The heroic journey. Being the hero. As Hero. As Guide.
When the guide comes to the fore, the hero fades. The work of the hero is to be … the hero. The work of the guide is, to engage the journey as well as be in relationship.
Living in a small town. A generous house that allows … music, engagement, a sunny spot to be at the altar in the world.
When we, as an agency, begin to align with hero… we become that which we despise.
When I, in agency, begin to align with hero… I become that which I despise.
When shadow drives my behavior. Suddenly ‘winning’ becomes the goal. The wonder of winning… what is that? That place of being the ‘winner’ in this crazy trek.
I hear the speculative nature of living… It echos in my own and of all of the lives that are now in play. The teams that play at speculation are actually based upon being the house. So, when the house owns the line, the house wins. We are working with and … sometimes being… a huge group of folks who have bought into the game of ‘winning’ the big pot. Believing, in the wonder, that we, all of us, own that pot. Now the pot is turned to what is has been for a long time. A grand speculator scheme… a grand Ponzi. And, the iceberg that is the whole of creation… is slowly turning turtle. An acceleration of the swiftly tilting…
And, we, the investors in that grand scheme… we are in a funny place. The last time we rode this pony, it caused us to re-evaluate. And, since then, there has been something holding the moment. For, that re-evaluation, is now the continuing of … holding place on the turtle turning ice…
I woke … the clarity of mixing up the hero and heroic, the hero leader and guide… One leads a parade. One coaches up and over… This is not a parade of leading. It is a journey of comrades. When the comrades are calling for a hero or … seeking that hero who has show the universal feet of clay… there is the moment. My own clay feet, they are still wet from the morning meditation. Created in the past days… swiftly encasing feet, and even whole leg.
When I am vector, just as each of us is vector… Then there is something even more … Something even more. I don’t get to be both inside and outside. We are all amid. And, when the cacophony of amid, together becomes so loud… then the desire to be outside, away, different, … with and alone… in quietude and safety… and able to dance in the glorious…
To try to be both a fighter jet and a freighter at the same time. To deploy as “both/and” … is to risk something of tearing apart at the seams. The Hero/Guide is neither Hero nor Guide. The Guide is one who practices presence; the guiding in the guiding. A hero is one who stands arrayed in power and light… keeping all around safe. There is the hubris of the moment.
Seeing all of us… all vectors… all transmitters… all receptors… each in-fected; each and all. In this humbling moment. To understand that something even more is come. In that owning the all, comes the wonder of the journey. The trek. Such is the moment. Great and gracious in care. Great and gracious in care.
Funny too, to come slowly awake and be met with the reading of Easter 19. Acts 8:26-40. Funny to have risen this morning in the understanding of mis-step and mis-stake, only to be guided by a reading that created a grand joke… a humor. A wonderful tension that is both/and; just as this being human is both… and…
The wonder of the joke… both… and. Suddenly this day seems … ‘something about this day…’ A gift. In gratitude, a gift.
An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
Equality held in the grand sea of equity.
Great sea… great sea of equity…
To understand that there is no noise to cut through. There is only a communion and community to engage. In that frame, to understand the wonder of connection. That connection of a moment of common. Sinner and saint… A tussle of … putting down the tussle and engaging that communion of human-ness.
So, in the face of the bully, what does that look like? In the face of fear, what is the connection? In the face of the violence of attack, what is that sea of equity? This thing I mull… The push that is just a bit too much of friend or stranger, sitting in judgement of a moment… In the face of that moment what response.
I can only speak from moments of experience. To speak caution to power. To suggest frustration to one who seems to desire to cow engagement. To experience the grand drama of that power, dramatically framing the caution as threat or the frustrated leaning in and putting the sense all on … In each case, the leaning back, apologizing … Then, in this quiet moment… realizing, in hindsight, the caution and framing of frustration were clear in then and now. The issue, to understand the moment of crossing. To know that standing in the shadow of that power over or the desire to make an unworkable situation work … anymore… is not to the good of … so to say what needs to be said and own the shift. That is the ‘what’ in the face of that moment and, only for that moment. The challenge is, of course, that the moment of engaged … echos, ripples, and the the waves upon the shore … blow back into the pond, into the sea… the sea of equity.
Still, the caution of that moment, the acknowledgement of frustration, the blow of the winds of change… all of that still echoes. In the sloshing sea of equity.
“… ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?…” John 9:18-41
Perhaps in the severing … there is a moment of creating linking.
Perhaps … in the severing, there is the raising up … of the altar in the wide world.
Listening through a reading that my eyes say to my ears… A rationalization through reporting of an application of rules across the entire span of the world. Though the fact patterns of understanding and belief are different across the whole, still, the rule is applied. A set of rigid ‘knowing’ that, when applied … leads to formation of so many levels of shift.
In some places, it just means that those who would not or could not, follow the dictum… will disappear from the ranks of those in company. And so, now outside, will continue a relationship with all creation. The dictum, meant to keep pure, creates another linkage or path… one that creates a new set of relationships. The severing by dictum… creation of yet another set of faith links.
At the same time, reading about the faithful unchurched. A fine writing that talks about the mourning of the passing of a place that was formative… and now … coming to terms in that place of expectant projection that the ‘church’ need not be perfect. It just needs faithful servants. The deep and troubling sense that in a dying community, the plaintive desire to have faithful servants is a teaching of servitude… On is not the other.
Last night, enjoying the monthly men’s club. A throw back of a gathering that has some taint of misogyny… and yet, in the breaking of bread, the sharing of story, the gathering together in a jumble of community… sharing pictures of children, now grown… sharing stories… some are old saws… told so often that there is not a sentence that can be a surprise to most of the listeners… all of this in a gathering of men. The club; growing with added generations. It may not survive another ten years… yet, it is a gift in this moment.
When a narrative is demanded in explanation … sometimes there is something in the demand, the demand that a story become a description of … of a world that makes the listener more comfortable … yet, the narrative … our story, it is of our stones, our partners, our hits, our misses. It is that moment of … just being in a story that is of comfort in the face of … at times, great discomfort.
Walking through the doors of a church that was once home… and is home no more… even when that place is in this, the home town… it is something that appears to be a demand of faith. Yet, the greater altar in the world is a church that invites attendance in every moment.
I neighbor who performed a great service was at dinner last night. I asked if he was going to send me a bill for the service… “Are you kidding,” he replied? “It took me all of 20 minutes.” His gift of twenty minutes saved me hours of anguish. I great and faithful gift of community. A gift of neighbor. A gift of friend. That is my church. Imperfect. Full of mission in community. It is the sunrise. It is the sun set. It is the workplace. It is the mail carrier. It is a political machine working to a greater good. It is the arc of an ending of career, seeking legacy. It is the old order, holding on and making the rules more and more to preserve… It is the dancing of the dogs in the morning and the smile of a small child dancing in the hall outside my office cube. It is the altar of a friend’s son, watching a movie and laughing … twinkling of the eye. It is the sadness at an old friend’s passing. It is the lifting up of a college classmate as a grandchild comes into the world. It is the celebration of parents health and healing in the arc of aging. It is the passing of a year in the life of each child… it is all of these and so, so much more.
I miss the rubric of the service. I miss the comfort of the hymn and the wonder of a reading; read well. I miss the gathering of choir … the preparation of the anthem, the sharing of humor in the loft, the long discussion of a service… planning for a celebration… the wonder of a mass, concluded in silence and reverence… the gathering of children… the crying of a child where the entire congregation breathes comfort to partner parents… raising up this song of living… In the houses that are declared sacred, there seems little room for this lifting up. The easing away of a generation… in sacred sense… there is something … easing away.
This altar in the world is something of a mystery. The altar, constrained in a building is equally so. The dictum of each is the chasm of living both on the mountain top and in the canyon. The valley between is home. As too are the mountain tops. That tithe that is all of what I am, it is given in places of wonder. It is given in small and large … and returned in the same coin. The gift of all creation speaks in the most unusual moments… That place is … a moment of just so. Just so indeed.
And so, in narrative, that story made up… the gift of this dawning day is to muse in a story told and the demand to tell it again. This time, each element of the telling is honored and owned. The best in the moment. In that owning, there is also a sense of permission to celebrate at the altar in the world.
The church… the altar in the world. Amen, and amen.
04-07-19 A ripple in the linkage across all creation
Sleep was filled with disjointed dreams. Dreams of connections, apparent; yet falling away as if a stage falling away from a speeding rocket. Spent and falling away. In olden times, that stage would then fall to the earth and be sunk in the sea as fodder from the sky. These days… the stage is landed and reused… sometimes.
We are in a time of sometimes. That transition of a from what to a to what… That wonder of links apparently broken and yet linked in so many ways … the falling away, in so many cases actually moving to a set of other links.
When the connection is all to … me; the shift is a wild pulling and tearing. Wild, at times painful and always a challenge. In the renewal this spring, of so many parts of my immediate world… that tearing and reconnecting is strong. The renewal of the plumbing. The renewal of the water system. The renewal of … each aspect of … means a tearing out and then a building back in. The opening of space to allow replacing, renewing, and finding path. The discerning of connections that worked at one time and now, with shift, no longer flow. In that discerning. … In that discerning there is an awakening to opportunity. Seeing what appeared sacred in a new set of ways. Just so… learning something beyond. That place of … It is a great and gracious moment. This wonder… indeed.
Feeling the work of the pulling and pushing… In yesterday’s renewal of space of tank house and garage. That making anew.
Now it is morning… actually, moving quickly to afternoon…
And the gratefulness of yesterday’s work, into today’s putter. The wonder of… just sitting in this moment. That is enough. In grateful moment… enough.
04-03-19 … the last day.
“… but raise it up on the last day.” John 6 27-40
There are things which make me smile each moment when I think of them. Some, pretty things. Some not so pretty things. Some, shared moments with beloved L, N, H, M, SS, friends, lovers, kin, nature, immediate family, the music, the whole of creation, … all across the board. Some, just a passing breath, the rising of the sun, a breaking of a wave, holding a child, sitting with the dying, … Then there are the moments where, for that moment, time seemed of seems to stop. Held in forever … a snapshot… and yet, even those memory moments pass away.
It was a long time to hold this set of foundational smiles… That place of … just holding and in the holding, to realize that there are no magic moments… each moment is filled with all creation. Even those moments of missing the mark.
And, in the missing, there is a set of next steps… that place of … just sitting in moment. It, so many times, it is not silent. It is filled with the dancing roar of all creation. … perhaps even the dancing roar of a still small voice… in that all creation.
To be invited in… to that voice, those arms, that eagle’s wing, that sun-rise, that setting and dimming of the day… in the arc of a breath… The awe and blessing of the two mountain ranges in our valley… those who speak across and yet may never meet… Yet, yet are met by the valley crossing between… the whole fabric of earth… a connection. In fluid motion upon the sea of all of the rest of earth. A vision of rising to towering mountain… yet, fluid in the flow of an ever shifting creation.
At the rising… a first day. At the setting… the dimming and the last moment of a last day. And each moment between… a last moment. A last moment and a first moment.
This is not a house with doors … it is a home with many rooms. This is not a house to be possessed… it is a home to come into. It is a warm hearth … the cracking fire… warm and inviting. In the heat, in a loss, in a shift… in a dying down… it is a hearth of comfort. Even when the hearth is … only in minds eye, in a last flicker of the day… in a lenten candle, lighting the retreat cave with … a sudden light in darkness.
For years… this place was a supposed to journey. In this set of last days… it is a welcoming home place. The doors… barely hung… now swing wide in welcome moment.
That place of last to first. That a last breath in one place dances to first breath in that place in renewed dance.
That blessing of closed eyes that open in … in link, in love, in care, in … every moment of the whole of creation. Such grace in the whole of creation. Picking up a mess… in honor of the whole of creation. In the bird song… amen, amen, amen.
04-02-19 The crisp chill of morning.
The morning light … a surprise lays on the edge of the field. A great branch, clipped by the tractor, fallen from the tree… That sudden sense of … how did you come here? When did you come here? The great tracks leading both up to and away… yet, the branch, fallen to the ground, a surprise. The whole of the view is shifted for the opened area of the sky.
The ardent question. When did you come here? The whole of creation, has been here the whole time. When did the sudden seeing happen? To wake to that which has always been. That sudden awareness of the whole of … And then, once seen, not a possibility of unseeing.
This seeing or the breath; it is a gift of this morning. The sudden and always… come to a moment and breaking, as the sun rise, over all awareness.
With care. With blessing. With awe.
03-30-19 Riffing on the wind.
Or… whoever is from creation, hears the words of creation…
Easy to fall into argument. That wonderful moment when two are standing and looking out on a vista… look, it is raining. Look it is snowing… and it is doing both. As we hear with our seeing, it is doing both. How to resolve? Is it to resolve, for in creation, it is doing both. In the filter of my hearing in seeing… it does one thing… and in the filter of the beloved standing next to me … it does another.
The wind, dancing, knocks over an umbrella… “I hate the wind…” The wind dancing… in the same moment, moves the boat to the front of the race… “I love the wind…” It is the same wind and the same creation. All in the same moment… how can this be?
The deeper dive… the longer riff… it is both and. In darkness, so much presence. In light the presence still.
Thinking of the St. Helens explosion. A grand celebration of power in creation. Wonder, fear, death and living past death. Making street lights come on in a far away place. To be a sudden change … even though, in other parts of creation, the event was a triumph of prediction. Now, years later, the mountain… stands as relic? No, stands as monument and dancing living creation… No, should… No, could…
This riffing on the wind. Celebration. A friend is given a short time to live. The voice that passes this information to me, that friend, is celebrating not his ending but the amazing moment of his living. He just wanted me to know. For, having heard from another of his ‘plight’, he wanted to cast his own perspective to the long life he has had and the wonder of this next segment of journey. Riffing on the wind.
Riffing on the wind, a house renewed. Sacred and failed systems… now renewed. The wonder of reaching for a spigot and … behold… water comes forth. Behold, the drain, drains. Riffing on the wind.
The crop is harvested. The most recent oranges hang … ready to pick. The grasses, released from long hibernation by the long winter rains… all riffing on the wind. This wind that is change. Daily, moment by moment; riffing on the dancing of the wind.
From all creation we each come. In the wonder of a lenten meditation… riffing on the wind. There is now, this moment, a shift, a change… for the wind is singing… even in the speaking of … the singing of … to riffing in…
Dancing on and with all creation. For, in that dance, there is the work of being in creation. In gratitude… in all creation. Seeing in and hearing and breathing in… all creation.