The Four Points…

# 05-04-2020 North, South, East & West.

Yesterday was big; really, really big… Just saying. The culmination of four years. The gathered and collective conferring. The great and grand celebration. Friends gathered; those who have completed the tasks laid before… now to begin the new journey. Suddenly one is completed… Ah, that word… it is not a moment of completion. It is a moment of … How to even begin to integrate the sudden end and new beginning. The 947FA514-DE38-464C-997E-ABA2A3B5A648conferring, which now give a license to learn… The crossing of one finish line, only to see the long and wondrous trek that now calls… The trek that calls… On, come on… this path, this trail, this … high and winding pass… all calling. All calling and the echos of the call… splashing, as the rising sun… The rising sun, as it kisses the tides of the bay.

Looking at numbers. All in a sheet. The numbers telling a story of greater and greater activity… And then… it stopped. Not slowed down… in a matter of days, comes to a complete and total … stop. A full and complete stop. The complete landing… the complete … full stop. Silence. Only the beating heart of the beast… at complete stop. As when the boiler goes completely cold. The creaks and groans are just the stresses of the sun kissing the surface and then the dance between that portion in shade and that portion in sun. The flexing of the external… for 6D2A2192-7AB2-49D4-8A0F-EC2D1CA4CA85the internal is gone cold.

The organs of bureaucracy grind on. The budget cycle is in full swing. Planning and framing for the new budget year. Putting together spread sheets and a plan for all aspects of operations… making the numbers work… Planning for how to spend the dollars that now … wait … what dollars? The whole of the planning scheme is tossed on its head. The house of cards is show to be built on shifting sand. The programs, the solid foundations of the local… is shaken to core… that core, driven by a complicated organism that, for the moment… has shut down. The rushing of cars outside… rushing to harvest … fresh food to the table. The hyper local nature of … one day at a time… the links of the supply chains tighten… or go completely slack. A single description denies so many of the links and tangles of this organism moment… This and that proposal… this and that ‘critical’ decision… this and that… suddenly, the assessment of critical and blather are exposed in a new set of ways.

What is critical in one set of universe… may have not value in another. The idea of this universe or that universe… the great and grand joke that it is all one universe. There are E92F035E-A2E7-4E13-BB53-FC1C19921957links between each and every aspect of… the ardent regulatory scheme… The grasping regulatory scheme. The reactive regulatory scheme. The imposed regulatory scheme… the scheme which seeks equity… the scheme which imposes view or frames outcome… unconnected to a fact pattern that is underlying… From where do these come? Someone died… someone might die. Someone didn’t get paid. So, there is an urgency… a great and grand urgency… for someone, a very special someone…

Rushing to craft a budget. Rushing to make the time frame. Rushing… and in that rushing… the sun rises and lights a newly crafted path. One not seen in recent times. That of … the very foundations of… shown to be sitting on shifting sandC6529D6A-F898-4C8F-B946-62FF4336C90E.

The caging in of that shifting sand… or, as the storm blows that sand… exposing and covering… revealing and hiding… all in the same storm… Clarity in the storm. The day is breaking, without a cloud in the sky. The earth tide is solid in its moving… Yet, everything is changed. As with the graduation… it is an invitation to a new integration. It is not a completion… a closure… it is a new step in integration. On this moment the sun rises.

On this moment, in gratitude, the sun rises.

Into the Day

04-28-2020 The Day…

To confront being vector being transmitter, being receptor… To confront all of the personal responsibilities of that set of triad. In the rule of three, the stool which stands, as it has three legs… the rule of communication… for it hears, it engages and it speaks… or listens or … is a tube through which sound passes… with some recognition of the sound.

In a social setting… sitting at distance… still a vector, a transmitter and a receptor… all three, all three legs…

And when the signal, that darling signal of contagion, when that has no more stools to jump between… what then? For then, then we have set a new standard… and in that standard… the contagion for which we modified … it now has left an imprint. What then?

How funny. To speak of that then… we are in this now. The panic of contagion. The cacophony of contagion. The peace of contagion. What peace?

For certain, a new method of triage. For certain some method or best practice to make a layer between the vector and the rest… To have a place of care become a point of contagion… the calm voice of practice… And, that moment of wanting to be over there when we are here.

A voice, saying loudly, what do we do now? Or, follow me, I am going to lead a contagion parade. Another voice calling out in pain and exhaustion. Yet another singing a quiet song of lullaby. All in the same symphony of … requiem of…

The sea tide. The waves crashing. The great squall roaring across the lake. The wide river, rising higher and higher… all of these, the water that has tumbled down from high mountain or fallen in storms upon the face of the open surface… all of these… voices of this contagion. For, as vector… we dance in this storm.

The many locks to doors in the body… in the living organism. What locks does this particular key fit and turn? What doors of mechanism and shift do open? What doors, lock tried, resist the entry or turn the visitor to another place and time? The idea of point of entry… in through the front door? In through a small mouse hole? Carried with an ant… investigating the kitchen after the rain has pushed the whole trail inside? Or born on the gentle airs… sprayed and then carried as a note on the airs… carried as a note on the airs. If I can hear, then the contagion has come to me also…

Transmission and contagion… not the same. One is a cacophony. The other… it is a communication. In this moment, sitting with the still small voice… hearing that quiet focus in the dawning… the sacred touch of all dawn… there is a place to quiet the contagion… at distance, connected still… a lesson of the desert mothers and fathers. In this time of great learning… when the old saws have dulled in the practice of just running them across the stone… Dulled in the automatic script… Dulled in the speaking that has unhooked from the moment. That speaking that meets not a moment but a spin…

When the tide rises and the docks rise also, the sudden rush of … into this rising tide… speaking of the wane… the wane to come… it is the … wait, that moment is not now.

So again. The dawn has kissed this moment on this place on the planet. The contagion of cacophony is stilled for the rise… and now, into the day. The voices of all creation, speaking in and at and through… From this set of speaking comes a symphony. For the moment it may be a requiem. Or, a transition into new form. Certainly a song of creation. A gift. A wonder and a gift.

The parting…

Shift happens in a moment. That would be the first moment. Shift happens in many moments; starting with the first moment. If it is a shift that is anticipated… then there are all of the anticipatory moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, even centuries of anticipation. The angst of anticipation.; the binding angst. Then… the pivot, the shift, the moment. All that energy suddenly unbound. The unbinding can be so violent that it also unbinds my own connection to the moment. Blasting across the all of creation. At other moments, the unbinding is as a release of … allowing the prisoner to go free. The opening of the cell door… The new journey actually begun.

Time and passing time happens. The rolling of generation into generation. Moment into moment. Moment into minute, into hour, into year and on and on. That wonder of cycle. Sun rising, sun setting… the seasons: of living, of the year, of the earth, of a star, of all of creation. Leaning into cycle. Leaning into the wonder of a rising sun … the setting sun. The tradition of watching the sunset. The pause… just before the sun eases beyond the horizon… the ‘going, going… gone’. The breath of pause, the prayer and holding up. The thanksgiving for the gift of days. The thanksgiving for …

In each beginning there is an ending. In the anticipation of both beginning and ending, there are moments of wishing to go back. To hold that warm and perfect place of memory that was a… let us do that again moment. The deep desire to hold that moment in all time. Into this wish, this desire, this deep wanting… the grand hook of zero sum comes. The straw hook, reaching into heart and soul to offer the return to Eden. We are far, far east of Eden. The simplicity of options of yes and no are long past. Yet, the offer of return is the siren song of desire, of wanting and of heaven. The thought makes me smile. The movie line… “Is this heaven? No it’s Kansas” (Field of Dreams)

And so… The moment, minute, hour and on; call to my heart this morning. The understanding of call to communion. Communion in the altar in the world. The call to sharing around the well of living water. That water, consecrated in heart, soul and spirit. That water, in sacred cup, passed among all of creation. The deep roots, sharing in woven communion. As a tapestry, woven wisdom.

In the passing of a moment. The passing of a life. The passing of an era. The passing of a someplace. The passing of icon… the phrase, “We will never forget,” is raised up. Yet, in the sands of time, many grains have passed from memory. So, to honor those sands, the foundation stone the builders rejected… now becomes, from the gift of earth, of creation, the new foundation. To welcome new foundation is to make the whole of creation ready to weave anew. This weaving anew happens with each sunrise. So too, with each sunset.

The Rules… and the rule of Some

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The Dove… a bird signifying peace, rising up, the harmony of… Yet, sold in a space or from a place… the taint of the space or place… does it taint the dove and the dove’s symbol? Does the taint of one set of belief or rule taint every aspect of the rest?

Or, as with all living, is there context?

Is the blanket taint the point?

In this story. The rule of Some rears its shadow large. Just as the care of a one is something that is … beyond.

It is a simple straw argument to say … all. It is so much more nuanced to engage the variation of some of this and some of that… that I could be a bit of this and that… you could be a bit of this and that… and that when it is this… there are some frames … when it is that… there might be different frames.IMG_8133

The rule of Some goes the other way too… application of absolute by some may mean that there is a moment of standing up and saying… not so much.

In this dance, the sun rose this morning. In this dance a few breathed their last. In this dance, the dogs got up, barked, boofed, and took their breakfast. In this dance a song ear worm began its daily work. In this dance lovers cuddled. In this dance couples shared a smile of intimate care. In this dance, cats came for a morning pat, a meal and a purr… In this dance, a day began. War was waged. Environmental damage was wrought. The ice caps melted a bit. Winds of change blew in every place and space… In this dance, creation wove in warp and weft. The tapestry of all creation … on this Sunday of palms… that tapestry of all creation… in the rule of Some… A star is emerging. A star is collapsing… And a rose is blooming … the first of the season. In some places … and in some other places. That taint of … speaks to each in that place of some.IMG_8112

The blessing of sunrise. In humbling gratitude. An ache and yet also a great amen. Here, emerging from the retreat cave… the candle now… joined in the world with the rising sun. Amen, and amen. Amen and amen.IMG_8132

Lent 40

“… and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” Matthew 21:12-17

Invitation; the altar in the world

IMG_8064“… ‘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.IMG_8058

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.IMG_8061

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.IMG_8047

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.IMG_8032

The putter of renewal

04-07-19 A ripple in the linkage across all creation

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Of evening…

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.

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Beware of the dogs…

Feeling the work of the pulling and pushing… In yesterday’s renewal of space of tank house and garage. That making anew.

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A working space…

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.

… last moment… last day

04-03-19 … the last day.

IMG_8007Lent 29

“… 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 IMG_8009and 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.

IMG_8008This 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.

How did … when did?

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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.IMG_7995

Give us a sign…

03-31-19 The height of spring?

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‘Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.’ Mark 8:11-21

Jasmine and Orange Blossoms paint the air with glorious splendor. All around, the signs of spring. Birds singing, the road rumbling with lines of motorcycles, bicycles sweeping by… walkers and dogs all dancing of this morning. The signs are all around. The renewal of … the bursting forth. The leveling up in energy. All around are the signs.

Show us a sign!

And all around, the flashing and wonder of creation sings. In that showing, the blind and deaf are invited to smell, to touch, to dance, to sing… the mute may feel, the … ah, the other question, do you wish to be healed?

That larger question… how will you make me believe?IMG_7934

Into that deep and dark place, all is on creation. The only part I would play is to sit and wonder when the show will begin. The wondering at when the dancing bears will trundle onto the stage… what ring will they trundle into?

All around, signs. In living, in dying, in the breathing in and the wonder of the morning. This morning, surrounded by the bustle of the world, all creation seems to be singing. That deep darkness of thelenten retreat… even there, the light of the candle has broken into the retreat darkness. Broken in and invited an even deeper dive. That soul moment of belief and wonder at all creation.IMG_7978

There is the wonder of this moment. And so … in the blessing of the dance of sunrise… the dance of renewing days… the dance of slumbering moments… the shift of busy to focused and engaged… the priority of … as a choosing… there is this moment.

In humble forgiveness, I to a friend, put off because I was engaged in busy-ness… and first, to prioritize … this lenten moment. The wonder of shared silence from other practice. That small candle; shared between. The lenten retreat… shared between. Even in lifting up in thought, holding in mind, holding in the breathing of all creation. A gift.

So, this moment of light… now shifted as the tapping of wonder has progressed… it is a gift, this renewal and sharing with … in that renewal, a gift. In gratitude, amen and amen.