Tag Archive | Religion and Spirituality

New Day

IMG_0978

There are days

When the effort

To rise from my bed

Is almost too much

The warm sheets

The blankets

Wrap me in dreams

Too sweet to leave

But the sun

Shines through

My window now.

And a bird sings

A familiar melody.

So I drag my bones

Up to greet

A new day.

Advertisements

Bones

Sometimes the images from old poems come to me.  Changed over time of course. dry bones

Dry Bones – Images from Ezekiel 37 (written in April 2004)

My bones know,
Underneath it all,
Within.
I have lived
In the valley of the dry bones,
Waiting for the four winds to blow,
For the holy breath.
Dry bones
Fragile and hard
Spin through the dance
As the rain falls.
Bones rattling to life
Spring is coming.
Praise God.
The Bones Now (June 2018)

These bones are old now

Dry as the desert again
Cracked with wear
The joints creak
From lack of youth
But they have danced
Rattling with laugher
While the rain washed over us
Spring and summer
Fall and winter
These bones
Have seen it all.
They will carry on
As long as the Spirit
Shall dwell within

Of the Earth

redwoodgrove

In my years on this planet

I have found a few

Things that are true.

We are of the earth.

Our bodies are one

With the seas and the mountains.

If we could stand as straight

As the tallest redwoods

Still our roots would bind us

Close to the ground.

 

Like the earth itself,

Our bodies alter

With the seasons,

Eroded by time

Challenged by change.

May we rock gently in the winds

That blow around us.

May we keep our hearts open

To the warmth and promise

Of each new day.

 

 

Shrinking, Growing

IMG_0033

 

Am I shrinking

Or am I growing?

Both I think.

 

Outside I am changing

Slowly but surely

Reclaiming a shape

That will serve me better.

At least that’s the plan

 

The lavish blooms

Have faded

Winters have been hard.

Small seeds planted

Carefully

Might grow

To just the right size

 

Tend the ground

Tend your soul

Resurrection

Regeneration

Only takes

A miracle

Of mindfulness.

I believe

In miracles.

 

 

 

 

 

Intentions (for white people)

The road to hell may not be paved

But it is covered with the guano

Of our so-called good intentions

It’s a seagull shit so white

It covers the awareness

Of the pain we cause

By our fragility

 

If we slip and slide and blunder

And get bumps and bruises

On our egos

It is a small price to pay

So much smaller than the pain

Our ignorance has caused

 

Spirit give us the strength

To lean into the learning

May there be no rest

For the wicked

May there be healing

For the harm the “good” have done

Absolution will come later

If we can find together

A pathway to paradise

For all the hurting souls

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Bread (Week 4)

IMG_1945

This is a medically supervised program, which is a good thing because although I feel just fine, my lab results last week indicated my potassium level is now a bit high.  Balance is everything, right?  Potassium, one of the body’s electrolytes is problematic if it either too high or too low.  Medications can affect the level, and I am have been taking two that can cause the retention of potassium.   One is for blood pressure and the other is naproxen, which I take for knee pain.  Add that to a severely restricted calorie intake, one which contains the amount of potassium a non-medicated body needs, trouble was on its way “right here in river city.”  When I got the lab results, I did some research and stopped taking the naproxen.  I had already scheduled a cortisone shot for my knee (today) so what was a little pain for a few days if it could get my potassium level back down to the normal range?  Pain, however, can increase blood pressure, so when that was checked last night, it was way higher than my normal.  When one thing is out of balance, everything else is affected, something that is just true about life.   I’ll be checking my blood pressure more frequently and we are redoing the potassium blood test, but it was upsetting. Here I am trying to get healthier and some things are getting worse!  Is this justice?  Is this fair?

I know the answer to those questions, and the answer is, of course, “no.”

I am grateful for the doctors and the support of our weekly group, and I am trying to keep focused on the moon, not the nagging little fingers of stress at the ups and downs of this process.  If you don’t understand the moon/finger references, there is an old Buddhist story that I thought of today.  The teacher stood very still and pointed at the moon, but all of his students focused on the tip of his pointing finger.

 

Keep your gaze on the moon.

No matter the distractions

No matter how low the valleys

Or how high the mountains

We must climb

Bend your mind

Your heart your spirit

Toward the golden guide

That rises in the night

23f405750cd9334e86b7139b7b5f27b8

 

L’Chaim!

(My stats for last week: down 4.4 pounds (total to date +12.1), drank 7 gallons of water, and exercised for 390 minutes – mainly swimming)

Daily Bread (Week 3 Day 5)

IMG_1945

Bread

Bread is made

From simple things

Flour, water, yeast,

A dash of salt.

Not so simple

Is the work involved

Mixing, kneading,

Forming into loaves

Adding patience

In good measure

A warm beginning

Then a trial by fire

Creating a strong crust

To keep from getting stale.

 

000ea37f-800

I wonder at myself sometimes.  Choosing “Daily Bread” as a blogging title seems a rather strange choice at a time when I am not eating bread. Bread will also doubtless stay on the list of foods that I won’t ever eat daily, if at all.  “Give us our daily bread,” the prophet Jesus prayed, but he must have been talking about more than the bread that can feed the hungry.  He broke the bread and called us to a path that just might sustain our lives.  I don’t believe in transubstantiation, but I do believe in transformation.

Mix it up

Pound it on the table

Put it in a bowl to rise

Bake it in the oven

Create a miracle

Knowing

Miracles take work.

Trout

14616608345_25ff0063ff_b

A trout is at its best

Swimming upstream

The sun shining

On its rainbow scales

Around and over

Huge boulders

And the snags

Of fallen trees.

Strong trout

Brave trout

Let me swim with you

Carry me toward

The lake

Where we all

Will be reborn.

 

Pencil Thin

 

IMG_1949

Pencils are thin

But people aren’t

Sticks and stones cause damage

And words hurt too

Even when hiding

Behind a smile

 

Every body

Belongs to someone

Remember to feed it

Respect, acceptance

Love.

Amen.

Daily Bread (Week 1 Day 2)

IMG_1945

I got through day 1 just fine: an off and on headache and some mild nausea.  The water was the biggest challenge.  I drank almost the recommended gallon of water, but going to the bathroom constantly was not fun.  I swam for 40 minutes.  I wasn’t all that grumpy with Anne, which has been one of my fears.  I remember how horrible I was when quitting smoking and did not want to repeat that behavior.  OK, I was grumpy this morning when she was stressing about something before I had my 2 cups of black coffee.  Then again, I am always grumpy before my coffee.  She may not agree about my relative grumpiness.

Any change involves feelings of loss and of grief.  It is part of why change is so hard.  Part of what I need to keep telling myself that what is changing is my lifestyle – not the essence of who I am.  (And please tell that to the congregants who can freak out with any minor change to their liturgy. )

Two poems from years past about being a large woman:

Taking Up Space (2004)

I am a large woman

And I need some space.

The world is not big enough

Sometimes.

Sharp elbows jutting, jabbing

The smaller people

Push by with impatience.

Their looks of disgust

Try to cut me down to size.

I don’t feel crowded

By other fat people,

Even in a small space.

Our round bodies bump

Pleasantly together

With a jiggling, Jello-pudding ease.

Comfortable.

Earth mother goddess,

Welcoming, warm, and wise.

Ah.

Funny how someone so big

Can feel so invisible.

Yes, EXTRA large

Is way too small.

Really.

I don’t want to feel small

Simply because I am

What someone else thinks is

Way too big.

I am a large woman

And I need some space.

I want to grow larger still

Spirit filling my body  – and more

Flowing out, around.

Free.

Divine spirit,

Larger than all imagination,

Teach us how to bump more gently

Into one another.

May our spirits flow

Around the sharp edges,

Around the rude elbows

That jab us apart.

We are large souls

And we need some space

To be

Together.

 

A Larger Ministry (2014)

I am a large woman

It is a good thing.

As a minister

My shoulders must be wide

When people need them

To absorb their tears.

My arms must open up

To create a safe space

To hold the fearful

Close to my body

In a strong embrace.

If I could only be

Even larger

My giant heart

Might beat a rhythm

Loud enough

Just loud enough

To teach this hurting world

The joy of the dance.

 

No matter what size we are in body, may our spirits be as large as the infinite universe.