember when you saw me in your neighbor? You stood there wide-eyed like a newborn. You were so free and joyous. I want you to see me again like that. How the air tingled and time ceased to exist. I love times we spend on Holy Ground.

My Precious, all are welcome at my table. All are encouraged to walk in my vineyard. However, not all do and that is OK. Not everyone sees the fruit of the vine; some can only see the hard work of pruning.

The earth is groaning. Not many dare to speak for the least of my creatures. The cry from the wilderness is muffled. The polar bears, bees, plants, and untold species devastated. Corridors closed to migration spell destruction. Everything is interconnected. Heed the silent call for salvation. Bear Witness, Tikkun Olam.

You asked me during lent what name I give you. You queried the following; gentle, forgiving, optimistic, empowering, happy, enigmatic, competent, successful, creative, compassionate… I call you Beloved, as there is only one you who can do what you do. Go forth boldly, holding my hand.

It has been 3 months since you have written every day. We miss the writing. I am looking forward to seeing what you do next.

Remember the rhythm of your faith.

It is time to prepare the way.

I – We, give you a holy kiss, a sign of trust. My – Our, love overflows for you.

God

 

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Snowdrop

Snowdrop

Snowdrops NDMetcalf Spring 14

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In Between

Image

Caught

in Spirit Breath

peering

longingly upward

through

murky chaos

shifting

currents of Light

swirl

in a vibrant

blossoming

the downward

 tug

buoyed up

by Love

respired

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Hard Times: why I reject the rejection of Descartes

Detail of Sun rises...

Detail of Sun rises…

 

I am intrigued by a recent observance that those who heatedly reject Descartes are the same folk who embrace humanity’s “higher” consciousness, thus embodying the hierarchy of a mind-body dualism and a “I think therefore I am” inherent anthropocentric mechanistic/deterministic view of the world we share. Their verbal rejection and rehashing of the philosophical injustices of this supposed thought are not helpful in shaping, or shall I say, envisioning our place in our new world, the world Bill McKibben refers to as Eaarth[i]. We have become by speaking the repetitive phrase; separate and homogenous machines sleepwalking into the abyss of our own thinking.

Rejecting the influence (or non-influence), that Cartesian thought has had in the development of the “ologies” is essentially creating an impasse blocking potential growth towards imagination and it’s creation of wholeness and mutuality.

In 1854 Dickens complains:  “Ologies of all kinds, from morning to night. If there is any Ology left..that has not been worn to rags in this house..I hope I shall never hear its name.”[ii]

There is a real worry about the demise of imagination and the rise of individualism in global culture, homogeneity and monotony of life on our planet.[iii] But it is not a result of Descartes thoughts any more than Dickens.  Descartes thought and queried because he experienced life.

“In his metaphysics, sense perception and imagination depend for their existence on mind–body union. There can be intellectual perceptions that do not depend on the brain. But acts of imagination and sense perception require the brain (Pass. I.19–20, 43).”[iv]

It is ludicrous to cast blame upon a 17th century doubt filled mathematician [v] for our discontinuity with the more than human world. Descartes, Newton, and Bacon are not raison d’être that we have found ourselves in these hard times of us/them, mind/body, inner/outer dualities. They spoke, they created, and their words birthed new worlds; as do all of our words.

We must move beyond blame, for to blame is to “other”. There are far too many “Its” in our world. [vi]

We must reject the rejection of our past. Our past seeds our imaginations so that we can live in the present into the future.  Perhaps we, like Descartes need to co-opt spiritual meditation, get out of our minds, in order to find our identity and deepen our understanding of our place on our planet.  As we journey forward are we able to balance the ology and our being-in-the-world without taking sides, laying blame, or “othering”?

 


[i] Bill McKibben, Eaarth: making a life on a tough new planet.(2010, New York, Times Books)
[ii] Charles John Huffam Dickens · Hard times, for these times · 1st book edition, (1854 (1 vol.).London: Bradbury and Evans),ii. ix. 236
[iii] For insight into the rise of individualism in global culture see Margaret J. Wheatley’s book “So Far From Home: lost and found in  our brave new world” for homogeneity see Alan Burdick’s book “Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion” gives us ample evidence,  and there are multiple books on Monotonay in economics, ecology, education etc…
[iv] Hatfield, Gary, “René Descartes”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/descartes/&gt;.
[v] “A third conception is little more than the use (or abuse) of Descartes as a straw-man representative of a kind of over-arching “Western rationality” that over-rationalized the human being and denied the body and emotions. The claim that Descartes denied the body and the emotions is easily put aside. It is an over-generalization, and a misunderstanding, of Descartes’ procedure of “withdrawing the mind from the senses” in the Meditations for the purposes of doing metaphysics. A more historically nuanced reading of Descartes’ text would connect it with the practice of spiritual meditation extant in the seventeenth century, a practice that Descartes co-opted for his metaphysical meditations (see the first three chapters in Rorty 1986). Also, the notion that Descartes ignored the body and emotions does not respond at all to his work on the Passions, in which the body has a starring role. More generally, this sort of charge does not engage the long portion of the Sixth Meditation that concerns mind–body union and interaction and the embodied mind.” Hatfield, Gary, “René Descartes”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/descartes/&gt;.
 [vi] If Descartes had not been influential from his meditative warm stuffy chair we would not have the genius of the Martin’s, Heidegger and Buber, who have drawn us into new ways of seeing and speaking of the “other”, new ways of understanding  perception, imagination, thought and speech.
Photo Credit:
Detail of photo by Chris Stower 2010, Panos Pictures
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Lifted Up

Venus Rising

Venus Rising

 

 

Venus glistens in the East

drawing me out onto the deck,

into the cold crisp quiet dawn.

The dividing veil, my protective barrier

dissolves.

The deck gives way to the snow, then grass, then soil

and infinite stars glisten in speechless unity.

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