butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone
I am diamonds in the night…
butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone
I am diamonds in the night…
An older poem about transition and the power of congruency
The hate and ignorance
of the petrified forest
It’s the wind, fresh splashed
with wild rain and then dashed
across slate and sand and then
strained thru my window
thrown open and grasping
for beyond and beyond and…
then scent simply there
and all around me sent,
in my hair and nose and lungs,
as if I were the tree
and that old gnarly oak
out there was me…
except that I am
sitting beside you dear,
laying there in your
innocence and cheer
still fresh from so far
away before you came
Before you were
sent so near to me,
oh my lovey,
lovely, my girl…
I sit, and drink of you
as you refresh my thirsty roots
forever until Forever.
This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.
“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.
“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”
Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.
However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”
Ahhhh…omg how I LOVE this poem!!
I wanted to talk about gaps, about distances…
those that exist on a vast continuum of connection,
and yet no matter how close you get,
you never really can connect…
the gap between two people, regardless of closeness…
the gap between the earth and moon in spite of gravitational pull…
the gap between us and ourselves…
the gap between stars…
and I wanted to also talk about connections, too…
and of course, it is a simple love poem at heart.
I encourage you to spend some time with it,
and perhaps even linger with some of these
metaphors and layers of meaning…
it’s a rich poem and I am quite happy with it.
But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door
the one between you and me.…
the distance between you and i
is the same as that distance
between myself and me
a gulf so imperceptible
two souls that intertwine
and yet a smokescreen intervenes…
Source: A Gulf So Imperceptible
This is an older poem, and I really like its rhythm. Try reading it aloud, for you will find that the sound of the words shapes how you say the coming ones.
I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …
We have nurtured
A small sprout
A tiny spring
We fed with time
We watered with tears
Our endless selfish bull shit
Gave food to this living child
Of ours… Our love, Love
This garden of delight
This torrent of life
This fire of fires
here and there
then and then
again and again
more and more
Written long looong ago, when this lil crabbie “Cancer”
was becoming friends with a lil scorpion Scorpio…
a match made in heaven and forged on earth.
It was trying to project into the future,
based on the past and spoken in the (then) present.
I hope you enjoy it. I know
if you met my beloved you would admire her as I do.
There is a tenderness
in your eyes
in your voice
so I can never
tell whose mother
or little girl
you might be
and even I
must believe it
in your eyes
such a tenderness…
Over the years I have jotted down uncounted numbers of haiku…
because it is a powerful tool in capturing imagery and heart flows…
and recently, I have been trying to focus more
on the process and reason why haiku is that tool,
that “turbo-charger” of the imagination, if you will.
I think it is that deep awareness of the nature of “nothing”
that one finds in the heart of much eastern spiritual thought.
Here are some of my attempts to find
the confluence where east meets west
and the waters mix.
in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day
wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…
and as it unfurls
the hard ground exhales
and i become light
as i sit in winds
my heart rises up
when liberty sings
though limbs sit so still
though limbs sit in winds…
look for me, search
in my solid words…
and you will miss me
in their sparkle-spazzle
and solid spunk echoes.
i’m in the spaces
in between my words
shining and shim’ring
A share of my friend’s blog post, to supporters of trump, says it far better than I can say it
We don’t push-back against this man and his Administration because we believe that by defeating him we will somehow defeat you. It may feel that way when our outrage at what they’re doing begins to spill over into the things you believe to be true.
But anything we win for equality and diversity and opportunity right now is for you to share in fully—which is the point of all this. And that’s why the fact that you see this as a fight with us, that you believe we see you as the enemy is so unfortunate, because this is misplaced anger and misdirected fear and it conceals the truth.
Lost on so many of you right now, is the reality that those of us resisting this President care far more about your children than he does.
We care about you more than he does.
The man who we resist will never want for healthcare, never find himself homeless, never know the struggle of the working poor, never be invested in this nation the way we are—all of us.
He is not for you or for America, friend.
And so to defend us—and to defend you—we will resist him.
One of the few true voices left, calling us to repentance as christians.
“When religious liberty is used as justification for discrimination or when it impedes the daily life of those who don’t share our convictions, we move from merely having freedom, to demanding that others adopt our beliefs and adapt to our prejudices. We become a theocracy—and Christians, we cannot become a theocracy because Jesus would have had nothing to do with such things.
“He rejected privilege and dominance with every second of his humble existence, and he would be horrified by the bullying being done in his name under the guise of spirituality. It is the very kind of domineering religious shakedown that he repeatedly condemned in the Scriptures from the both the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans.
“And when such religious manipulation targets those already among the most marginalized and at-risk (as it does the LGBTQ and Muslim-American communities), it runs in direct opposition to the core of our faith, which seeks to protect and shelter those that the powerful would swallow up.
“Legislation like this transforms us into the very thing Jesus was pushing hard against.”
I draw attention to this because every single one of these people at this dinner thinks that transgender people are anywhere on the continuum from “insane and mentally ill” all the way to “demon possessed”.
Each of these people supports discrimination against LGTBQIA people. Every Single One.
These shills are there with trump the absolute fucker telling him that he is God’s Servant when he is carrying forward towards becoming law actual statutes that are the equivalent of death warrants for people as they lose their access to medical services and will simply die.
In the guise of “religious liberty”.
The list in 1 Corinthians 6 that is used as the cudgel against LGTBQIA individuals contains many things, ALL of which refer to behavioral expressions of basic violations of human beings by the exercise of power over one another. The list is not a prohibition of actual things (such as speaking, such as sexual activity of any orientation, such as possession of property), but rather condemns forms of each of the things I mentioned (adultery, theft, lying, malice (which is hatred), and a specific form of homosexual activity that is widely held by all serious scholars to be condemning a specific homosexual relationship that involved the subjugation and oppression of one of the participants in a power dynamic that was akin to sexual slavery)…
Why do I mention this? Because it is this list that is cited to oppress LGTBQIA human beings…while the same people who do this willingly serve people who lie, steal, cheat, run around on their wives…essentially ANYTHING that cannot be seen or is not admitted to!
But let someone be open about their sexual orientation or gender orientation and they are ostracized, shunned, and often literally physically assaulted.
This is who you have become, evangelical christendom (I will not shit on the word “Church” by letting it apply to you).
In this passage from Isaiah 10, we discover why these actions are a stench to God:
“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.
What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?
Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.
For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”
Did you know that if the current proposed health care roll backs become law that it will result in a transfer of wealth of 300 billion dollars to the people in the country who make more than $250,000? Yes that is correct: the top 1% are going to get even richer…
These things matter in concrete terms of life and death…but they also matter in that the hypocrisy of these people at this dinner and every single person who supports these people is now on prominent display…the party of the goats who wail “Lord Lord when did we see You hungry or sick or naked or in jail” is forming up fast.
This is your chance to turn from your lazy, mindless, sinful supporting of an evil evil party and an amoral greedy titular head of that party…and return to your first love.
The book of James says this about “true religion”:
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
Not the flocking to the side of a man who is willing to do your bidding to make it possible for you to literally hurt, destroy and murder the oppressed and the defenseless.
I will not associate or participate with anyone who actively supports these individuals and their leader, trump the absolute fucker.
I am posting this for those readers who still may not understand the complex physiological and psychological factors that work together to form our gender orientations.
In light of the fact that the Bible is utterly silent regarding the so-called “morality” of gender, this article could be especially helpful for those of you who claim you love Jesus and yet treat transgender humans like Hell.
May God spare you the kind of treatment that you have handed out to others in the name of Jesus…but that is not how it works, is it? The fact of the matter is that the exact standard that you employ to show your rejection and hate of transgender humans is the one that Jesus will hold up for you on your day of dawning…
Standing beside gull-force winds
strong enough to blow a waterfall
back into its own face, something
no man has experienced but needs to
I watch Beauty roll down and meet unbelief.
And I remember all over again how I am haunted
by the ghost that grows when Beauty glows and screams
to the body transcendent and compelling and
then goes silent once again
a waterfall thundering down
and pushed away with every might
and longing stirs all over again
as I just wonder how it is
that God can be resisted, how
that God has chosen suffering, now
in person and in heaven, wonder
that God is…that God is…that
then the song is sung by Beauty’s
absence in the scattering
the scurrying, no one cannot not be aware
and longing for the shelter
of The Safe Wing Stretched Divine
though it feels ominous, and gone and here
the absence of what cannot leave
a guillotine to answer to the knife in my clenched fist
and I realize I must go thru this once again, this absence
that leaves all things scattered, scurrying, suffocating
in the Stripping of the Altar, in the scattering of all
and the sound of tombs slammed shut
and the sound of screaming triumph
and the sound of darkness looming
and the sound of Beauty Silent
all compel a halt to movement
so we listen in the stillness
to the absence, to the absence
to the looming screaming absence
and the Sound of Beauty Silent
everyone denied it.
that He was killed
that He was alive
that there was a Door
that the Door was closed
everyone denied it.
that there was it.
that it was.
that she was dressed
that she was it.
She knew better
because dawn had done
and blue was shining
in her golden hope
She knew open and empty
My own poem from last year…I do really favor this one.
it looks the same to you
whether you stand
in winter or summer
…the gate of my heart…
Source: ever Spring, ever Autumn
My friend John Pavlovitz says it best…again
The first thing I want you to know is that I don’t celebrate this separation. The distance has come with a great deal of grieving. It’s come with heartbreak at the realization of the impasse we reached and the fractures that resulted. This is not something I take lightly or rejoice at all in, in fact it is a profound loss and defeat—and certainly not what I’d have planned or preferred a year ago.
Having said that, I also want you to know that I can’t fully regret the present distance between us either, because in many ways—it is simply what has to be. There are truths that we have learned about each other this year that are too elemental to dismiss or overcome right now; things at the very core of each of us that feel incompatible, and as much as I regret that I’d regret my silence even more…
We set out on tender feet
and tender hearts to match
and faces become flint as we
determined that we would not faint.
When our sojourn was hip deep in heat
and we were well and away, out to sea
she told me of the heartbreak and the horror
and there how we did rain our tears…
We took turns (while we wiled the desert paths away)
swimming away from the ship of us…naked, vulnerable
and healing in the slick water…further and further
and then return and up and back into our desert ship.
It was in the sunset wrought with haze from distant destinations
that make you think about fire, and about what might have been.
We, perched on that rock solid emanating heat and spitting healing
while the sky, bruised by our advances, turned purple in our song.
It was just Day Umpteen Kazillion in our great traverse of deserts,
we walking, swimming straight by myth and extraterrestrial,
feeding on lizards, trilobites, and our sacred Stories our Communion shared
and we, oh so close to our arriving, our becoming, our sacred Desert Story.
I am in the presence
of the royal mountain
I can’t help myself.
I run purple, violet
I feast on fallen blossoms
(somehow the fallen sing more
of loss, of all that comes before
in purple flow
A recent Barna survey reports only 18% of Millennials find Christianity relevant to their lives. That’s not surprising if we’re honest. After the Supreme Court decision regarding the ruling on gay marriage things got really weird.
“Some Christians put up “straight pride” profile pictures on social media and reminded people of what the Bible teaches (which, just for clarification, the church is currently split over because of how they view the interpretation). It’s a strange practice to ask people who don’t hold the same beliefs as you to conform to your morals because you quoted a book they don’t read.
“My friends that aren’t Christians have never tried to force their morality on me, so this is an odd practice in Christendom. Even Jesus didn’t blame pagans for acting like pagans. Yet, many Christians insist their beliefs apply to the culture at large even though most don’t share the same beliefs. With the Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma, Christians raged about how the government was “forcing their beliefs on them and how they were no longer allowed to have theirs anymore.”
“Well, no, it was Christians who forced their views in the public forum by putting the 10 Commandments there first (if we look at it objectively). And never mind that as of late, many evangelical Christians care more about keeping refugees out of the U.S. despite what their sacred literature teaches.
“What we need to face is that public perception has shifted. We live in post-Christian America where we’re no longer relevant to the culture at large.”
“You see friend, if what happens in that building doesn’t renovate what happens outside that building, you’ve failed. If your church were to close down today and the neighborhood around you wouldn’t profoundly feel the loss, you need to change how you do what you do in that building. If the only people who would grieve your absence are the people already in that building, you’re not doing what you’re called to do. You are hoarding blessings from people who need and deserve to be blessed.
“Worship is not really what happens in that building. That is just songs and words and stories and prayers. It is religious activity, well-meaning and helpful as it may be. Worship, is a life lived changed by faith in God and burdened to reflect the character of that God to others. If the songs and the words and the stories and the prayers today don’t move you out of the building and into the paths of hurting people in a way that alters those paths—it’s all been wasted time.”Source: Today, Outside the Church Building MARCH 19, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ
My friend John Palovitz says these things so very well!
“To be honest, I’m not convinced that many of these Republican Christians want their Government or the Church to lift people in need. I think they’d prefer to live with the fictional narrative that poor people are poor because they’re lazy, that those in need, are so because of some moral failing or bad decision. This story allows them to keep the stuff they have, to ignore the call to love their neighbor as themselves, and to feel morally superior in the process.
“Jesus says that whatever we do to the poor and the hurting and the hungry—we do to him. That should be a terrifying proposition to supporters of the President who claim the Christian faith or call the American Conservative Church home. This Administration and the many Christians who co-sign its actions toward those who are the most in need of compassion and mercy in these days, are saying with great clarity: “Move along Jesus, we don’t give a damn about you.”
“This is what happens when the least are treated as less-than. This is what it looks like when the Church abandons its namesake and tells him to fend for himself.
“Forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Source: The Church That Abandons Jesus
The clearest prophetic clarion call to our times that I am aware of right now…
This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness. The evidence is irrefutable.
This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.
There is no trying…there is only becoming.
“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”
I am sharing this, written a couple years back…thinking now of those who literally believe that trump the absolute fucker is good for this country, this season of history.
The ONLY good thing that I can see is that his election tore off the masks and showed the real faces underneath, and what the worth of faith professed is…and isn’t.
Just in case it has not been obvious: I reject trump and everything he stands for and embodies. He is utterly at odds with the good news of the gospel. Until the day he repents and brings forth fruits commensurate thereof, I will call him the absolute fucker. I am not and will not be unequally yoked with him or his ilk.
I am stunned in the ripping of the masks…it’s as if I am watching the Yale debate team become “Lil Abner”.
He is maelstrom consuming and the earth disappears.
Read on if you dare
there, in clouds and nothing but clouds
above and below as I…walked? Or did I
swim, or fly, and in the distance
hearing songs of you…and clouds
obscure and yet they also part
and thru the silver mist She came…
Her Heart and Ears and Eyes (the singing)
stilled and still and still She came Singing
and in this cloudy parting is the only knowing needed
that I am Her child, Her emissary
sent to bend what thinks itself straight
and straighten what is broken, bent.
Me the paper, pen and ink
Mama, unsayable, beyond the think,
the clouds, the parting, emerging and wordless
song…and She the emerging and yes
the clouds parting
when words are written here
the beauty of a tree;
in fiery flurries
dance the branch
I will never, ever be able to accept that someone thinks that they can support me while not only supporting trump, but condoning and extolling him and what he says and does.
I have no fellowship with him, in any way, shape, or form.
trump and his kind wish to not only hurt me, but also eradicate me, as if they can make it so that “there is no such thing” as transgender people.
And there are people who refuse to see this.
It blows my mind.
To list the ways, the deeds and the decisions that add the substance to the statement would take a month…but it is all easily found, at least it is easily found by anybody who uses other media sources than FOX and the so-called “Christian” Broadcasting Network (or some variant thereof).
Truthfully, I have such a sinking feeling that were it ever to become “illegal” to be transgender (as if that twisting of words could somehow ever define me), said individuals would think they were doing a work of God when they joined the Roman soldiers who killed all boys under two years old in the time of Jesus’s birth…and I would be dead.
trump is an absolute fucker.
Reposting a poem from last year…any good poem applies at a number of different levels, some known and some unknown and waiting to be discovered…
I moved away while you weren’t watching
(it was easier than I thought it would be,
escaping past your X-Ray eyes
that look for flesh and blood
and thus missed my exodus)
I live by the sea, now…
Source: My Exodus
A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!
Source: Miriam’s Song
Here is part three.
All three parts of this series are written by a brilliant, insightful and passionate human being of the female gender…and she uses the FULL RANGE of her palate to express these truths.
Hey dudes…listen the fuck up! Pull your heads out of the sands of fear and your fingers out of your ears and shut yer pie-holes from babbling all about the estrogen the estrogen and LISTEN. You do not get to pass judgement on sumfin cus you are either comfortable or uncomfortable…you are under the same standard of restoration as the rest of humanity…is it the Way, and is it the Truth, and is it the Life? Whether you LIKE it or not…whether it makes you FEEL GOOD or not…
Thank you Jennifer. Your words are truth and life.
Woman: with the flu, a cramping, hemorrhaging uterus and a baby attached to her boob pushes through her daily myriad of responsibilities to take care of the family
male: devastated by Man Cold.
Ohhh CONSTANCE!! I have been transcribing this poem for a friend, the lovely Michelle Terry (Hi Grl!!)…and I fell in love with it again. Aaauuggghh!! I LOVE THIS POEM.
It’s about an evening that plays out between two hearts, two souls…it plays out between The Earth and Space…it plays out between waters and land, and heart and bodies…it plays out between Love and Lover and back again…it plays out between the carnal and the ineffable…desire and Desire…
I like my metaphors and use of them…I like the references and hints dropped. I like the movements, from Prelude to Finale. It is sensual and spiritual all at once, and it still feels really good.
Some critics have told me it is too long…perhaps they are right…but I allus ask them what do they expect me to do about that?? For I have about as much say over how long it is as I do how tall you are!
If you’re a new reader and dabbling, I hope you will take a run… ❤
There is an indigo bunting
outside my window singing
in the moonlight streaming by
a million miles an hour.
But it is not the window
on my mind tonight…
I keep returning to that door…
Source: In Arpeggio Miles
Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!
To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night
that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,
“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”
I need to repost this poem from a couple years ago a day early…and I don’t even want a SHADOW of eyes on this that aren’t willing to LABOR today to birth understanding of what I am writing about…
it’s so fucking obvious what I am writing about…
I am writing about what we are all mealy mouthing by blaming it on a specific year (as if the year were a shambling zombie…as if the year were different than any other year, as if WE were not the shining difference every goddam SECOND)…
but every single person SHOULD labor with this poem, and labor HARD…
cus it’s the liturgy you will need as you’re pulled inexorably to your end…
if you DO decide to click on this…then really get your hands into it, and don’t go looking for pretty words and cutesy lil poetic kuans…cus this aint it.
This is the blood of a Poetess…
this is the stuff of poetry, however poorly executed it is in my fumbly arthritic heart whose joints ACHE and SEETHE with rage at death and grief at the ways we pull our snugglies around us and pretend…
“…and there I walk, alone between the lines,
my feet upon the ties, the ties that bind
and my heart ponders lines, and ties and spaces
in between the lines, the ones inside of me and what is hidden
there to see by those who stop and look and listen
…and take the time to read between the lines…”
Tree-lines mark the end of alpine meadow-frolics green
and the start of stone relief against the ever-constant skies
stretched out in steely greys and stellar silver blue sky-lines,
and space between the lines…
Source: Between the Lines
I just strive so hard just to remember,
just remember what I just now said,
just remember what I’m gunna say
and just said and just say and just said (and just say).
and your mind just strains hard to recall
what you’ve said, what you just mean to say
and then just reaches forward so quickly
to grab onto what you’ll just say next.
Mem’ry just pulls against expectation
twin sisters just trapped within time
like quick pagan twin versions just jumping
just like virgins, or just like Three Graces…
they just melt in our faint grasp completely
fleeing ere we can touch them, just gone
in that moment just blooming, becoming
we just clinging tight to a mere echo,
to a faint rumor lurking, just lingering
an arroyo called ‘Just Vanished Self’
and that rumor just leads me to moments
of kindness, just unmeasured time
elemental unfettered just kindness
that settles, in just quiet knowing
just a knowing so gentle and tender
of my heart’s every deep just desire
and a time of just tears just like rivers
rushes just to the ocean of being
just to wash mem’ry, anticipation
(they’re just one and the same all the time)
I just witness my fiery capacity
to just love but it just strains its tethers
to long splintery docks, just grey time
that prevents me from leaving, just sailing
on that lake singing just of the ocean
of just being…being..just in time
just unbound, just free in my just joyful
After the Fire and Fury,
after the lies were consumed
there on the hearth in the ashes
just loose teeth, the only thing left…
…those teeth without jawbone to ride on
no power to bite my soft skin
and no way to grit and to grind
and I stare, there is nothing to mind
my life changed…the nights became darker
and yet somehow more restful too
days took on a crystalline quality
I realized that I had begun
to view my entire life’s history
past/present/future all at once
as mere memories ashy and cold
in the ashes there, deep in the hearth
What’s the precise time, the moment,
in the life of a country of one,
a country where Samson’s been blinded
by his lust and his own hot despair
and self-tyranny takes hold in terror?
It rarely happens in an instant;
it arrives imperceptible, slow
and, at first, the eyes of the hopeful
adjust…and pretend all is well…
I was drifting in one endless present
(the present, pray tell what that is?)
line of vapor, invisible instant?
But now I see clearly, no filter,
the connection of past and the future,
between motion and rest, it just lurks there
as if it’s in no time at all…
and what is it, lying there useless?
It’s just us (justice), it’s simply us.
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
not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.
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.
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
at the center
And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
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.
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…
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.
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…
Out in the cold, living in fields…Looking after animals, in the dark of night…
Lonely, stiff and cold, hungry, sleepless and miserable, surrounded by slumbering insensate beasts who couldn’t even begin to give a crap about anything except their own comfort and care…full bellies and security from wild beasts even if it meant being captive to their comfort and thus forever doomed to the dust-life…and never a dawning of even the beginnings of wondering what is Wonder…
…it is there we meet the shepherds…who are aware…ALL too aware of these things.
I mean, c’mon!
The story tells us they were living out in the fields!
They had no homes.
They had no place to lay their head.
Except in the fields…with the beasts they cared for…and their own sense of wonder…wondering why the rich sat at ease in their cedar lined homes…wondering why their bellies were so empty when the refuse cans of the rich were so full of excess and waste…wondering why the stinking Romans had authority to take and break and dictate…
wondering why God was silent, absent, insensate, indifferent…
and into that dark and lonely discomfiting despair came a Divine breaking in and breaking thru!!
In the midst of the darkest, most silent, most still, most absent of hope, most slumbering unaware time…came Heaven’s declaration that a Child had been born! A Child had been Given!!
And His name was Wonderful!
His name was Counselor!
His name was Prince of Peace!
He was The Everlasting Father (yet an infant, meek and lowly)!
He was the Dayspring, the Bright and Morning Star!
Ahh…Morning Star…that Star that presages that night is drawing to a close, is ending.
And then the shepherds were given His core name, His Heart-Name…
God with us. God with us.
God is with us.
Go to the lowliest place, for that is where God chooses to appear! Do you not realize that everything you wish God to be God IS in the revelation of Advent? He chose the lowliest, the weakest, the most foolish…and in that place was born…in a feeding trough…a manger.
You do get that, don’t you? The Bread from Heaven was laid in a manger (another name for trough from which cattle eat)? And broken there for us…to “eat”…to “ingest” and have Him become one in essence with us?
The shepherds were told to go and see the baby, and then to go, and tell it on the mountains, tell it in the valleys, tell it everywhere there were hungry ears…that EMMANUEL HAD COME!
And they did.
Thus we see the second activity of Advent: you are called, as a shepherd, as one who is aware (regardless of whether you are full of hope or full of despair…either one is the sign that you are an “aware one” and thus are chosen and blessed)…to go.
Tell it on the mountain.
Tell it in the valley.
And keep your eyes open to spot the Child! You shall find Him in your neighbor…that “asshole” down the street that drives by you everyday, eyes fixed forward and exuding anger and frustration…that “airhead” in the cubicle next to you who is seemingly obsessed with her makeup and her dating life and fashion…
You will find Him in that hopeless one next to you on the subway whose beautiful incredible skin is the wrong hue in this culture and whose shining incredible heart is so wounded and bound by the hatred of others…
You will find Him in the transwoman on the street just trying to live in her skin…in the homeless youth whose vision is more obscured by their hair than it is by their heart…
This is the activity of Advent for the shepherds: find the Christ Child…in all His mangers…and proclaim that Child’s Name:
Emmanuel: God is with us.
In a foreign land, early.
Not early in the day…or even early in the year…
…but early in the Kairos of Significant Appointed Time!
And with Open Eyes…there waited Wise Men…who watched the skies, looking always upward for the arrival of…SOMETHING…they knew it not, what they sought, but they knew it had to be…because of the ache inside and the absence of something that caused the ache.
And then…there it was! A star appeared in the sky, and in that quadrant that allus presaged SIGNIFICANCE!
And as they watched intently, behold! It began to shift! And as it shifted, so too within them something shifted, something began to be drawn…something…SomeONE…was tugging at them, pulling them.
And they left their homes, their places of comfort and familiarity…and began the road trip of all road trips, one that some scholars theorize lasted a couple years!
Do you see this?
The incredible events of Advent that happened within the scope of 9 months for the principle actors and happened in one night for the shepherds…
…began as much as two years earlier for the Wise Men!
Talk about Active Waiting! Their waiting involved a journey as well!
They passed thru many lands, and as they were men of means and wealth and influence, their entry into the various kingdoms and lands thru which they passed created a stir, even consternation! But only because it was…odd…strange…unusual.
Until they got close…to the land for which such things held great import…that land governed by an evil and malevolent pile of egocentricity. In “The Fox”, it was as if all of the original assertion of ego which extinguished The Beginning Light was concentrated and distilled…and this small, infected and diseased pus-ridden pimple of a human being who was so full of hate and fear that he even killed children in his attempt to maintain his power was jolted by the arrival of these men and the implications of the Star, and the shockwaves that were about to break.
He was cunning, unctuous, viscous and smooth of speech like a cobra hypnotizing its prey…but the Wise Men were, well, wise to him…and they held him at bay with deference and deflection…and journeyed on after giving him the impression that they would indeed abide by his word when in his land…
and then they at last came to the place over which the Star pulsed and danced…
a baby…in a humble hovel stinking of beasts and despair…and their open eyes beheld Him.
They gave Him Gold…because they saw He was High and Royal, above all beings.
They gave Him Frankincense…because they also saw He was a Priest above all Priests.
They gave Him Myrrh…because they saw something hidden, from all others…until it was manifest…
…they saw that this Baby was simultaneously there, in that manger, and also at the crux of all, and hanging in agony, in Passion, and that His blood was the Spring that watered the very roots of the Universe…
and the Myrrh was burial spice…for by His death our life is.
They knelt…and worshipped…and were changed…by Emmanuel…the Incarnate One.
After awhile, they chose to depart…but did they obey “The Fox”? Did they come under the rule of government?
No…they had been changed forever, and they now were serving the Agenda of heaven and they resisted the intention of the earthly…and they departed in “civil disobedience” in order to preserve the life of God With Us.
And that is the activity of Advent declared to you in the story of the Wise Men.
Part Conclusion: https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/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.
a quiet roaring
that horror harms
rises up thru jade velvet
moss dark and pungent and drawing
thru silent silver
This poem is about how the work of Advent involves a preparation of Empty Bequeathed…and it uses transition as its vehicle.
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,
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.
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!…
In the Big Books
of my longing
(fresh bread fragrant,
full, and beckoning)
speak of other
days and other
worlds hung in
where Winter walks
in sleighbell slippers
and flashes snowflake
teeth in starlight,
in teeming flurries
frivolous and fancy
reaching to me
inside my room
in the Big Books
of my longing
and pages rustle
like wrapping papers
and chestnuts pop
tsk tsk tsk…
in furs of hearth
and home, underlaid
with ermine fires
liquid gold, furs and
white hot coals inside
Her Heart so cold…
It’s just outside
my window pane
in the pages too)
in the big books
of my longing…
Look! And see how
even in Her Presence
(Her very Presence!)
In Her Presence
at that name called
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
my window pane
laff at regal
floaty moon so
swimming thru still night
and singing all Her praise
and shining gracefully
on gliding wings…
in the Silent Singing Snow
my window pane
and the Big Books
of My Longing
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