Teach me to go to this country beyond words and beyond names. Teach me not to pray on this side of the frontier, here where the woods are.
I need to be led by you. I need my heart to be moved by you. I need my soul to be made clean by your prayer. I need my will to be made strong by you. I need the world to be saved and changed by you. I need you for all those who suffer, who are in prison, in danger, in sorrow. I need you for all the crazy people. I need your healing hands to work always in my life. I need you to take me, as your Son a healer, a comforter, a savior. I need you to name the dead. I need you to help the dying cross their particular river. I need you for myself whether I live or die. I need to be your monk and your son. It is necessary. Amen.” – Thomas Merton
Places, words, poems, books, films, paintings, all evoke memories of the worlds through which the soul passes on its way to incarnation. They become my best friends and I never become tired of them. Sometimes when I begin an entry here, I have to do a search to find out whether I will repeat myself if I share a quote like the one above, and I am indeed repeating myself, in this case. Yet: “It bears repeating,” as the saying goes, and it speaks to our current miseries. Have you ever noticed how some writers write for the ages, not just the times they live in? They may not realize it at the time, but I suppose we always hope that if we are feeling ignored and discounted in the present, somewhere, somehow, someone in the future will see what we have been or said–in one way or another–and be healed by it.
So here we stand, with the opportunity to be united in our misery. Have you seen the video of Italians singing together, standing on their balconies? What a way to keep that social distance we keep hearing about! And what an example to set. (https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/16/kind-triumph-spirit-locked-down-italians-singing-balconies-inspire-hope-across-world)
Here in the States, we hoard toilet paper and queue up to buy whatever we can lay our hands on, rather than considering that someone else might need it. At the same time, we worry about our loved ones, and try to think about our neighbors who might need us to do whatever we can do for them. What does this Pandemic mean? It is nothing new, although we Americans seem to think that it is, and that we don’t deserve it, but history belies this attitude, and we must try to learn from it.
Meanwhile, we have put a mentally ill, angry toddler in the White House (or SOMEONE did!) and we are trying to bear up under that terrible mistake. What does this mean?
The above miseries, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg: climate change, wars, much more is happening, regardless of what is transpiring behind it. Lewellyn Vaughn-Lee speaks eloquently–if sometimes darkly–of this: we are caught at the end of one era and the beginning of another, as he speaks of in his book Darkening of the Light: Witnessing the End of an Era.
But in this moment of darkness, in this winter solstice, when it seems we have missed every opportunity, life is recreating itself anew.We are a part of life, part of this recreation, this realignment, even if our attention is completely distracted, even if our way of life is an agent of terrible destruction and desecration, exterminating species as it pollutes the inner and outer worlds.We are both spirit and matter, and along with all of creation we are being reborn.Distracted by the images on our televisions, computer screens and now smart phones, we might not know this for generations.We are so busy, we do not have time to witness what is really happening.There is so little light left it is hard to see, the noise of our daily life is so loud it is difficult to hear.But the cycles of life and the cosmos, the seasons of the soul and the world soul, continue.And the ancient promises are always kept, the promises between heaven and Earth, the promises that give us real hope and meaning, the promises that our souls can hear, even if our senses and our minds cannot. – Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee
I look outside my window and see our beloved friends, the cardinals, gratefully enjoying each other and the food that we leave for them. The White Crabapple is blooming, and my Japanese Cherry is blossoming amazingly as it grows out of its babyhood…and it IS growing. It IS becoming. Again and again it returns. My protective army of Ents sways in the breeze, shoulder to shoulder, knowing exactly where it stands. My Westies frolic in the sunshine. My belongings WILL become dusty within moments are they are dusted, and what shows the continuance of time better than this?
Endings, beginnings, they never cease.
This is what I know: there is something, someOne I am in love with. I don’t know where It is, I don’t know what It looks like. I have gone beyond the images of my spiritual infancy, and I only know that I will gladly live or die for what I can’t see…but am more in love with as the world soul evolves…for it is evolving.