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.

Hubris

Hubris

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.

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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…IMG_8047

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.

1CD2543C-6B94-490D-A751-D19CC95F8B11_1_201_aSeeing 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.img_3093

Acts 8:26-40
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.

A Sacred Sunday Morning

# 04-26-2020 A Sacred… Sunday Morning…

The air smells like the Russian River in summer. The compressed heat, cool for the moment, ready to turn on the after-burners… in a while. In a while. In the yard, the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow blooms in profusion. The Jays play and cavort. Their tilt head look of … “… and what do we have here?” As they dance along my walking route.

BAA10EEA-18B6-4A95-ADB1-87DC3A990951_1_201_aThe ancient bones of the house gift the upstairs bathroom with the smells of long ago, my youth, as a child visiting the grandparents. Bones that in human years are ancient, in house years are ‘pretty old’, in relationship to all time… a blip… perhaps a half a blip… for the moment, ancient feels a comfort.

Faces and voices zoom down the hall. The office is full of project. The slow recycle of paper, ancient in relation to projects. Twenty five drafts of one chapter of a paper that was written, now four or five years ago… dusted in the filing cabinet. The final paper, part of a public document, a policy document so… it will live in the minutes of a meeting in front of some body… as long as that body is a functioning library of its work… how funny to have stuffed the drafts in a file and … kept, because, well you never know. The knowing that went into the paper has moved far down the river. And, as I was reading the framing from that then, I was and am struck by how far my thinking has come since that day.

Foundations crumble. Those ancient stalwarts who, with voices of thunder, call out importance. Foundations crumble. In the crumbling, so many opportunities to build anew. In the cacophony of the crashing… a path revealed…

Reading again, an old favorite author. A little story of plague. The moments… recognition, standard engagement, a breach of the standard, a collapse of the rigor, sudden emergence of possible path, complete fatigue, demoralization, overt anger and1CD2543C-6B94-490D-A751-D19CC95F8B11_1_201_a demands for the crumpled frame to provide as advertised…, the ironic turn of phrase that castigates ‘other’, frustrated words of human frailty, demand for help, wailing for help, voices of ‘help thy self’, many voices speaking, many voices shouting, in many corners, graceful care, one, two, three… in overwhelming corners, graceful care… And then, a sunrise where, all is changed and in the sun breaking through the passing storm, those voices, still in great Greek Choir raised… now is the new day. In that new day, a cycle of integration, yet again. This, the great run on… it is not a closure, it is an integration.

When a great strife has painted the whole of the earth… then there, in the cracks, the new integration comes again, and again, and again. The moments… and again.

In the thinking chair, in the black and white… knowing the colors and seeing the great relief in the black and white… now the integration. Changed yet still many voices… Experts humbled, workers raised up, information aplenty… and now, as a symphony… from cacophony, the score invites a conversation. In that conversation, each day, a new integration. Enough. And enough…

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

Of a dawning…

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Those days when… the isms of my own mind invite some to put away all of their sharp objects. … Others, those of communion, know that the path of thought and thinking … may be curious. And, also know that a conversation or breaking the bread…

The twisted narrative of a tangle… deep winding over this or that… a spider tangle… wrapping all about … that narrative is one of limit and or… perhaps not. The … narrative of tied up in knots. The… narrative of a collapse. The… narrative of … something that is beyond understanding; and yet is also … just over there, in linked, connected moment… just over there.IMG_8095

The blended moment as the light of a candle… lit in dark cave… now, as lent comes to an end… the invitation to move, as light, out into the world. The retreat is … made and now the movement is …

A candle, lit in deep darkness… As the darkest hour before dawn… This is lenten retreat. Image speaks. The tangle … seen from a distance as a capture… yet, from the inner place of linkage… it is a great weaving of all creation.

All creation. A blessing.IMG_8102

 

Lent 37

“…’‘He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?’Others were saying, ‘These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’…” John 10:19-42

Narrative Riptide and Shifting Tides

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Listening to the narrative of so many. Voices speaking in the best and of ways … the life experience of so much narrative. Tides running this way and that… Rolling over, pulling under… the twisting rip of tide. A story made up for me … then a narrative of life experience as lived. The two, at times as a rip across a rising or receding tide.

Waking one morning, butt in chair, writing. Writing as a spilling waterfall. The fingers dancing over the keys and, as water, filling up and spilling over. Pouring as story. Pouring in narrative. Pouring down the steep mountain side and splashing in the rising and receding sea.IMG_8081

That same sea, slow tide rising, slow tide receding. In cycle with moon and sun… in cycle with spinning earth. Caps melting. Caps forming… a different sequence of tide. Belching gases… increase and decrease tide. The livingness of all creation… in pulse of tide. This sea narrative. This belching narrative. This caps forming and caps melting narrative. The heat of the air… making of a blast in storm… yet another narrative. A child born… a narrative. A dying down … another narrative. The experience of this or that… each a narrative. These tides of narrative… rip, and shift…

An image of sudden taking up. The story, laid down in years of telling. Suddenly in a living person, taken up. No longera story told … this moment a story lived. That narrative taken up. In the rising tide of taken up…

So, in this musing, the narrative of a breath taken. The narrative of a breath let out. The beating heart. The ticking clock… each sweep… another narrative. And all, the cacophony…

Should. Would. Could. In this moment, the still small voice speaks yes/and. A hand offered. A greeting of morning. A moment of uplifting as the altar of the world is in view. A prayer. A blessing. A giving of thanks. In these narratives… each a short story … a poem in a greater and lesser tide…

So the laying down and the taking up… in a moment of humble muse… the tides are calmed and run along in grand dance. In grand dance… even the rip is of a rising and receding tide. A rising and a receding… as a song, a psalm, a prayer… in still small voice. In a living moment. In all creation. Amen.IMG_8048

Lent 36

“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again.” John 10:1-18

… 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.

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.

Riffing on the wind

03-30-19 Riffing on the wind.

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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?

IMG_7951The 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,IMG_7947 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.

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