Before we escape into more analysis…This time let us…
sit in silence together
feel it to the depths
until we know,
the place to which we have come.
Then let us stand together and act.
Photo credit: pexels.com
This post goes back a few years. I was reminded of it now while much of the world is burning up from forest fires. The earth does renew herself, as witnessed in the terrain of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state, USA. If we renew our souls as faithfully as nature renews herself, there is hope for us.
In an effort to protect our egos, we leave in our wake a destructive landscape of regret. Our acts of protection are as much an animal response as protecting their physical lives is for other animals. The difference, of course, is that we can strengthen our egos sufficiently to withstand attacks and move beyond them for the sake of the common good. The process of moving beyond ego creates a soul-landscape rich in variety. Remnants of ego caught on jagged crags, conjure memories of lies to self and others; charred skeletons of timber stand in witness to courageous suffering endured, and hopeless suffering self-inflected.
Our soul’s geography resembles the terrain of active volcanoes years after they have exploded. Destructive lava flow has given way to affluent bursts of bold, bright, wildflowers- the acts of justice and compassion sown as seeds alongside germs of ego. Patches of green miraculously inch their way through the bowl of impenetrable metamorphic rock.
Just as rock can be intrinsically altered by the flow of hot lava, so is the soul dramatically altered by the movement of the Spirit, and our response to her. If we trust the Spirit, and trust ourselves to grapple with our instinct to protect our egos, seedlings will dot the horizon. Wildflowers, once extirpated by fear, will burst forth like fireworks on Independence Day.
I recommend frequent road trips through the terrain of our souls.
Although we are not celebrating Rosh Hashanna today and the calendar may not mark the beginning of another year, I offer Marge Piercy’s poem to give us hope that every day is new and we can come back after immigrants are rounded up like cattle and congresswomen are told to go back to the country they were born in if they don’t like this one.
I simply have no words for the treatment of migrants at America’s southern border, so I rely once again on the words of poet Jack Gilbert and the sculpture of Albert Gyorgy to convey feelings intense enough to move us to action.
THE ABANDONED VALLEY
Can you understand
being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the
well so you could feel something
tug at the other end of
Jack Gilbert in Refusing Heaven
It’s a soggy summer day in Seattle, folks, a day to silently drink in this pithy piece of wisdom and store it until the sun graces us with its presence again.
Photo Credit: true self portraits https://www.newscientist.com/round-up/your-true-self/
This gift of wisdom came to me this morning and reminded me of a poem I wrote earlier. I invite you to meander between the words, between the lines.
A clear radiant unselfishness at the core of your being is a vital source of power and influence. It spreads as surely as ripples on a pond when a stone is tossed into the center. A sincere reliance on your own integrity generates supreme good fortune. I Ching 61 Centering in Truth
“SoulCards” by Deborah Koff-Chapin. The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.” The cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools. They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with. www.soulcards.com
Used with permission from the artist
For the third time on these pages I post this poem with hope and a prayer that nonviolence will replace violence, that deep self will replace ego. I share the poem today in response to the possibility of yet another war in the Middle East.
Photo Credit for flags: wikepedia.org