We are beloved companions on a mystic journey, sharing our solitude and holding the world in the divine prayer of love.

"Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory. Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance. And transform your whole being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation."
- from St. Clare's third letter to Blessed Agnes of Prague.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Guest Writer: Abraham Joshua Heschel

Yesterday John was reading Hecshel's book, A Passion for Truth, and came across this:

"The greatest sin of man is to forget that he is a prince--that he has royal power. All worlds are in need of exaltation, and everyone is charged to life what is low, to unite what lies apart, to advance what is left behind. It is as if all world, above and below, are full of expectancy, of sacred goals to be reached, so that consummation can come to pass. And man is called upon to bring about the climax slowly but decisively.

Nothing, therefore is accidental. Even an intruding thought does not come at random. A thought is like a person. It arrives because it needs to be restored. A thought severed, abused, seeks to be reunited with its root. Furthermore, it may be a message sent to remind a man of a task, a task he was born to carry out.

All facts are parables; their object is God. All things are tales the Teacher relates in order to render intelligible issues too difficult to comprehend literally, directly. Through things seen, God accommodates Himself to our level of understanding. What a shame it is that people do not comprehend the greatness of things on earth. They act as if life were trivial, not realizing that every trifle is filled with Divinity. No one makes a move that does not stir the highest Heaven."

(Please forgive brother Abraham's use of non-inclusive language. I seriously doubt that he intended to exclude those of us who are "She" and also part of humanity--holding up, as they say, half the sky.)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Before I Die

The hawk rides the air over the hollow, wings fanned, a cry that scatters all creatures small enough to be grasped by those talons. Shiku ducks underneath the deck. Mo growls. We are coming up the hill from the mailbox. The cry. Mo looks to the sky and pulls at his leash. How does he know? Shiku knows because she almost was taken, once, as a kitten preening herself on the railing of the deck, when suddenly the hawk swooped and was on her, wings beating, covering her. She didn't try to move. John believes she succumbed to the inevitable. But he, right there, rose up, waved his own human wings and cried out his own human cry against the bird. Hawk abandoned the kitten crouching under the churn of rising wings and flew away.

Danger rides the air and what are we to do? Terror rides the currents disguised as beauty. Or is it the other way around?

What fragile creatures walk the earth, all of us, even the hawk feels fragile in the current of John's human wings. We are all mere breath and bone. How take it in? How hold it in the heart? Because we must if we choose to live and be full-blown. Bones of glass, sand set to fire, made liquid, shaped with breath.

Before I die may I breathe in everything I see, hear, smell--everything that touches me or is touched. May everything, one at a time, drift on breath through mind and heart and soul and along the pathways of spine and nerves into my emptiness. And may I be formed, each bone, with that spirit, that primordial Breath, fragile as I am, into something clear, something beautiful, some one thing that contains it all. So that I can say in truth:

I am the hawk that cries out,
I am the wind,
I am the small one hiding,
I am the wing,
I am the hunger and the food,
I am the danger,
I am the beauty,
I am the bone,
I am the Fire.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thunder and Fire

Thunder went silent. We moved back from our doorway to the still interior. August brings danger from the sky where coastal and mountain air currents meet and clash. While thunder reached its hand across the clouds, we opened our sunflower hearts, ready to be shaken by a Thing so far and near we cannot fathom it, nor resist laying ourselves open to its Fire.

This morning I've gone silent too, thinking of the vows I once took while kneeling in full sight of the Eternal Wild, The Awe, The Infinite Wind, The Thunder, The Complete Silence. She who knelt there never rose from her knees. She kneels and her forehead bends closer to earth each morning. Raindrops still adorn blades of grass. The thorn tree weeps.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013



It's hard to breathe. Northwest winds carry the smoke from Big Windy and Brimstone across our hill and down into the Rogue Valley.

Oh breath. So precious.

I venture out with my camera. Hidden sunrise, not even a wash of rose but more a dusky tinge to the heavy gray. Breathe. On the nightly news we are told about the particulates in the air. We see them smeared in black across our white protective masks. We are told our condition is hazardess. We are told to stay in our air conditioning. What do they do who have none?

Where we live we see no fire. How far the smoke travels from its point of origin.

As age advanced upon me I expected to become at least a little bit wise. But the brighter the fire I feel within me, the more obscure the reality I see. Smoke provokes uncertainty so much that each breath, each step requires faith.

To see differently, releasing the known landscape.
To know nothing for sure.
To be dependent on the Wind.