Almost Poetry, Manna Meditations

this is what i am trying to tell you …

Manna Meditations, Day 12

I find the Light
rumpled in the morning sheets–
toss back the quilt and there it is,
rising in the gold air,
catching in the dust motes,
setting them on fire.

Sometimes, too,
I find it caught fast
in a crosshatch of frost on the windows,
or crystalline, scattered
over spikes of frozen grass.

I swallow it in the sunshine
on my eggs at breakfast.

It glints on my glasses
as I read.

Sometimes I could lick
the Light off my fingers like butter —
Sometimes it drips through my hands
and down my wrists
like spilled perfume.

*

But some mornings,
I wake and it is not there.

I am thirsty for it, calling for it,
crack-lipped and crazed
as a fever patient.

In those days,
the shadows fill the room
and the sky is snuffed
& there is no appetite
for eggs
or butter
or perfume
or the Presence.

*

In that day,
carry the Light to me
in your cupped hands.

Kneel at my bedside, Friend,
and I’ll drink from your upturned palms.

*

Hear me.

Oh, hear me:

When we are not alone
(and we are never alone),

there is always Enough.

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Manna Meditations

a little synesthesia …

Manna Meditations, Day 6

Yesterday.

Slate-colored sky.  Slow patter of rain.

My eyes are hungry for beauty, and as I first step outside, I wonder — in all this gray drizzle — where on earth I’ll find it.

But beauty isn’t made for eyes alone, even if (for me at least) my eyes are the most ravenous part of me… So I put my camera away, and I walk.

There is an old art to what I do next, I’m sure.

I wander rainwet streets, listening.  After awhile, my ears sharpen, grow sensitive: rain tapping gently on bare branches, or crackling crystalline against frozen grass.

A little longer, and the sound begins to take on color, too:  platinum.  Pale blue.  That faintest edge of lavender.

Suddenly I realize there’s birdsong — green wet notes stabbing through gray.

I lift my head, and as I do, a single raindrop strikes my lower lip:  a silver bell of sound.  A sharp ray of light passes straight through me, flaring like a flashbulb in my chest.

My hungry eyes consume all this — the sound transfigured to light, the rain translated to song — and I walk home, all the neurons tingling.

I’m alive with wonder, speechless and slack-jawed with praise. ❤

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Everyday Wonder

in the land of the living …

You might not know this about me, but I’ve got a lot of old scriptures rattling around in my head.

I was raised in a world where –for better or worse — the Bible was Law.  At the conservative private school I attended as a girl, I copied out long passages of scripture from memory, my girlish hand careful to pin down the exact placement of each comma and semicolon.  

Go on:  picture me now, a wide-eyed girl in a knee-length skirt and high-collared blouse, reciting whole chapters in front of the class.  Hear the lyrical lilt of the Psalms wearing rhythmic grooves into my psyche, the way the breakers wear grooves on the shore.

Decades have passed since then, and still — the Good Book is so deeply etched into the folds of my brain that its words often sound like my own thoughts.  

I couldn’t get rid of them now if I wanted to.

*

I don’t know why, but lately I keep circling back to a little snatch of words I’d all but forgotten:  I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13).

The words are King David’s, but they might as well be mine.  

And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

In a different season, I might have seen that goodness as prosperity… Goals met. Accolades won. Or perhaps even some deep place of spiritual enlightenment

But now, I’m wondering if seeing the goodness of the Lord isn’t just a matter of noticing the dew on the clover:

  

The shadows playing on the sidewalk:

  

A sunset, washing gentle and gold over our Roanoke sky:

  

Maybe seeing the goodness of the Lord is a matter of faith: the simple, outrageous belief the smallest works of the Creator might be, in their way, holy… 

And I’ll tell you: this life is brief, but for now I’m here, and I believe that all this beauty is mine to see. 

And to share.

Here’s wishing you the same. ❤

 

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Silent Snapshots

The Quiet Blogger: Day 1

Can I tell you a secret?

  

Over the past 24 hours, I’ve changed my phone number … and my legal name.  

I’ve registered a new web domain, taken ((my own!)) professional headshot, and spent a lot of time brainstorming, scribbling, explaining and dreaming.

Let’s just say that there are **a lot** of changes in the works for me.  And they’re good … (Yes, I am still married. No, I’m not running from the law.)  … But change is also a little exhausting, too.  Anyone who’s ever built something from scratch — or re-built something — knows what I mean.

I’ve got a lot of voices in my head, and the truth is … I need some quiet.

So I’m giving myself a challenge:  every day for the next ten days, I’ll post a single, wordless photo in this space … one that I believe reflects quiet beauty.

This means no writing…

No quoting…

No words to speak of.

Just images, speaking softly, the way gentle images do.

For most of those ten days, I’ll be in southern Florida, drinking in the light, clearing the cobwebs from my head and making space for what’s next.

I may be quiet during this time, but please know:  I am thinking of you. ❤

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Everyday Wonder

I can’t stop seeing stardust on our skin …

“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long course of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars …
and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.”

— St. Augustine

image


I’ve got a thing for ordinary beauty … Maybe you’ve noticed.

You can keep your Cliffs of Dover, your Gobi Desert, your Grand Canyon. There’s beauty there — I know it — but if I’m going to stand in awe of something, I want it to be something I’ve discovered, quietly, out of the claptrap of my everyday life.

Give me — I mean this — the blue feather flashing on the sidewalk.

The broken glass caught in the chainlink, winking in the light.

Give me rainbow swirls in parking-lot oil-puddles … A tangle of fallen trees in the forest … A wreckage of sun and clear air slamming through the rapids,  shattering and spraying and then drifting off into noplace …

That’s the kind of beauty want.

*

But.

*

Give me my own beauty too — and yours.

Give me flesh and bone, the bass drum of the heartbeat in the jugular. Give me spring air on bare skin, clear water cupped in my palms.

The miracle of your slow smile.

The ordinary wonder of our two shoulders, touching…

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Oh, friend … today, let’s not forget to wonder at that. ❤

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