The Call

April 9, 2013

unitycollegesummernovahikingtrip

 

It is the Wilderness that calls us

not to tame

not to control

not to soften

not to harm (most certainly not to harm)

But to be absorbed into.

The Wilderness,

wet here, impenetrable there,

dangerous sometimes, breathtaking,

daunting, repellant, incongruous, yet

perfect- balanced, dependent each upon the (O)other.

The Wilderness calls us to become lost

within its green leafiness,

the flashing white of bared teeth,

the sounds of dying and of life,

the smells of death and the smells of attraction.

To be lost,

To be found..

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Indra’s Net

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In Buddhism, one of the metaphors for the inter-connectedness of all things is found in Indra’s Net. In Vedic mythology, the net hangs over the palace of the god Indra. The net is held together by a jewel located at each intersection of the net’s fibers and when the sun shines on one jewel, the reflection of that jewel becomes a part of all the other jewels’ radiance. 

Indra’s Net is part of a Buddhist sutra- a teaching- which describes infinite realms of space within infinite realms of space, all connected, all dependent on the others. Developed in the 3rd century C.E., the metaphor attempts to explain not only the spaces which we can see because they are larger than we are, but also the spaces too small to be seen with the naked eye. Before microscopes, before telescopes, there was an understanding of the similarities of spatial realities, no matter what their size, that were only able to be confirmed with electron microscopes and Hubble and Cassini telescopes late in the 20th century!

Those microscopes and telescopes confirmed what the Vedics and other ancient peoples had begun to know: Jupiter is connected to Io is connected to the Milky Way is connected to Alpha Centauri is connected to the Atlantic Ocean is connected to oyster shells, fish gills, snake lungs, the Moon, the Sahara Desert, and human circulatory systems.

Now hear the word of the Lord..

Really. 1 Corinthian 12: 12,13- “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”

In the 13th century, Brother Francis wrote:

“We praise You, Lord, for all Your creatures,
especially for Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
of You Most High, he bears your likeness.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars,
in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

We praise You, Lord, for Brothers Wind and Air,
fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

We praise You, Lord, for Sister Water..Brother Fire..Sister Earth..for Sister Death.”1.

The interconnectedness of all things. The Buddhists also call it the interpenetration of all things: the in-ness of all things within everything else. It is when we deny that wholeness, that completeness and dependency of each thing, each being, on the other, that we are able to conceive, condone, and conduct violence on that which is outside of our own small and self-defined circle of life. We are able to more easily discriminate, stereotype, deny, disregard, ignore, abuse, even destroy that from which we convince ourselves we are forever separate.

And that, as should be more and more apparent to more and more people, has become a frighteningly dangerous way to live. It has brought us to the edge of both nuclear and environmental disaster. And the only way to stop our slide into extinction will be to say with more frequency ,fervency, veracity, and sincerity:

Brother, Sister, Mother, Father..

1.from The Canticle of the Creatures, Saint Francis (1181-1226)

 

Am Was Will Are Be Been

January 27, 2010

from “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken
Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

© Leonard Cohen

~~~

How dare we try to control What Is with a name! She Is, We Are, I Have Been, They Are, It Will Be, He Was, They Will, She Is Becoming, It Was, They Are, She Was, They Have Been, She Will Be, He Will, He Is, We Will, We Were, I Will, I Was,

I Am

I Am

I Am who I am and because I am you are. I was, then you were. I will be, so you will be too. I am before, now, and tomorrow. I am all the beginnings and I will be  in all of the endings to come.

I Am

now later then when before after past present future tomorrow today yesterday tomorrow tomorrowtomorrowtomorrow..

so I am, too. Now and forever

amen.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah,
Hallelujah

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© (my name doesn’t matter at all)

הַלְּלוּיָהּ

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Can You Imagine?

For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking.  Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.

© Mary Oliver

Can you imagine beyond the words, into midrash? Can you imagine beyond Sabbath, into eternity? Can you imagine beyond law, into gospel? Can you imagine beyond what you think you know about God, into what you think you know about yourself?

And then, can you imagine, as Hafiz asks, begging Reason to come outside and play?

But trees can’t dance! I’m not like God! Flowers don’t bloom in winter! That’s just the way I was brought up! There’s nothing good comes out of Nazareth!

Close your eyes and discover the fields of color lying between the black and white boundaries to which you’ve confined yourself. Close your eyes and listen to the ten thousand songs being sung by your heart instead of the rules and regulations being recited and repeated by your intellect.  Stop keeping God in that rough little box that is so awkward to carry around; take the lid off and say this,

“Play with me, God. You’re it! Run with me! Beat you to that tree! Rock, Paper, Scissors- ha! I win! You wanna go to the store with me and get a Coke? Where do you live anyway? Oh, look at that dog..and those cats..and the birds up in the air! What’s your real name, God?”

Close your eyes, now. And listen for the answers..

 

© David Weber

 

 

The Great Poem

January 26, 2010

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from “An Encounter”

I confessed that I am afraid to die                      

with poems left unsaid inside me,                         

and he said, “You will.                                      

You’ll die with a great poem in your heart          

that will never see paper.”

We were quiet then. A bee buzzed             

perilously close to my sweaty thigh,                     

and I heard it: I heard                                          

the danger and sweetness inside everything.

(“An Encounter” © Alison Luterman in The Sun, January, 2010)

We suffer, wanting to make our mark, leave our mark, and be remembered. We suffer, because we think we must know what we won’t know will no longer be able to know cannot know. We suffer- too often- simply because we are unable to say so.

So. And our words tumble, in unknown tongues.

So. We mumble through sighs and groans.

So. And then we are breathed upon and it becomes clear that we are that great poem, the greatest poem, and it is being written by Both of Us in  languages that can’t be counted and it will always be written and it will always be read..

© David Weber

 

 

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–

over and over announcing your place  in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

And one day, when we expect it least, or when we need it most, we see. We see beyond the confines of our imaginations, we see past the accumulated knowledge that has blocked our seeing before this day, these moments.  We see, and we know. We know that Our Name and Your Name are are without end or beginning. We reach for the edges of our understanding and there are none; nor, we know now, will there ever be the need for them again.

We are without words and so we look beseechingly to the sky, the geese, the summer winds for syntax and syllable, for punctuation and paragraph, and we hear instead the trees laughing and the clouds remembering when they, too, sought to reduce love, This Love, to language.

© David Weber

Battles

August 11, 2008

 

I dreamt, after wakening, that there really are prophets who can hear the One Sound- the music of Creation as it battles Death.

It is the Sound of the Ocean and of Blood, the rhythm of the Moon and the response of our Pulse in a saltwater symphony. It is the voice, not of the god of our imagined fears, but of the triumphal entry of All That Is into the squalor of Jerusalem.

It is the music that proclaims, “it is finished,” even as crabs scurry across the sand and even as ocean waves spread New Life in metered rhythms of New Beginnings.

There are prophets who hear that terrible Harmony even as they are crushed by its Beauty.They laugh and they cry at once for the horror behind them and the hope in which they are wetly standing.

And they must tell others- those few others who can hear the music wherever they, too, are wetly standing. So that they know their feet are not wet in vain, and so they know their always breaking hearts are vital to the continuing Music.