breathing air is prayer
RETURN TO YOURSELF
Stillness is vital to the world of the soul. If as you age you become more still, you will discover that stillness can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. You will be able to return to yourself. In this stillness, you will engage your soul. Many people miss out on themselves completely as they journey through life. They know others, they know places, they know skills, they know their work, but tragically, they do not know themselves at all. Aging can be a lovely time of ripening when you actually meet yourself, indeed maybe for the first time. There are beautiful lines from T. S. Eliot that say:
‘And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.’
– John O’Donohue
There is a making of “aloneness” that often surrounds and surprises me. The wearing of God worn through to the bone and the Mystery smooth with garbled edges. There is nothing disguised before God nor would there be even a slight hesitation. To be known by God the greatest journey of my life and even the narrow path is grounded in deep relationship to the earth , my neighbor and the curiosity of invisible passages I find in a snatch.
Holy , Holy is not so much gone as it is upon us with fires and observances, of reverence and revelation.
Ordinary hours spent listening to words and stories dripping off the stones of the Abbey and Holy God wrapped up in breath and the movement of my diaphragm . The passion of the Christ burning ..
Rev. Donna Knutson (from Scotland)
the trees are singing hymns of gregarious grace
including me in their harmonious worship
shades-of-violet hydrangea snowballs shyly peek out from forest green camouflage
wanting to tell their easy going secrets
summer days bunch in humid bouquets of passionate colors
though we’re all slightly wilted in this heat
longing for a bit of chill
the evening falls down in shades of blues and whites
then cinematically the rainbow reel begins to turn
catching our collective breathing in this wonder-as-we-wander show of colors quickly changing
reflecting all its magical up-in-the-air business in the mirrored surface on the water below
(Previews of tomorrow’s wondrous as-above-so-below film festival double feature include majestic brown-red hawks and virtuously patient, used-to-waiting, snowy-white egrets edged by living marsh grass frames)
but for now, light plays electric games
intertwining within the trees empty spaces above black silhouettes
creating living, breathing, stained-glass-type masterpieces down each darkening dead-end street
then it all graciously surrenders to nights call with such tender sky streaking eloquence
having complete peace with its natural disappearance
everything spoken loudly with no verbal cues
I see love everywhere
my soulful eyes touching these freely given moments
I wholeheartedly admit, am full-smitten with this messy, beauty-full world
recklessly giving my heart without any hesitation to is flaunting desire to be wild and ramble free-
changing every moment
ever on and on
my heart beat keeps time
my steps lead me through emptied streets
winding my way home
to my bed of quilts and comforts
now I lay me down
with no more miles to go
my ever rambling conversation,
this thing named, Prayer,
with this best friend of mine,
this love I know so well, is,
as it is most frequently,
one of extravagant thanks
I am kept
I am loved
I am enough
this I know for sure
EVERYBODY PRAYS whether he thinks of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad. The ah-h-h-h! that sometimes floats up out of you as out of a Fourth of July crowd when the sky-rocket bursts over the water. The stammer of pain at somebody else’s pain. The stammer of joy at somebody else’s joy. Whatever words or sounds you use for sighing with over your own life. These are all prayers in their way. These are all spoken not just to yourself but to something even more familiar than yourself and even more strange than the world.
According to Jesus, by far the most important thing about praying is to keep at it. The images he uses to explain this are all rather comic, as though he thought it was rather comic to have to explain it at all. He says God is like a friend you go to borrow bread from at midnight. The friend tells you in effect to drop dead, but you go on knocking anyway until finally he gives you what you want so he can go back to bed again (Luke 11:5-8). Or God is like a crooked judge who refuses to hear the case of a certain poor widow, presumably because he knows there’s nothing much in it for him. But she keeps on hounding him until finally he hears her case just to get her out of his hair (Luke 18:1-8). Even a stinker, Jesus says, won’t give his own child a black eye when he asks for peanut butter and jelly, so how all the more will God when his children . . . (Matthew 7:9-11).
Be importunate, Jesus says—not, one assumes, because you have to beat a path to God’s door before he’ll open it, but because until you beat the path maybe there’s no way of getting to your door. “Ravish my heart,” John Donne wrote. But God will not usually ravish. He will only court.
– Frederich Buechner, Originally published in Wishful Thinking
Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all.
Let it cling onto your back and weigh
you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.