Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Introduction)

Advent:
the short period
during which all
the years of groaning,
from that first fatal blow dealt
by selfish egocentricity to the
entirety of creation…

which turned off the Divine Light,
are compacted into one designated

thick period…

not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.

Thick.
Packed.
Full.
Stacked.
Designated…

to wait.
Wait.

WAIT
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Waiting for the most part is experienced as obdurate dull hunkering down and drinking from the cracked teacups of platitudes…ingesting such sops as “everything happens for a reason” and “this too shall pass”…yeah no…those things will not cut it, to get us thru this night, this absence of Divine Light that lays over all things, this utter darkness of the ego dictatorship.

Waiting…true waiting is become for us an empowered marking of events as they flow, infused by a knowing confidence that we wait for something certain and substantial…we wait for something coming and yet already here…we wait for the joy that veritably strains at the gates of birth to come forth!

We wait for someone…Someone…and every year that Someone comes fresh and new…and full of the very Presence that fits the absence of our existence like a Hand in a glove, like a key in a lock.
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The Ultimate Mystery of Existence is the Incarnation:  that joining of Creator and Creation into one full and harmonious miracle of Being…a joining that was planned and executed before even the foundations of the earth were laid, long ago sometime in eternity past when God in communion with God manifested the Eternal Sacred Heart in Passion Absolute and took up residence forever at the crux and core of all things, all rays, all paths and promises…that begotten presence which chose to be called Son climbed that tree and hung…hung…hangs…and hangs…

behind, beneath, above, within.

In every single cry of horror the cross is at the center.
In every single laugh of promise the cross is at the center.
In every single expression of wonder, every single nightmare of despair

the cross
at the center

And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
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It is the Mystery of the Incarnation…which is spoken of most plainly in the lowly caterpillar…or is it spoken of most darkly in the mystery of the Chrysalis? Wait…it is spoken of most clearly in the emergence of the butterfly.

We are that caterpillar, our lives a Holy Chrysalis of Dark Promise, and our becoming the butterfly whose wings we feel pulsating within our breast, that activity of Wonder which flutters in heaving convulsing implications that there must be Something!!

And so this morning, I wanna talk about that…the activity.

The activity of the Incarnation.

During Advent, we can look at the various “actors” in the Christmas Story to take our cues and understand our path forward, onward, higher/deeper, inward/outward…
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Part Two:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-two/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part One)

Let us start with Mary.
She is the type for each and every one of us.

Each of us is a potential “Mother of God”,
a “blessed among all women”,
a chosen and fit vessel to carry the Child of Promise, the Messiah!

And Mama hovers, draws near, and watches…She waits too!

Did you know that God waits?
That every single day of time is God’s Advent waiting?

But back to Mother Mary…back to you…who if you will, can choose to “be” Mother Mary.  She said to God “Be it unto me according to Your Will”, and “my soul does indeed magnify God”!

OH!  The shockwaves of that declaration continue to ripple still!  And she did indeed receive the Child into her inmost self, and God took up residence there and joined Themself to humanity forever and always, and the butterfly was born…the God-human, the human-God…that indescribable uncanny union of the Divine and the human, which is spoken of as “the new creation”.

And Mary brought forth that Child…after a 9 month Advent of gestation…and that Child is the Deliverer of Creation.
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And this is the first phase of Advent Activity…and your first task.  Make room within your being for the Child to come and be implanted within…and bring forth that Incarnation of human/Divine life into this world in everything you do and say and think and are…you yourself in a very real sense “Mother” God…birth God…and it is your divine calling…no…your Divine RIGHT to birth God this Christmas, this year.

And what exactly would that look like, to bring forth God in your life?

Well…who is it that you want God to be for you?

That is who you must bring forth to the world.

It is the activity of Advent as an individual to birth and bring forth the Divine presence that only you can bring forth.

Oh Chosen Mary, blessed among all humans…search yourself, and make room…for the Incarnation within to come forth…
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Part Three:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-three/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Advent (Conclusion)

You must find the way that the Child calls you to live a life distinguished, transformed…changed after your encounter with the Incarnate One…

Encountering Emmanuel first within yourself, and bringing Him forth in the manger of your life…
Encountering Emmanuel next within others…and telling those who still languish in darkness that Emmanuel has come…
Encountering Emmanuel then in the World…and living in a way distinguished and different, resulting in the establishment of His Kingdom, the government on His shoulders, and His never-ending rule of Justice and Mercy Kissing…

This is the lesson and activity of Advent for us…may it be Living Bread for us.
Amen.
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Hiding With Grace

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a quiet roaring
carries me
into the
arms

of
deep
forest
mystery

a
silent
snarl at
everything
that injures,
that horror harms

rises up thru jade velvet
moss dark and pungent and drawing
me down
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I
sit
running
my fingers
thru silent silver
fog

creeping
around
tree trunks
and caressing
their yearning
tops

with
misty
lips
foggy_woods_by_noirerora-d9rzoga
and
I
sit
I
see

that
fog
enters
me

and
instructs
with

kisses
and
tickly
fingers
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and
teaches
me

how
to
hide
with

Grace
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Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

 

This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound, to be
our shining selves,
casting shadows
instead of being flat
and cast by them.

It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

My Favorite Advent Poem!  From 2014


It’s the season to journey
to places we know so well
but haven’t been to…
and now it is time
in this never enough world
to declare the season has come:
it’s the season of enough!

ENOUGH!

Enough of the certified baby so boring,
our “gentle Lord Jesus so timid, meek and mild”,
enough of the muffled mage soft-spoken and sage
who wouldn’t say shit even if He’d a mouthful!…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

Advent Poem: The Season of Hope


I set off on this journey full of hope.
And wrapped in splendours of belonging here…
or there…it doesn’t really matter there or here
which far exceeds being nothing nowhere

But a…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Hope

Advent Poem: The Season of Expectancy

Advent 2014


I’m homesick for a Blue Place
that might not be real…
but I know it is.

It has to be!

It floats here,
Azure in my silver
longing heart unsinkable
and it’s scarlet voice calls
from Beyond into beyond…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Expectancy

The Big Books Of My Longing


In the Big Books
of my longing

the pages

(fresh bread fragrant,
full, and beckoning)

speak of other
days and other
worlds hung in
Mystery Skies…
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where Winter walks
in sleighbell slippers
and flashes snowflake
teeth in starlight,

teeth gleaming
in teeming flurries
dancing furiously
frivolous and fancy
free…
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reaching to me
inside my room
in the Big Books
of my longing

and pages rustle
like wrapping papers
and chestnuts pop
so merrily,
clicking their
Christmas tongues
tsk tsk tsk…
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and She,
Lady Winter
in furs of hearth
and home, underlaid
with ermine fires
like brown-tinged
liquid gold, furs and
white hot coals inside
Her Heart so cold…
so Warm…
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It’s just outside
my window pane

(and glowing
in the pages too)

in the big books
of my longing…

Look!  And see how
even in Her Presence

(Her very Presence!)
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In Her Presence
ducklings sneer
at that name called
Frozen

and quacky laff and
swing a wiggly waddly tail
and burst in shattering wings
that break the pond-limit water pane
once so still and now awash in
ripple-tizzy ripple run
tum tum tum
pum
b2396d4e2dc0defeada93da2d466901a
just outside
my window pane

they break
with earth
and rise
revealed
just ducks
of quacky
laff at regal
August Winter
in December…
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while
the swans,
contrapuntal
in becoming
also rise
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(like the
floaty moon so
silverlight in
revelations
of duck
and dirt
and
common
clay)
The moon rises behind the Dorje Lakpa Mountain as Swayambhunath stupa is seen in forground in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The brightest moon in almost 69 years lights up the sky this week in a treat for star watchers around the globe. The phenomenon known as the supermoon will reach its most luminescent in North America before dawn on Monday. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Swans,
become stars
swimming thru still night
and singing all Her praise
and shining gracefully
on gliding wings…
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in the Silent Singing Snow

and
every
sound
echoes

my heart
inside that
just outside…
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just outside
my window pane
and the Big Books
of My Longing

Advent Poem: Awaited Invitation

a weighted invitation
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a hush emerges,
pregnant time,
a sunlit drop
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hanging on
the tip
of that
sharp green leaf,
capturing the sun
just before
release,
letting go
to join
desiring
earth
in
eternal
petrichor
blossoms
Related imagethe moment
air becomes

breath

the moment
breath
dissolves
again

into
air
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and the moment
pierces, passes
thru
into,

a silent arrow
stopping hearts,
that sharp and hollow
point piercing, sucking
hope and fear alike
in one fell
zinging

sssccchhhuuunnnkkk!

noetics fall away
yield the moment
to Poetics…

Awaited
Invitation
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The Song Of Loss And Gain

Steeples and graves stand marked in memory,
by a crucifixion making way for the last to be first,
and the guilty pardoned, making way for
the creature and The Creator

(the Dying/Living One Living/Dying,
dying/living here, within me too,
I who lack in every grace
to just die already,
so full of Great
Grace to live
always)
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it’s a sign so mysterious and standing
at the core of history the core of the world.

CORE:
suffering,
death, tragedy,
and sad sorrow He
(Supremely human He)
submitted willingly hanging
doggedlybroken and bleeding
holding our infirmities in
His bloody Holey Hand
(He’s Got The Hole
World In His
Hand)
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it’s a gift of forgiveness
and assurance, depiction
of the depth of divine mercy
and hope of God and us.

Is this querulous song enough
to quiet restless running thoughts
and ease unanswered questions’ ache,
that burn so cold in hearts laid low
in suffering, hearts whose hope is seized
and despair left laying in its wake
(suffering-wake)
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But we must willingly carry
defeat and thirst and emptiness
through to the end of darkness, to
the end of self, and to the world’s long waited end
bringing meaning to suffering and peace to hearts in pain

in this symphony of blood
in that song of loss and gain.
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If You’re Not Welcome Home This Christmas

My Dear Friend, my true brother again tears out my heart and serves it to me warm and loved.

Thank you John…I have taken one of my tear drops and smeared it on the screen over these words…

Love, Your Sister Charissa Grace

john pavlovitz

welcome-mat-on-doorstepPeople are fragile things.

They are so very breakable.

I imagine you understand this all too well.

I imagine you know what it means to be so broken, perhaps today more than ever.

More than almost any other day, today reminds you of your fractures.

Today all of the bruises and the scars come to the surface.

You are homeless on this Christmas Eve.

Not that you don’t have a family and a place where they can be found tonight, where there are sweet smells and warm rooms and joyful sounds.

You do. It’s just that you are not welcome there—or not as you are.

For you there will be no call, no invitation, no lingering embrace, no tearful reunion.

There will be no sharing of treasured past memories or making of new ones today.

You are the involuntary prodigal, a reluctant outsider.

Distance is the sole gift you have been given.

That story is true, but it is not the only

View original post 315 more words

Make The Yuletide Gay (A Message To The LGBT Community and Those Who Love Them)

john pavlovitz

person-looking-up_mainAs much as what we believe matters, sometimes saying what we believe often matters even more.

I believe that a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation have no bearing on their character or worth.

I believe that people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender are fully deserving of love and respect and of every civil right afforded to any heterosexual or cisgender human being, without exception.

I believe that members of the LGBT community are not morally inferior, or that they need to be changed or converted or fixed.

I believe that regardless of where someone lines up along the diverse and complex continuum of human sexuality, they are all of equal value.

As a pastor and a man of faith with a public platform, I say these things clearly and continually.

To some this makes me an ally.
To some it makes me an advocate.
To some it makes me a former friend.
To…

View original post 723 more words

Advent Poem: We Wait For God Comes Near

I cannot shake this snowflake-season
and its many unexpected discordant moments
of Christmas preparation somewhere between

red hot errands at the mall

and

the soul felt its golden worth.
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But this discord can be a door to the kingdom
where Jesus is from, Jesus that Heavenly Immigrant,
Jesus that Redemptive Refugee come to our
dark little houses of trinkets and treasures
and useless electronics of technicolor
sentimental uselessness.

We wait like stones wait
(gritty and granite and grey)
to cry out in loud refrain…
we wait, we wait but we wait not
in vain and not diminished though we are
discomforted while we wait earthbound and heavy,
and grow large in excelsis deo expectations longing
1422220803140628_tallfor redemption and relief,
for peace on earth,
goodwill to all,
release from darkness
loneliness, disillusionment,
we wait for God comes near
to this world as we know it.
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Advent Poem: Seeds of Sorrow

The end of exile and darkness
began at the manger of Jesus,
where seeds of sorrow sprouted
(sorrow Theirs and ours)
in Joyful Birth, and drawing
near to earth from heaven
as angels’ song is hushed

in holy hesitation
as Jesus Christ is born.
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He, God’s seed of sorrow sown
into the earth in Hope
of such Divine rejoicing
and harvesting of many
children returned Home
and exile at last over,
that exile self-imposed.

Advent Poem: Holy Wassail Wine

God,
rest Ye…

here in the midst
of the mess and the malls
and the masses of middling
and the muddles of mercy
needed, so badly needed.
pdx streets
Let nothing

Masquerade as something
filling hearts so full
(of nothing…nuffin)
that they “feel full”
and still hunger for
bread become stone
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For
Jesus Christ was
born upon this day,

again in the sound of muzak
again in the tread of tired
tramping feet tiptoeing
around grapes of wrath
unstored in stores
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again…be born
again upon
This Day

O tidings of comfort and joy!
For the final word
is not dismay
and darkness shall not
have the final say!
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here is joy
enfleshed,
mingled with
sorrow like
Holy Wassail Wine
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The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

Source: The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

I love this…just…

this.

See…we did this, told beautiful and magnificent stories of Santa.  In fact, I wrote an origin tale about Santa Claus that even involves the Baby.  I tromped around on rooftops, and I walked on the carpet in ashes to leave boot prints…

…and the coup de gras?  I told the kids that some parents understood that Santa had such a big job that they wanted to help share the burden of reaching all children to give gifts so they themselves took on the mantle of the jolly fat man…and in essence did indeed become Santa Claus.

I loved those days…every magical miracle moment.  I stayed up all night long setting up race tracks and laying out Polly Pockets.

My dear friend and brother John writes about this so well, so eloquently…please head over and enjoy.
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Who Can Say?

So long ago and far away
e’en though the miles are under one
and echo still in wonderment
we trimmed a tree with love and grace
and feasted on such shining face
that echoed 4 in that bright place…

and in my heart I live there still
and see the shine and smell the green
and on those wings I rise and thrill
above these deserts low and mean
while angels gather near the earth
and I wait for the Baby’s birth

and understand this thing…at last
I am here to see the sights
and feel the joy and hear the song
I’m here at last…it was sooo long
and who can say what’s best, and true
to be locked up and yet have you

or be bereft of everyone
and have the birth of me be done?
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Advent Poem: This Waiting Time

Sometimes frost grips limbs
once lean and limber in the wind
now long grown stiff and creaky
and I hear them crack and groan
in those sticky clutching fingers
cold and frosty, fingers
cold and frosty.
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Sometimes ennui (cold)
grips my soul (grown old)
and in its grip I groan
(groan old) and my soul
(my waiting soul) runs
around my heart and
around my heartas the clock’s tail
ticks and twitches, chases
its tail like a cat relentless,
(useless) and that (waiting)
that frosty cold difficulty of waiting
remains there clinging tightly
in the fading day.
But Advent…

Advent
Advent comes again
and gives her gift.In the cold and dead of winter,
trauma seems to sting much deeper,
and healing for the broken parts
of my life…and the people that I love?
Seems so much harder to obtain…
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When it comes to these things
things so staggering and important,
healing, peace and goodness
on the earth, freedom from suffering,
well…waiting is hard, so hard and painful.

But in these moments I’m remembering
I’m troubled in soul and looking
for something transcendent, greater
than the hurt and pain and suffering,
something, someOne warm enough
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persistent, faithful, warm enough

to breathe on us
to break the ice
and give us life
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Long familiar sweet hymns play
wherever I go, I remember
I am poor, imperfect, waiting for
the God Who comes down,
Comes Down, God With Us
Emmanuel! Hosanna!
In the Highest Holy Fire!
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and I feel again
the gentle nudge
of a knock deep
at the door
of my small
and icy lonely
heart.
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Advent is the time of waiting
waiting for the One (the One)
Who embraced body, embraced sorrow
Came to show us all the fullness
of just being home, present, and real.

And we are long reminded in
our cold dolorous longing
what we’re longing for actually
a WhoWho, Who we long for,
God…always coming nearer to us.
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I have found a place
inside (in Advent, inside you)
that place where once
you die, you…
you come Alive…
A place where pain
and pleasure weigh out
just the same
and all that’s left
is only Love,
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And every sorrow touched
by the wild gold Promise
that in this very place
(of waiting)
Jesus has been born
(is born)
and will be born
again and again,
and again
breaking thru
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that icy grip
thawing out
our longing hearts,
melting all
our sin and deaths
so we can
laugh again.

Your Approaching Presence

Dressed in red
and wrapped in white
I wait in warmth,
wait in splendour
for the high and shivery
delight of your approaching
presence, in your silver
laughter, in your ringing
song that echoes off the stones
and reaches here inside
these ermine furs
so soft.

Advent Poem: To Go To Bethlehem

Uncanny, peculiar,
uncomfortably strange,
I tend my fires and tell my story…
tumblr_n40izwKWgH1s5neh1o1_1280the story of
this quirky girl
overly-intelligent
and stuck in time
that is not time, so
unreconciled to time
so bound up in its realm.
tumblr_n5np124LJd1s5neh1o1_500I am strapped there
on Your wrist (watch)
a condor in a cage
passing from quick present
to some furious future
and thus so fast becoming
dim, and dark, and past
and wondering if I amtumblr_n3ng7oK9xj1s5neh1o1_1280ever?  present?
ever a moment?
ever a significant occasion
or an immeasurable quality?

I want real time!tumblr_nyhnrwYzEl1qllucco2_1280time which breaks through
with a shock of joy
like a leap into Crater Lake
on a snowy New Year’s morning,
time where we are completely
un-self conscious and far more
real in some eternal now
I thirst for a moment jeweled!
tumblr_nycmluCX5a1qat5pio1_500a moment
so sweet or magnified
it seems to stop time
but doesn’t because time
becomes a point so limply moot
and thus no longer dirty moat
between me and my true self
tumblr_mz5pbxrvwe1slvh08o2_1280And here I sit, beside time’s bonfire
tumblr_nvpeukM0QC1u7b31go1_1280and sparks fly up
and away so quick
to join the stars
and glimmer and
I poke at this fire
hot and tender
and tend it…
with my tinder636e5f6d27dbf806212c969a3560ca33and wonder how to be
here in this already
and not yet, between
That Eternal Now
and this one,
and the One
Who There Inhabits?tumblr_nxgij6jzXP1rnl2wvo1_1280wonder how to be aware
of life while I am living it?

wonder how to limp courageous
and relinquish all control
of self and self awareness?

wonder how to laugh courageous
and look for glory
in the storied
wonder of the ordinary?

wonder how to live courageous
and be surprised by One
who dares draw near?

wonder how to love courageous
and take off rings and watches?
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I burn calendars and open
my heart uncanny,
strange peculiar…
tumblr_nfi2j2A3Sf1t043jao1_500to see eternity in
the midst of time
to go to Bethlehem
today and everyday
in this time and place

where glimpses of the eternal
come quiet, unexpectedly
they come and they upset
our every notion static about time
and all we discover there within.
and in the east her long shroud trailing
I open
my Uncanny Peculiar
Uncomfortably Strange Heart
to the story of All and Ever
ending Never

I choose
to live somewhere between
the already and not yet,
caught and held
by the One who
dwells within Outside.
tumblr_ny2xn8zBkj1trdezwo1_540And so the fire burns away the moments
And we must choose our portion:
whether here we tarry or if
we choose to journey
Pregnant by some God

To Go To Bethlehem
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My Heart On The Plate

I love to cook.

No, I do not aspire to being a chef.  GOD NO!  Who in their right mind would want to put up with the awful crap that people who work in restaurants put up with?

*Although, I have to admit…if I were independently wealthy I would indeed found a restaurant and not run it the way everyone else runs theirs.  It would be in Charissa-space and time…and customers who didn’t like it would simply be sent on their merry way.*

No…I love to cook, because it is the tangible way that my love becomes incarnate and then consumed by my loved ones.

The greatest gift you can give me is to let me cook for you.

The deepest cut you can slash me with is to reject my food that I made for you.

And the strongest Othering you can extend to me is to deny me the opportunity to cook for you if I love or am in love with you.

This year, I am both happy that I get to cook for 2 of my loved ones, bereft that I cannot for the 4, and truly puzzled and drained that I have been denied the chance to prepare a feast for the angels in my life one and all.

My heart on a plate, carved up for you, and reborn in me as you partake and are renewed.

(No…I didn’t feel like making this into a poem.  It’s right there, in plain sight.  Have at her if you wish!  🙂  )
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A Morning Phase

It’s a Morning Phase I’m in here,
walking in fogs and mists
thru familiar places long past
and gone but glimmering…

hinting,
haunting,
high above
in shrouded skies
wrapped in what?

Funereal splendour?
Swaddling clothes?
I can’t tell which
but then again
does it really
matter?tumblr_nx3vvj8fiS1simprco1_400They signify
the same.
And I pass
along the path
tumblr_nv9g3546sE1sfm44so1_1280dirt crunching
scrunching under
my trodding feet,
my padding feet
my tramping feet

looking for home

it’s a
Morning
Phase
I’m
in.
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Trellis of A Future

Hush, Angel…
what?  Oh, that…
yes, you are my angel
and always with that stardust
brushed on your heart’s eyelids
like Heaven’s mascara decorative and blessed.

I know you
built the walls
(you used my flesh
and blood as brick and
board and stone and mortar)
and your hands are covered in the stain and effort.

Never mind,
do not try to tear
it down, or dismantle
what you did not see you built.
I HAVE A PLAN!  See, Ima grow
up and down and in my Lady’s Chambers

and cling
to divisive bricks
and cursing stones
and hangman boards
and bloody bones, in beauty
and covering all with fragrance

the fragrance of forgiveness
and love forevermore.

Living Bread or Primal Soup

believe in a virgin birth?
implausible, absurd, immature!
a miracle problematic and troubling!!
inconvenient, that!  disruptive!
Why, I don’t prefer it!

go walk on water, or multiply yeasty slices!
but inside…my body…my bodyMY body!?!?
Nay!  Do as You please with Yours but

git Yer greezy paws offn mine!

(it’s my precious!)

what’s that? why not?
Why not this birth inconvenient and impractical?
Why…because there is no mystery about this whole mess!!

Simply:
somehow, somewhere, sometime, someway
there was a soup

(not mine, I assure you, and whose?
well that ain’t my department!!)

a group of molecules

(from somewhere, sometime, someplace)

got together without knowing

(because:  before knowing, ya ken?)

they just got together and became self-replicating

(i don’t know about that…
but we have that problem yet today:
self replication…ah self, you cursed demon!)

Hmmm…this sounds ummm,
well, I don’t want to be a smart ass
but I will risk becoming a talking donkey
and ask you:

If there was a Virgin Birth, what happened?
Molecules insensate unknowing
tasting soup without primordial tastebuds
and becoming out of nowhere
the Bread of Life?

And that’s different…how?
(except it excludes Love, oh such Love contained therein!)

Our smartest blindest tell us this:

‘…the universe can and will create itself from nothing.
Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something
rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.’
(ima duck my head now and giggle!
and the tome called The Grand Design
design…
by a not-Who
in a not-Where
for a not-Reason
but Grand.
and Design.
lol…molecules just laffed out loud)

Look:  this never happens, not anywhere.
So, accepting that mystery, well then
we’re all the same and somewhere we leap

in faith.

‘Cept I leap at Mama…not molecules.
I eat of Miracles, not primal soup,
but I will dunk such Living Bread
as given to me
into the cup of suffering
for the sake of Love
and a Baby
born of a virgin
and my Mama dancing.

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Advent Poems: The Season of Revelation

the arrival of that miracle
our hearts all know lurks
just outside this skein of time,
practicing its own waiting
for the miracle moment of emergence…and
redemption of yet another season of waiting.

Revealed.our_ends_are_beginnings_by_paradisiacpicture-d7oasob

A God
shouldered It’s Way
into the world today…
This God, revealed
rough and roaring
and wrapped in the skin
of this baby asleep,
hidden here in our heart

Revealed.tumblr_ngacq8vgRy1s7jx17o1_1280

Reunion waits for me and you…
That towering act of redemption
Resounds throughout all of creation, today

Revealed.tumblr_ng4cw8PIiF1soxzypo1_500

Lion, Lamb and Baby through the smoke
Paying every Promise that They Spoke

Revealed.tumblr_nfydtomiHu1s9ib3xo1_500

God has stepped into our world
to dig us out of every prison
we disguised as snug burrows
and cozy hobbit holes

Revealed.tumblr_n0wa71grGI1rj8gavo1_500

This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed…

Revealed.tumblr_msmhh7xdmD1rq9ek2o1_500

Time will never simply pass by
without engraving its mark
in a stab to my heart or a tender sweet touch
or a mortal wound bleeding and dark

Revealed.tumblr_lxlo4o4U3N1r8xslzo1_1280

Kneel where you are, for that is where it is,
that lowly manger unseen by the great
and in that manger, there inside of you
your face upturned and wet with Heaven’s dew
the Christ Child comes to make all things brand new

Revealed.tumblr_ngw3mjvEWs1r3fkjno1_1280

They…hungry…ready
to come to us now.
Them with us
move in us
empty us
to satisfy us
dine with us
and hunger ever sharp and sated
all at once

Revealed.tumblr_ngj4vr7T1y1r1vfbso1_1280

…and we?
With gratitude we enter, invitation tightly clutched to aching breast…
we kneel hushed and astonished safe and sound as we are changed
by this Child’s Gift (or is the Child Himself the gift that’s given?)
Invited to approach and revel, knowing what we’ve always known
is finally here and shining present, Sacred Heart Alive Forever
in the season of fulfillment pure and everlasting…

Revealed.wg441_ghost_1

…and so we yearn, together, aching
in the lonely moments waiting
perfect timing of those winds
to blow away the mists
and let that mountain shine again
in solid clarity and splendour promises
that someday the Divine Loneliness
and human grieving longing
will be overcome by
Faith and Hope and Love

Revealed.tumblr_mozejosP561rn6qqco1_1280

I am mindful of
many things I hold in faith,
committed to God

Revealed.tumblr_mp4l3fWgCO1s6oboso1_1280

For here it is we sit and wait,
for the coming of our Heart
Their meaning to our Core impart.

Today, the Life Revealed,
the Heart of God Revealed
utterly different than the heart of man
revealed.

And you?
Here in this season of Revelation?
Do you dare?

Look within
Look without

and see what is revealed.

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Advent Poem: The Season of Silence

Today hubbub and hustle
tramways trollies and trellises
crammed with travelers, trophy-takers and talkers

the cacophony joyous ascends, surrounds, spreads
and in this din great tidings of cheer resound
and rebound, and return round again.

But at the core, where I sit,
(you are sat there too, you know.  Just listen)
it is silent.  The Quiet is here.

Thick.  Palpable, wooly white and
smelling of seasoned woods and wet forest kneeled
and of the hush in the heart of the Snow-Covered Fields.

It descends, swells, covers and crawls
(on feet like Sandberg’s cat)
and fills the core of cheer with substance

The substance of Silence.
The presence of Anticipation.Image 001

For here it is we sit and wait,
for the coming of our Heart
Their meaning to our Core impart.

And as the night stretches out and goes on
and the din dies down exhausted and content
the silent sound of labor has begun.

The shriek of sweat trickles down
(fingers down life’s blackboard revealing white beneath)
her face, contorted in composed intent concentration

Bearing down, the groaning of contractions
and the towering soundless shouts of no one there with her
except her earnest clumsy man so loving, so full of silent fear.

*me sat here, throat lumpified and choked,
mummified and heart stokes,
smoke stacked up, backed up
and no where to go but inward,

no words to say no deeds to do
no place to go no getting away
no arriving new just sat here,

enduring, waiting*

The silent moment flexes hard and pushes
Her face a rictus of the wrenching passion
of the passage of a God, her baby

and then deliverance and everything on pause
every heart breath held and chest unmoving
until the night is pierced by One Small Cry that echoes still

across our darking skies,
in the fullness of Anticipation
In the Season of Silence, this Holy Present Silence.

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Advent Story: The Healing of the Light King (Epilogue)

 For Part TEN, click HERE
*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

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The old man was quiet, and then said simply, “Yes. I did.”
“Oh, show us, Grandpa. Please show us,” the children begged in unison.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Now, now,” protested the old man. “It’s time for bed, you fuzzyheads! Come into my arms and I’ll carry you to your room.

“Oh, Grand-pa!” they wailed, but they obeyed.

He hoisted them like they were babes and turned to leave the fire’s light. He hesitated, and then he strode over to a dark, lifeless lamp, and stood still a moment. The Children, one under each arm, looked at each other excitedly and held their breath.

And then…the old man breathed on the lamp…WHOOSH…and laughed as light

…pure light…

leapt up in the lamp in answer to the call of his breath.
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The old man laughed and danced around the room, swinging the children high and breathing upon lamp after lampLK010LK026LK043
until the whole room had blossomed, ablaze in light, and then he whisked the children out of the room and whirled down the hall to their beds.
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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
*****     *****     *****

Some time later, he emerged.

“Hello Father”, came a deep, strong voice.

The speaker was a tall, noble man with grey streaks of wisdom in his beard and a golden crown upon his head.The old man looked up and grinned. “Hello son, err, Your Highness,” he bowed with only a hint of teasing.

“Kids settled in, Father?” asked the King. “I was just coming to tuck them in.”

“Oh yes. I expect you’ll find them ready and waiting. Ready and waiting”.

The king looked at his father…all dressed beautiful red—like blood—and hair white as snow and shinning bright.

“You’re putting’ on a little weight, there Father. Your belly looks like jelly!’

“Aye, that it does, son, that it does. Too much ale and good cooking’ I guess.”

“But you look healthy, dad. By the Star—you look like you will live forever!”

The old man threw back his snowy head, pulled his crimson cloak around him, and roared in delight.

“That I may, son, that I may”.

Then he walked down the dark hall to his chambers and as he passed, every dark dormant lampLK048

blazed on in glorious heavenly echo of the light of his passing.
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The King stood and watched him until he disappeared round the corner, and the echoes of his laughter faded in the distance.
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“Behold, the Light King”, he said softly. “Behold.

He turned and went in to his children.

The End
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*****     *****     *****     *****     *****
For Part TEN, click HERE

Advent Poem: The Season of Promise (in haiku)

The sound of raindrops
and the smell of fir branches…
I was lapped by time.

I am mindful of
many things I hold in faith,
committed to God.

In this reverent mist
silver memories descend
gentle on my face.

I think of my heart,
its four chambers birthed from me
leaving Their Promise

soft there inside me,
layers of a tight red rose
blossoming each day

So these Christmas gifts,
given in deep love, bright hope
Of that final gift…

…of arriving home,
every Promise made fulfilled,
All Things Then Restored.

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 10)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 9)

Advent Poem: The Season of Loneliness

Unbidden,
moving like mist in mountains
slow and fast and slow and long,
and lingering, white laced in grey,
and crawling, clinging to ramparts
and ridges that stand
strong and stark and still
catch an occasional ray of sun
from outside…but dimming
as the sun retreats before
the darkness of the night
that rushes over everything
with recollections
haunting,
isolating,
obliterating
sight.

Unknown,
vaporous,
real but irresistible and arising from…
*moan*…
and meaning…
*sob*…

climbing,
clinging,
clutching
clouding out,
shutting out
shouting out
solid rock stable and holding hands
reeling, cavorting, swirling

Undoing,
settling down on everything
and growing quiet,
and gaining in gravity
and growing heavy,
and draining memory
of every drop of blood
until everything
is overwhelmed and overtaken
and surrounded in the silver
of the dull fogs of what once was
and alas will never ever be again.

Alone,
in fields, waiting,
staring at the skies
so clear and so occluded,
every loss hung there bright brilliant
on deep black skies never ending,
every sorrow there is twinkling,
every hurt is glowing blinking there
so merry, so unyielding,
I gaze upon my starry constellations
of great loss and ruination
marking time and pointing steady
so unchanging in this night…

Cold,
missing home,
missing that place (and time)
where all things hushed and gathered
noisy in a deafening din,
all collected, full, o’erflowing
from my tender heart within
the very center of the moment
in the Advent Season Present
bathed in wonderful quick joy.

Real,
that place then but lost now in my mind
(like ridges and ramparts now submerged).
The sheep rustle restless
and underneath their bleating
I hear the sound of bleeding
in the heart of living memory
of hearth and home now pierced
and rent and disappearing…
and I wait here,
lonely in this mist and overcome,
hunkered down but kissed and left so numb
as I recall the bliss of Christmas past
and have no hope of Merry Christmases
to dawn and to me come.

Winds,
well they exist,
and they do blow!
Cleansing from the North
and from the south they flow
in warmth and restoration,
dispelling every fog of gloom
and routing ever hurtful memory
that ever happened.
I fix my gaze on that One Star,
that portent bright, surpassing
all the mocking, twinkling titters
of the past its reminders constant.

Here,
in the season of loneliness
my lonely Advent heart
echoes that loneliness that lingers
there inside the heart of God
and so we yearn, together, aching
in the lonely moments waiting
perfect timing of those winds
to blow away the mists
and let that mountain shine again
in solid clarity and splendour promises
that someday the Divine Loneliness
and human grieving longing
will be overcome by
Faith and Hope and Love.

Grace,
and peace,
in the season of loneliness,
Love, Charissa

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 8)

Advent Poem: The Season of Fulfillment

1
All the world is hushed and still,
waiting under heavy burdens
white and grim and unrelenting,
groaning, crushed and disillusioned,
longing for redemption, peace,
goodwill and aching for release
from darkness, loneliness and death,Image 0032
and outrage…OUTRAGE
seething in this Silent Night
that echoes with Death’s violation
and defilement of our dreams
and destiny…such desecration…
Death so vicious and relentless
in its Never ending hungry lusty rusty horror.

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3
He came small and vulnerable
to bear the scars of our outrage,
came near enough to prove He’d stay,
regardless…Closer
than we realize or can imagine
in this night so long and lonely
Small He came to us, undignified and oh so tiny.wg836_desire4
That nearness, Love Personified
The Incarnation towers tall
Mysterious, absurd and all the while
Undignified, God’s Trump card (HIM)
played foolishly and weak
upon the table of the strong
confounding all the worldly wise, so clever and austere.

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Dignified? Undignified!
when Love became personified,
“Immanuel Undignified and one of us”
(and yet still outside twisty time)
approaching us as one of us,
held guilty and responsible
accused of shattering religion! Such a glory crime!tumblr_nap87vpqde1rwtzqno1_1280

6
And dwelling here in innocence and staying in our sorrow cold
but not to merely dispel shadows or resolve conundrums, no!
Bearing our humanity, and present with us in the midst of darkness,
Oh The Truest Light, The Deepest Joy, The Most Glad Heart
Fulfilling All Expectancy when every hope will come to pass!
Submitting to a grisly death to hold the whole world in His Heart that
He had held dear in His Hand to mediate our case to God… tumblr_nfco87W3fA1tw3geao1_500

7
The Child did Bleed, the Child did Die, and we?
With gratitude we enter, invitation tightly clutched to aching breast…
we kneel hushed and astonished safe and sound as we are changed
by this Child’s Gift (or is the Child Himself the gift that’s given?)
Invited to approach and revel, knowing what we’ve always known
is finally here and shining present, Sacred Heart Alive Forever
in the season of fulfillment pure and everlasting.tumblr_n8wb7sIxEO1qkww7to1_1280

 

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 7)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 6)

LK021
“Aye”, echoed Towser. It is our privilege to carry you. It is not every shepherd that gets to carry a King to meet a King.”

And off we went, Gillae leading the way, the flock following close at heel, the group of shepherds scattered round them, and then Mikkens, Towser and I bringing up the rear. We travelled an hour or so in this manner, following the star, men speaking to one another in hushed expectant tones.

As we travelled, I marveled at the endurance of my 2 bearers, and I could not help but reflect on the difference between these 2 and my previous 2 companions. One thing was becoming evident the more time I spent with these shepherds: Royalty is not a title or station in life, but rather a way of being that is oriented towards joyful sacrifice. Perhaps my bearers were kings more than the ones who had left me to die.
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After a while, I started to doze off, rocked by the soft motion of our travel.

I was startled by a voice and woke to find myself staring into Brownie’s intense gaze.

“Gillae wasn’t telling you the whole story, and I think you should know it, being a king and all. I don’t know much about kings, you being the only one I ever met” (and with this he eyed me dubiously), “but I can tell you that Gillae is braver than any man I ever met, and he is stronger and more giving than any person alive. Many times we have all been too tired to take our watches and we fall asleep, only to wake and see him on guard, over us and the sheep both. And in truth, tonight’s events have only added to his exploits!”

“Brownie” said I, “You have all seemed on edge and wary, and of course all of your hints and outbursts tell me there is more going on here than meets the eye. What exactly befell you on this evening of wonders?”

Brownie looked forward at Gillae to make sure he wasn’t listening…and no fear of that for Gillae was leading, and walking at ready as if expecting an attack of robbers, or worse. Then in a low voice, Brownie began to speak.

“Well, it all happened like Gillae said, but when the gigantic man appeared to us, we fell to the ground like dead men, but not Gillae! He stepped forward and raised his staff, and challenged the newcomer to identify himself as friend or foe, and if foe to prepare to meet his doom. The giant shining guy began to speak to us as we all clung to the ground like babes to their nursemaids.
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I will never forget his words:

‘FEAR NOT, oh sons of Adam’

he declared.

‘I bear to you good tidings from the throne of the Most High God Himself, tidings of great joy, to all men in all places here and for all time until the Breaking is made Unbroken on that Day. Unto you is born this day, in David’s city, a Savior! Christ the Lord!’

“His voice hung in the air like a living thing, and was frightening but beautiful. He said he was the angel of the Lord come from the throne of the Maker.

‘You are to go to the Savior with all haste. Look for Him wrapped in swaddling clothes’

said the angel.

‘But what are we supposed to do, break into people’s houses?’ Gillae said. The angel gave a thunderous blast with his voice, that must have been angelic laughter, and it both chilled and invigorated my soul.

‘Look in the stables, Shepherd, for this King will be with the sheep, lying in a manger.’

“‘A manger’” Gillae replied. ‘What kind of king is it that is born a Savior yet is lying in a feeding trough?’

“When he said this, the guy just threw back his head and again thundered a laugh. But bold Gillae demanded proof that he was the angel of the Lord, and not some seducing deceiver from the Breaker’s dungeons. He actually stepped forward and thrust his staff into the face of the angel!

“Well, the angel just glared at that staff, and then rose straight up about 50 feet, and clapped his hands three times…and the night split open
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and rolled back like a scroll and in its place was light like you cannot imagine!

“It was like a hole had opened in the night, and the shadows were torn away, and Heaven’s own glory was invading the dark earth, and if you think we were scared before, we were simply undone now!”

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****
For Part FIVE, click HERE

Advent Poem: The Season of Eternity

Time running in streaming ribbons behind laughing children
twisting in a holiday blur of color, movement flowing
Time swimming sinister, sleek in the silent night
hungry to devour the Child there before it quiet
and in that cattle trough.

Snuffling with snout insistent, inhaling fragrances
of common birth and bearing…and something else
coming…the smell of death overlaid in incense
but underneath…the smell of…what?
The smell of other.

And then those guileless eyes flash open,
dark and endless but not with perpetuity
no!  Endless in the Moment never ceasing!
Endless in a present never moving but never still either,
And time found itself hooked and billeted and beached.

Time is just a boat, no…a moat…a moat in eternity’s eye
Time is but a note in Wonder’s Symphony!
And with the Baby’s birth inside of Time
Eternal bells of joy ring out the chime
Olly Olly Oxen FREE!

The season of eternity is nigh,
when God gives Their response to our hurt cry
and renders youth and age trite matters moot
and blows away the ashes and the soot
revealing hearts like stars still shine beneath.

Kneel where you are, for that is where it is,
that lowly manger unseen by the great
and in that manger, there inside of you
your face upturned and wet with Heaven’s dew
the Christ Child comes to make all things brand new.

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 5)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 4)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 3)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 2)

A Difficult Movie Moment

Hi Constance…so many fun holiday movies to watch!

Okay, I admit it…I am a sucker for all those cheapo ABC Family TV movies, Christmas Romances one and all…but there are some classic ones to boot.  Ya know, the first 2 Home Alone movies are pretty dang good.  Of course I love any version of A Christmas Carol, and it has been my life long vow since I was a 5th grader to keep Christmas better than Scrooge did, after his visitations, that is.  I love A Christmas Story and my word Christmas Vacation is always always funny and poignant…way too many phrases are now part of Jane and my vernacular

“I don’t KNOW Margo!!”

And then you get to the true classics…Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and others…

…and then the one.

The one that I dread.  The one that has defeated me, every year since the first time that I saw it when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

It’s A Wonderful Life.

Now this is a wonderful movie, objectively speaking.  No question.  I have watched it at least 30 times or more…and every single goddang time…I want to die afterwards.

Why?  I can hear you asking me that…why, ‘Rissa?  WTF??

Well, I will confess to you why.  Because I am convinced that if I ever saw what George Bailey saw…life without me ever having been born…well, I have always been certain that everything would be better and everyone around me better off.  It would be the opposite of what George Bailey experienced.

I know it isn’t a rational thing to believe…I have dissected these thoughts ad infinitum, and they still kick my butt…every single freaking year.

So this year, I am going to leave the old Savings and Loan to the Baileys.  I think I will watch “All I Want For Christmas” instead…or “Miracle…”  Hey, it is at least bluntly honest when Susan Walker says “I believe…I believe.  It’s silly but I believe!”

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Advent Poem: The Season of Emptiness

I remember
last Christmas,
lingering in my mind
midst memory’s fogs
and memories
…just grey mists now,
swirling and coiling
back on themselves,
roiling forward
from the past
and boiling over
into this morning,
this day…

LS_14_020L1

this time sitting
in the midst of ashes
dead and flat remaining
from that cold conflagration
of becoming thru the fires
of that season.

Friends, job,
name, family,
reputation,
all consumed
by fire,
all revealed as
morsels of the moment
(that lasted 55 years and still just a moment)…

last year,
I had it all
at least in the eyes
of those who don’t matter,
I had it all…especially
the awful yawning
void of nothing
gaping inside
me, most real
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I remember
the day after Christmas
reduced me to a place
in the hills adjacent
to the place a woman
took her own life
this year,
reduced me
to screaming incoherence
because I had run out
of words to scream and
I had just begun
to scratch the surface
of what there was
to scream about,
that awful
substantial black
nothing.

that day,
it was a close matter
a razor’s edge tumble
into red greedy flames
burning long and low
all year until
they blazed in fury fanned
when smothering shrouds
were snatched away sudden
in torn and tattered strips
to consume the bribes
and chains of nothing
clothed in costumes.

This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed,
revealed as the imposter
it still masquerades as.
I am empty of screams
but full of me and
ready to receive
the Promise of words
to give voice to
what’s unspeakable, unnameable,
to dress that wound
infected with nothing
and salve it with
the scratchy tickle of truth
and set free we
shadowbound to be
our shining selves,
casting shadows
instead of being flat
and cast by them.

It is the season of emptiness, and places
prepared by pain are hungry
for the Presence
and the Promise
that only emptiness contains.

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Advent Poem: The Season of Hope

I set off on this journey full of hope.
And wrapped in splendours of belonging here…
or there…it doesn’t really matter there  or here
which far exceeds being nothing nowhere
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But as I walked the crowds all fell away
and cruel branches raked across my face
disfigured me and marked me with their scars
my garments stripped and used to block the stars
and so my world grew dim and I alone
and my companions left me trapped within
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The last straw to which I desperate, clung
was dashed from my hands, hope was trashed and flung
to the four winds and blown away in dust,
left me un-moored, an object of disgust.
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But hope is funny, indomitable
and it is sneaky, looking empty, full
and when I dried my eyes, what did I see?
But hope returned to heal and rescue me.

That Absent God so silent and so cruel
had made a move, become the Supreme Fool
and suffered as a lost and lonely peasant
and in absence became Supremely Present

Here, in this fog, everything in shroud
Listen, hear that coming footfall loud
Lion, Lamb and Baby through the smoke
Paying every Promise that They Spoke
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There…wet…thin…starving and alone
that’s me abandoned wet, drenched to the bone
and nothing beautiful, nothing of worth…
to this manger…that’s me…comes Christmas birth

And so I will press on, and I will grope
thru deep darkness in this season of hope.
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