Uprising

31 05 2020

What would you expect when your inheritance is a 

century’s-worth of suppression and not being heard;

Systematically oppressed masked by “this is best for all” 

with a smile on the oppressor’s face.

What would you expect when “freedom” is laced 

with bias and unjust policies?

When the knee of methodical oppression is relentless.

When freedom is only freedom for the powerful and privileged?

As the president says he understands the pain and suffering of the Floyd family…

I scream “How can he?! How dare he?!…

Yet, how can I?… growing up a white male in the south? 

I too was of the powerful and privileged.

I did not have to fear how my white skin was perceived…

So when I presume that I understand…how dare I?!

Still many view those who speak their rage as delinquents and derelict.

Are those who rage into state houses with semi-automatics not the same?

The former – claiming their humanity despite the fear of those whose power and privilege is threatened – the latter.

God does not give us a spirit of fear…

Spirit…bring wind and fire!

Wake us up!

Blow through our injustices so to transform us.

Burn away our fear and hatred – expressed as entitlement and perceiving what is different than “us”, as enemy.

Transform not just our doing, 

but even more so, our being – how we are to be.

“Ruah”…”Breath”… help us be humble, courageous and worthy enough

so that we may die to whom we perceive ourselves to be 

in order that we may become the Truth you call us to be.





Cromwell Meadow

21 03 2020

Purple

Early spring and

meadow flowers greet me with wafts of love –

this is their time;

that’s the way of meadow flowers.

 

Waiting…

through short light-filled days;

through cold rains and beneath blankets of snow;

abiding within death shrouded horizons until their time.

 

We are the uncomfortable ones…

I mean letting life be as it is meant to be.

We work to prolong what is not ours to extend:

pick it, preserve it, in-case it, flatten and dry it…

 

We want to hold on to a rose-colored life;

as we desire it to be;

as we want to perceive it to be;

but this is not life’s rhythm.

 

We’ll work so hard to change a flower’s form –

altering its essence in the process;

forgetting…

a flower is only being what a flower can be.

 

Living only in its time;

blooming in its time;

offering redolence and blessings in its time;

loving the world with presence in its time.

 

Displaying beauty and infusing color;

offering community for creation’s creatures;

giving itself for the good of the whole;

trusting it is part of something bigger…something sustaining.

 

And change persists –

giving way to withering – giving itself to the earth;

loving in a new form…

loving completely.

 

Still the essence and spirit of the buttercup and aster lives on –

within us – a part of our essence now;

something we cannot contain nor hold;

still giving us joy…still loving us.

 

Oh that we could be as the flower,

living fully within our time;

living beyond glass walls of power, fear, prestige or from between the pages of expectation;

relinquishing the work of preserving who we think we are or suppose to be.

 

to live fully – as the flower…

feeling the cool spring breeze,

leaning into life’s storms;

soaking in the sun’s light,

 

Creating and adding beauty to the world,

anticipating our blooming,

offering community;

knowing we are a part of something bigger – giving love…giving love

 

And when it is our time to be here no more;

knowing our essence and spirit lives on in those we have loved;

we will become a part of a bigger whole – Creations community…

in our time.

Yellow





trying to understand…

11 01 2020

tunnel

Who are we God?

Are we so lost?

Where lies become truth and divisiveness is lifted as unity;

where our leaders unsheathe fear daily.

 

And we justify…

We rationalize…

Contorting facts until

they match our truth.

 

Where one professes his Christianity –

a follower of the one, Jesus the Christ –

yet vehemently attacks the personhood of others daily.

Jesus…you did this?

 

Where one claims to be the chosen one…

placing himself equal with One who lived among us without stain.

one, a mortal, seeing no self-faults…no need for forgiveness.

Followed religiously by those who preached there is only One.

 

Others still, cower beneath the wielding of fear and hate –

selling their souls for the lust of power, prestige and approval;

taking the form of what they fear;

callousness their elixir…insecurity occupying their soul.

 

I am just trying to understand…

Who God is; our faith; what is gospel; who we say we are –

they are true in each moment?

Not to be  – can’t be – dissected from our living?

 

Why is there a need for such division among us?

My faith taught me God desires us to be community.

And why do believers follow this one so zealously instead of the One?

This one who reads Christmas greetings of unity – then attacks, divides,

and sows distrust.

 

A faith sojourner’s voice still rings within my preschool heart:

Mrs. Jackson…

“Be kind one to another”… “God loves everyone”…“We are all God’s children.”

Do we not know the greatest power – Love – already within?

 

And I am no saint for sure.

Needing daily awareness to tame my ego;

daily courage to choose Love over fear

(failure a frequent companion I must admit).

 

I have a part, I know, in applying a healing balm;

Speaking unity into divisiveness – within myself and into our world;

needing the touch of grace, forgiveness, and Love constantly.

So I write this as a beginning – trying to understand…

Railroad Tunnel

 





Wake me up…

27 07 2019

I feel my heart beating – desire driving me;

longing…aching…for a deeper intimacy;

Still, wanting to know;

wanting to be known.

 

Sensing…tasting Truth.

Wanting to hold its fullness –

knowing this paradoxical impossibility;

dreaming, still, that it might be.

 

My heart’s door open – braving known brokenness,

knowing brokenness will come again –

a portal to Union…Freedom…LOVE.

My little ego would try and convince me otherwise.

 

When I desire control, wake me up God.

When I yield to or live blindly out of fear – wake me up God.

When I am enmeshed in manipulative, egoist sacrifice – wake me up God.

When I do not see others or me as You see – wake me up God.

 

I am famished, hungering for elusive transformation.

Yet transformation – seemingly stagnant – stirs;

in motion, in this moment…in ways I cannot see…in ways that will become.

Wake me up…

 

Help my heart, then, to be quiet so that I may listen.

Help my being wait…not in anxious passivity, but in anticipatory hope.

Help my spirit discern the Spirit’s stirring within…a deep, ongoing conversation.

Wake me up…

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Transformation…

27 01 2019

Friends Chairs

Ego and Transformation are having an earnest conversation . . .

Ego, loud and seemingly confident – really, fearful of losing itself;

Transformation speaking from authenticity –

knowing Love, Freedom, and Truth.

 

My soul suspended within the dialogue ;

wishing only to hibernate just a bit longer –

muscles, nervously weak;

instinctively knowing living out ego’s desires is death.

 

I hear Transformation’s voice –

Her hope-filled intonations reverberating within my unknown –

knowing what I do not.

Waiting for me on the other side of threshold. . . waiting…

 

(Deep breath…)

 

What is my compelling desire…truly?

To dare move toward what I cannot fully know…trusting?

To want and to know Love more deeply?

Or to stand firm in perceived certainty – within my walled world view,

never moving closer than what I am now into Wholeness’ warm Light?

 

Am I ready?

Maybe it is the doubt revealed in this question

that keeps me from stepping into liminal space?

Am I willing to trust myself into Transformative Love?

 

Can I handle the gifts She offers?

I suspect not on my own – maybe that’s the point.

Shall I remain here in anxiety and fear’s ceaseless embrace?

Tunnel vision can feel safe…

 

Or will I focus on Love’s glint in Transformation’s eyes?

Will I recognize the hope She holds for me?

How She holds me?

Teaching me to embrace anxiety and fear?

Teaching me to embrace myself?

 

Vulnerability is risky…scary;

something to admire in others.

But, I know…

I know I cannot bear to stay where I am…

 

A deep trust-infused prayer slips silently past my lips.

Courage begins to encircle anxiety and fear.

I find myself, now, at Transformation’s portal.

I lift my foot. . .





It’s time, isn’t it?

13 01 2019

jad_5109

It’s time, isn’t it, Dear One?

To lose myself a bit more;

my created self, that is?…

It’s time to let go.

 

I do feel grief welling up –

another end of whom I think myself to be.

It’s hard to leave a dwelling place;

where cloaked authenticity is the norm – comfortable…

but not really real.

 

Ego is afraid of losing itself, right?…

of sliding into nothingness?

The fear of possibilities is stirred, is it not?

that we might not belong;

that we might be worthless;

that we might be unlovable;

that our life is only a shadow and a whisper…a vapor;

that our life might not matter;

that we might awake to find all this to be true?

 

So we do what we can to hang on to our manufactured selves;

unwilling to risk the letting go…

of submerging ourselves in the waters of unknowing;

of free-falling into trust;

into who we might become.

 

We desperately grasp onto whatever gives identity –

praise, power, possessions.

We live a surface life.

We create an alternate self –

convincing ourselves our masks are skin and bone.

Addiction, attachments, shame, violence –

by-products of living out of who we are not.

Knowing – soul knowing – these are not true definitions of who we are.

 

It is only in the losing of ourselves, we are found…

 

So it’s time again, isn’t it, Holy One?

To respond to this perennial invitation;

to open clinched fists;

to bathe in the waters of unknowing;

to free-fall into trust;

to remove suffocating masks and breath freely;

to lose ourselves.

 

Knowing You are the heart-holder.

Knowing You are Love on my skin and in my bones.

Knowing the paradox of

grief transformed within joy;

falling as being lifted up;

letting go as being held;

losing myself as being found;

abandoning a created-self as discovering my authentic being.

Knowing I will be found in ways I cannot fathom.

Knowing I will be loved by Love into a deeper understanding and unity…

 

It’s time again, Dear One, isn’t it?





like winter trees…

24 11 2018

Cades Cove 2 2

Open, exposed, naked –

I long for such vulnerability, transparency –

to be broken…stripped.

I know, in part, what I am asking…

I am aware – I do not know all that I ask.

 

Hidden for too long…

Protective for too long…

Closed for too long…

Too long captive to fear, guilt, and shame.

 

I have nothing more for them to take.

Stripped down to authenticity…

there is nothing more…

there is nothing more.

 

I sit on the edge of Cromwell’s meadow.

A sparrow sings songs of freedom as it flies across the barren field –

a sparrow being a sparrow.

So vulnerable…to be just what you were created to be…

how freeing.

 

True Life is found within this vulnerability…

this authenticity.

Real Life and freedom are revealed among the open, exposed, naked…

found, too, in my own barren fields.

 

Open, exposed, naked…

I wait for a sparrow to sing –

Knowing, in part, what the waiting means.

Knowing that I cannot know all that waiting will bring…

 

A Chickadee lights on the seedling in front of me…





keep listening

3 11 2018

DSC_0864

 

My ten-year old heart could not grasp the paradox –

a not so holy, holy war:

sanctuary and refuge threatened;

being church at the edge of dis-grace;

unquestioned trust…tenuous.

 

A kind-hearted man –

his distant story…a nuptial relationship broken.

Offering to teach others from his love of the Beloved.

But for some, an “unclean soul” teaching in sacred space.

 

but aren’t we all…unclean (by human definition)?

 

Yet, “some” would rather wallow in fear, hate, and power –

hiding behind rules.

The small, reptilian brain engages –

sides taken;

angry words spoken;

power wielded (but not real power)…

living the gospel avoided.

Condemning the one the Beloved loves as broken.

 

I’ve been broken too . . .

You?

 

And what of Jesus?

Healing on holy days;

eating with those excluded;

touching the untouchables;

Truth telling – rejected in his own sacred space;

teaching from his love of the Beloved;

labeled “criminal” by those who would rather wallow in fear, hate, and power…

Those hiding behind rules.

 

Fear sacrificed Love then –

fear would seek to do the same today.

Fear chooses legalistic doctrine over emancipating Love –

because it feels safe;

because it preserves power;

because it shelters one from living into the depths of what Love invites…

intimacy with the Beloved.

 

Fear narrows, Love creates.

Fear excludes, Love includes.

Fear chokes, Love lets go.

Fear holds desperately to its own life, Love loses its life in order to find True Life.

 

This is the Mystery.

This is the pain.

This is the joy.

This is the paradox.

Love sacrificed births Love exponentially.

 

My ten-year old heart kept listening…

Keep listening…





there is a Way…

24 08 2018

 

Little River Stairs

Can I be with myself – in quiet?

In this silence?

No sound but my breath;

no noise to distract me from myself.

 

Will I allow myself to be in this stillness?

Addictive anxiety pulsing through my veins –

my monkey mind swinging

thought to thought to thought.

 

What keeps me from stepping through stillness’ door?

Knowing I will become aware of Truth?

Sensing ego’s scheme will be unveiled and challenged?

Fearing my safe god will be exposed?

 

And what has become my god?

To what earth-tethered objects do I attach my self?

To what desperate motives do I cling?

 

I worship at the altar of pleasing other –

egotism my established religion.

I am a faithful follower.

 

I practice my self-serving faith – daily;

worshipping societal gods – daily;

believing salvation will come through my own devices – daily.

 

Freedom, though, is no closer than the day before.

Beliefs have no marrow – empty and hollow;

love a measured possession.

 

I am mortal…impermanent.

I cannot come to authentic self by my own sovereignty –

although ego would like to think so.

 

But there is a Way…

welcoming my monkey mind for what it is

then letting go – ten thousand times…letting go.

 

There is a Way…

Not pushing – but waiting;

Not striving for – but resting in;

Not me – but we.

 

There is a Way…

Being with myself in quiet – in silence…

knowing the Way perpetually with me.

 

There is a Way…

Inside each breath –

within each chest rise and fall.

 

There is a Way…

Through the fear of what I might discover…

within what terrifies me most.

 

There is a Way…

Abiding within stillness

when a noise saturated world entices and beckons.

 

Can I be with myself – in quiet?

In this silence?

There is a Way…

 





We are one

31 01 2017

red-tulips-highlight        yellow-tulip-highlight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are one.

From childhood, my faith has taught me so.

Is this not true?

 

Everyone belonging to an all-embracing Truth –

A Truth human expression cannot contain?

Isn’t this Truth true in spite of my faith?

 

We are one.

Why do these three words raise defensive walls?

Why do they scare us so?

 

Fear mixed with pride – our ego’s addictive elixir;

an opportunist ego’s playground –

serving it to preserve power;

injecting it to manipulate;

a way to sustain control…

 

but not The Way.

 

Still, we chase the god of “better than”

devising decrees of divisiveness ;

forging “us versus them” perimeters –

it’s easier not knowing another’s story;

defining others with broad strokes –

it’s more convenient painting with a bigger brush I suppose;

manipulating foundational concepts to create fabricated walls.

Why are we afraid of what is different? of what is other?

 

Then do we not believe what we claim within our faith?

What we say is Truth?

 

We are one.

This is celebration worthy!

 

We are one.

Created by the Creator;

created within Mystery;

created from Love to love;

created uniquely… out of Hope;

created from the One;

created as one.

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