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

the gospel of ordinary things…

Manna Meditations, Day 7

Lord, preach to me a gospel
of ordinary things:

a snatch of sky, caught in a puddle …

tree-shadows, spangling the pavement …

Remind me that all the earth is a cathedral —
one not built by human hands.

For You told us, once,
that if we human creatures couldn’t praise You,
the stones would cry out.

And You promised us
that a day would come
when the mountains and hills
would burst into song —
every green tree clapping its hands.

And I am thinking:

This age-old earth was here before Adam,
singing Your song, before stained-glass
or steeple,
or even Scripture.

Rotting logs and fallen limbs,
silent stones, ice-slicked streams,
eagles and herons and small nameless birds,
wood beetles and pill-bugs, lank eyeless worms …

Oh, Lord … these were Your first worshippers.

And it occurs to me now:  they have been trying to teach us ever since.

The moss-covered stone,
who meditates without moving,
who rests, and waits,
and sings without speaking a word.

The ancient oak,
who lifts her head to the light,
quivers & dances, shimmies and sways,
shaking each leaf in shameless undignified praise.

The waterfall,
which drops to its knees a thousand times a day —
perpetually prostrate, slain in the Spirit,
as if that’s what it was made for.

(And maybe it was.)

And the birds …
oh, Lord! the sparrows
(not one of which, You are quick to point out,
falls from the nest without Your notice).
Even now, Lord, the sparrows are singing …

in midwinter.

in bitter cold.

They hop and dance circles in the snow,
laugh and leap and shout out their songs …
raucous rebels, they don’t care who hears.

Ah, Lord.

Ah, Lord.

I have made much complaining about Your silence.

So let me not miss this gospel You’ve been singing me
every day, outside my window,
whether I notice it
or not.

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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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Manna Meditations

what grace looks like …

Manna Meditations, Day 5

Honest words?  Yesterday, my heart was heavy.

I was thinking about a few dear friends who are suffering, quietly and without much support, and the things I knew — the hurt I was carrying for them — hummed behind my eyes like a headache.

It wasn’t a good day for walking or climbing or wandering — the cold felt like it could crack bone — and so I felt trapped indoors with the weight of the hurt… No place to go.

But.

After church, T took the wheel.  He steered the car into the blue hills, the unbroken forests, going nowhere in particular … just aiming toward the quiet.

And the quiet was there.

After awhile, I blinked back tears and saw sun — so much sun! The world was bathed in the warmest, thickest, woolen-blanket kind of light, and its sparks caught in the treetops, flickering and winking in the highest twigs. The road ahead of us gleamed wetly with it, even though the air was bone-dry.

I leaned my face against the cool of the window, and suddenly I felt my soul settle into the comfort of just … being.  Not working.  Not making — no hands on the wheel.  Just … looking.  Letting in the light.

And it struck me, how precious it was, to be in a place safe enough to just be. To lay back and receive the day’s goodness, not as reward for effort, but simply as a gift.

Manna.

I let the landscape flash past, and then after awhile I held my phone to the window and snapped without looking, believing that I was in the presence of so much wonder that any of it would have been beautiful … any of it would have been enough.

And you know what?  It was.

💛

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