November 30th, 2009

oregon, willamette, 1 proxy falls

Contemplation -

For me, it again feels like the beginning of a new year, a setting of a new tone. I light a candle each night, even as I welcome and honor each sunrise and sunset. The light this time of year is rich; all is clear. Things that seemed far away come close. The air sparkles with gold. Since my birthday I've seen a multitude of shooting stars and rainbows. Now, I learn that February 14 begins the year of the Tiger. It is the Chinese New Year. So, we leave the year of the Ox, for the year of the Tiger. How exciting is that!

I am continuing to read The Measure of My Days, One Woman's Vivid, Enduring Celebration of Life and Aging by Florida Scott-Maxwell. Actually I am not reading it, so much as tasting one little bit and resting with it for days. I recommend this book!!! It is a treasure.

I would like to quote a long passage, but will give a little taste.

"The enchantment of the sky, ever changing beauty almost ignored. Beyond words, without fixed form, not to be understood, or stated. It ravishes away dullness, worry, even pain. It graces life when nothing else does. It is the first marvel of the day. Even when leaden gray it is still a friend, withdrawn for a time."

Of course, she is talking about the day sky. Day or night, we have that support of sky, steady as our breath.
goldsworthy - branch

fragility -

I go back and forth on how much we can live with the awareness of death. If we imagine this is our last moment, is that crippling, almost paralyzing, or is it stimulating? How much are we able to encompass in each moment? Perhaps that is my intent of late, to encompass as much as I can, to hold it like a bouquet, love, hate, misunderstanding, anger, love, love, love, and then, sit centered in the pollen, anchored where the pistil, stamen, and stem meet. I love the idea of becoming the fruit, living in protection of the seed.

This morning I was to walk with a friend. We often meet early for a walk at Tennessee Valley. This time of year it is cold, and the animals aren't even awake. She called me this morning to inform me that her daughter just woke and found her roommate dead. This is all I know. She was on her way out the door to help.

How often do we go to bed with that old childhood prayer on our lips? Sometimes I actually do. Maybe I am more aware than I think, I realize, as I sit here.

With the book, The Measure of My Days, by Florida Scott-Maxwell, I just let it fall open. This is where it opens now.

"It has taken me all the time I've had to become myself, yet now that I am old there are times when I feel I am barely here, no room for me at all. I remember that in the last months of my pregnancies the child seemed to claim almost all my body, my strength, my breath, and I held on wondering if my burden was my enemy, uncertain as to whether my life was all mine. Is life a pregnancy? That would make death a birth."

May it be so!

Prayers today for my friend, her family, and the family of the roommate of her daughter. Prayer and Peace!

alan - joshua tree bloom

Beginning -

I keep thinking it is to notice each moment, beginning and end, and also the blend. Perhaps it is to enjoy being beginners, each moment "new." It is to live like a child.

Thomas Merton:

One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of the life of prayer and meditation unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience himself as one who knows little or nothing, and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments. Those who think they "know" from the beginning will never, in fact, come to know anything.

Thomas Merton. Contemplative Prayer (New York: Doubleday): 37.

We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!

Contemplative Prayer: 37.