Riffing Mark in Lent.

Mark 9:30-50*

To reify** a parable. To make it concrete and real… the greatest of the foibles. The greatest of missing the mark… to put four corners on a great circle… 199A8920-6221-4675-8E2D-F3CFB6A2DA75

Missing the mark… to see or feel or stumble or … all of that, of missing the mark. So there is the parable … the declaration to remove, tear out… break off… The permission to cut, to drown, to … it is not permission at all… it is a charge of responsibility. All with a babe held in arms… to be passed with gentle love… all around from one to another.

Waking from a dream of being locked out of many familiar places. To have all agency stripped away. To have nothing but my feet… to trudge away from the ‘new’ and ‘special’ ways of seeing… the pivot that strips away all that is familiar. 3F99E1F7-AA26-4D74-84B6-E2C4404B37ABAnd… beginning that trek… with the first step. Suddenly understanding that the path that was so clear… now well shaken and stirred… 

The ‘new’ leader is ‘taking charge’… in ways that begin again. And… that is not the path that is of my path. All the friends and partners of that time are suddenly busy in the new plan… the wonder and comfort of that which was familiar and off being a part… is suddenly locked and apart. 

A new seeing … first as fear … to see that the change is coming quickly. A storm on horizon.

That which was … is now not. The tide has shifted and the harbor… comfort and care… the boat of my heart… is carried away on the tide and tested in storms. The whole of creation is about… dancing and howling and roaring… of a storming delight… in the maelstrom… far from a known land… held in creation’s arms… passed gently from arms to arms… Even as the owners of those arms … argue among each other… still the passing is with gentle kindness… The noise of the storming argument… does not touch the warmth of being passed from tide to tide… from rising sun to rising moon… from winds of the east, the north, the south, and west…4D25AEA9-CBF4-45F3-B6B8-69F89C487D3C

The joy of ‘those times’ is no less a joy. Those joys, are of the peace which passes all understanding. The gift of invitation to be in a moment of creation. That sacred shared moment of the whole host of creators… be they one, two, three… many… or beloved communion with just one other. All joy of a harmony … called forth in moment. A friend speaks of a shooting star… the wonder of moment… attempting to hold that moment… as holding back the tide… pushing the river back up the mountain… the preservation of a great flowing stream… that is alive with wonder.

All of this… in the tossing of night into day. The shifting of tide from rushing to slack and rushing again… the foment of waves… torn by a rip… Dancing winds … that rage back and forth… amid all … the sudden understanding of a peace which passes all understanding. The moment of that quiet kiss… the gentle passing of infant… from arms to arms… the voices… are a storm. The arms are the caring of all creation. 

So it is a gift of this lenten retreat… a gift of arms. The shift of storm… and caring arms.

The whole of the host of creation. A gift of this dawning day.BD56AAE8-84DF-4E65-AE1E-4FFD0DE14D77

*(They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve,

and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink becaus

e you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”)

** Reify:

  1. make (something abstract) more concrete or real.
    “these instincts are, in humans, reified as verbal constructs”

A Prayer with the Divine…

4F6B69C3-060F-4DB9-A36F-E122004DFD30

Oh Divinity, Master of the Universe,

All creation sings together.

Across all time, across all dancing;

We come into being and grow through arc – our song of livingness,

From many heavens – comes Light, Air, Water, and Creation’s Manna

To bear us up in our Loving, our Labor, and our Living.

In this, creation’s song, please forgive our missing the mark;

7A685188-3C64-4E9E-9751-440D6B1B4840As, we forgive – those who miss the mark – with and against us.

In times of trial, walk with us;

Deliver us through evils that invite and mock.

For all creation, all power, and all glory are from the Divine;

Now and forever. Amen.

Of Mary Oliver and Parker Palmer… the gift of giving to…

D1FE4C6F-135F-4CEA-A3E0-51B6030DAAA6The high C
The song sung at an internment
The song sung at a sacred moment
The song sung at a passing

In each place and time,
given of myself fully…
And, this moment,
as candles burn

feeling lost and without
anchor to a place
anchor or moorage
in bay or at quay

so sensing a rising
resentment to this state.
Sun breaks upon
rising mountains

tears of falling
raining from upwelling
eyes blurred in
light of day.

80F964F6-CB34-444B-939F-D8C60FDA0172To Palmer’s questions:
What do I need
to let go of?
What do I

want to give myself to?
These gentle query
basking in fall sun
guide the boat.

A dear friend,
declared a shooting star
a swift passing
across the sky.

That same friend,
called out surround;
armor all around
with butcher’s bill

from tilting ground
with broken
with battered
head to hands

again to questions…
What do I need to let go?
What do I want to give
myself to?

47747915-BCDF-469E-9C34-F6D1D29D8AE0And again…
What do I need to let go?
What do I desire to give
myself to?

In the rising
the walking at
the altar in the world
a gentle echo.

A gentle kiss
the all of creation
the surround of
that giving in moment.

… Not a thing… it is the tide… turning

10-23-2021 That moment… of “Wake Up”…

What is wrong? Not a thing… it is the pang of dying and being born. What is wrong? Not a thing… it is the pang of the old trying to hold on and the new easing that holding into the stream. What is wrong? Not a thing. It is the sun beginning to light the day and the night… feeling the warmth of that light. What is wrong? Not a thing…the stream, the tide, the wonder of all creation… is inviting the old into the new. And… both the old and the new are striving to hold to comfort. What is wrong? The pain of the dying that is also in the birthing… it is all working in the tide.63B3F928-BBB7-47F7-A8D9-C70C99681096_1_201_a

What is this? It is the livingness of a moment. And, it is the pain of growing into a new place. It is the dying down and the growing in… all bundled in a set of cells… buried in the nerve. The pain… oh the pain…

As the old moment eases away… the deep pang of wishing for the rose in full bloom to pop back… as the last petal fall away… and the bones of the beautiful rose… fall to earth… so that the next may come… there is the honoring of the passing.

A set of buds breaks open… ah, that breaking… the pang and pain…

A note eases to silence… that last kiss of moving air… moving the hearing hairs of nerve endings… and then… all is at stillness… a pang… a deep pang… so deep, that the nerves scream in desperate need to … and then, in silence… a different step appears… in the haze of this pang and pain…

Light appears. A breathing appears. The husk of passing… the shift in tide… the flowing river… each and each and each…

The sun, through deep grey … lighting the darkness that was night… now suddenly… morning. Kisses of morning.

There, in this moment… not that of passing… this of emerging and singing the song of creation. This… emerging, singing the song of creation… that great wheel… the spark of aliv-ing… sudden to a birthing… sudden to a mastery… sudden to a gentle comfort of a newly birthed. Sudden to the gentle care of the dying down… sudden and connected… now, the wheel – turning and turning again.

Such is the first light of this day… such is… in grace, peace, and care… such is. With thanksgiving… such is. With love… such is. Just so… such is.

Cord & Chord or Chord & Cord

845E5E63-E9D7-4268-AA7F-7A5E5203BB05

Woke this second day of may… riffing on the word cord… or chord… after the poem, find some borrowed thoughts on the words. Striking that wood cord… while racked and stacked… seems to not fit the same. Perhaps it is from raft building with binding cord… ah well, bemused in the wash of creative tide.

©Bill Bartels 05-02-2021

Cord & Chord or Chord & Cord

Binding, woven, pulling taunt,

Or three quick steps in rising tone.

Bound and tossed, Deep into…

Loosed and dancing, Circle Round.

Speaking song, Singing pitch

Pulling tight, battened down.

Then to maths the vision turns

Pulling sun to set horizon

Sea that rolls, dancing song

Lines that set, journey’s sails

Maths again, tell the path

A sun shot from the rolling deck

Song to work, lines to bind

Maths to say the path we sail

All in cord or chord or both

Dancing round, yes, dancing round

Unbound, and yet, linked in work

Using each to build upon

No longer tying, binding – bound

Tis as a tool, this twine we use

Tis as tool this song we sing

Tis as a tool these maths we work.

To pull the sun down to the sea,

Telling our path across expanse

Singing our journey

Singing in harmony

Raising voice, to set the sail

Raising cord and chord to pull the line

Woven, strong, in cord we share

Woven strong, woven indeed.

 

And now… the borrowed – in the folk tradition – some framing of words…

Cord: The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood in the United States and Canada. A cord is the amount of wood that, when “racked and well stowed”, occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet. Wikipedia

Cord: thin, flexible string or rope made from several twisted strands.

Cord: an electrical cord.

Cord: a long slender flexible material usually consisting of several strands (as of thread or yarn) woven or twisted together. 2 : a slender flexible anatomical structure (as a nerve or muscle)

Cord: The vocal cords (also called vocal folds) are two bands of smooth muscle tissue found in the larynx (voice box). The vocal cords vibrate and air passes through the cords from the lungs to produce the sound of your voice.

Chord: A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of pitches/frequencies consisting of multiple notes that are heard as if sounding simultaneously. For many practical and theoretical purposes, arpeggios and broken chords, or sequences of chord tones, may also be considered as chords in the right musical context. Wikipedia

Chord: In geometry, A chord of a circle is a straight line segment whose endpoints both lie on a circular arc. The infinite line extension of a chord is a secant line, or just secant. More generally, a chord is a line segment joining two points on any curve, for instance, an ellipse. A chord that passes through a circle’s center point is the circle’s diameter. The word chord is from the Latin chorda meaning bowstring

Some random thinking … Playing with Time

Can we ‘make’ the sun rise more quickly? Can we delay the moon’s rising? In the speeding up of the deep carbon cycle… are there consequences for this ‘adjustment’? Each is a far fetched moment… yet, there is active demand to have daylight be more… and night less… so that there is greater productivity… what other cycles are being ‘adjusted’ in the name of – a specific system need-as opposed to a harmonic balance-in the dynamic of the ‘whole’ of a linked – supporting – emerging set of variables? Just musing the sun rise… a dynamic balance.

A Way To Think About Your Project

Each a view of the same set of elements. Each element speaks from a different set of foundational facts… The conversation, if it is adversarial, stacks the various foundational facts, Triangleselements, views, and position in different perspectives, contexts and places… being invited to rationalize this pile, this stack, this conversation… takes time, thought, collaborative perspective, respect for the various agency… all in a sense of calm… it doesn’t come cheap… if the whole motivation is to get a quick determination… to get to where ‘I’ want it to be… well, that is an argument that will return again and again… Seeing the patterns spin… play that tune again, and again, and again… or not… and if not, taking the time to make rational, connected, linked, and aligned agency.

The Sun is Rising…

The sun rolled quickly into the sky.

 

It is simple… just to stop and be with the sun rise. Seeing it in so many different places… kissing each surface.

 

A gift.

People with People

8DA396C3-BF1B-4D94-9D81-88561A02109BStressed Systems get more…

Internally, there is this moment of …

Stressed systems get more rigid and hierarchical.

75B0D761-126D-45EC-BCA2-9A72AA0F2F32

Or, the communication gaps start to show up…

Or, the dis-hinged, dis-connected parts… start to be seen.

A great stone into a lake. The lake splashes… exposing all of the deep connections… and, then the water slops back… once seen, it cannot be unseen. However, it can be forgotten. Obscured by the fog of warring words… Obscured by the splash of a great stone hurled… Obscured by the smoke from all of the fires burning…

People with People…

So, when people are serving and interacting with people… there is a mediation of this stressing. When people, with people see the links exposed and are able to remember…

Remembering to breathe.D684B1FA-96CD-4451-996F-56E30E320E34

Remembering to smile.

Remembering to laugh at the foibles of our shared people-ness.

Remembering to practice pace, form, and care…

People with People.

And, in that moment, people with people… helping people… helping self, soul, system and outcome.

It ain’t much… and it is what I’ve got.AA326162-0A1F-415A-8A86-DD0134F08855

People, laughing… and in the caring laugher, the caring care… the connecting… the rigid hierarchy can flex… with the many links and connections that are people with people.

The mitigation of rigid is flex… and the flexing is the connections of many voices… in song.

Applications of …

Application of solution in a problem set that is not as defined. The if only solving…

When the whole of the system engages and enrolls in the solving… then the solving is a solving. When the solving is based in prejudicial framing of the elements, then the solving is … as shifting sand.

The speaking… framing by label. Creates the shifting sand.

Sim Seq