Blue Lines

By | Asking the Question, Current Issues, Nonviolence, Poetry, Saying the Unsayable, Social Justice, Spirituality, Uncategorized | No Comments

Seeing the blue line appear under my words
as I type
I wonder who is keeping me in line,
telling me forthrightly I have misspelled a word
Telling me how to say something differently
When maybe what I am saying is how I want to say it.
Can I go on and leave the line there?
Going boldly where no one has gone before
into an unknown future?

Who is seeding the world with this correctness?
Is there a master-mind?
A data collector?
An algorithm?
How many errors will I be allowed before
my Microsoft Word is shutdown
and I am hauled off to sit again in spelling class?
Fingered to be re-grammered?

Blue lines are appearing everywhere,
Not just on my screen,
but on the streets,
dressed in riot gear
holding batons
Faces shielded.
They seem to mean business.

Blue lines have got me wondering.

Now Here Is Something Very Simple

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Now here is something very simple.
I bear within me both the finite and the infinite.
I live in time and eternity.
I will die and I never will die.
I am in God and God is in me,
And this has always been so
And is so with everything and everyone.
Since God is One we are all one in God.

And here is something else that is very simple.
To see like this is to see with contemplative eyes.
The contemplative speaks the truth about God and God’s creation.
But not everyone sees the truth.
Even though we all are looking for the truth, it alludes us.
But this truth is not relative.
It is real truth.

We have yet to awaken to the truth, to live in this higher consciousness.
Pilate asks, “What is truth?”
The truth of the matter before him is that Jesus and he are one.
But Pilate cannot see that.
He is a victim of imperial thinking.
He is a victim of the real “fake news.”

Everything said that does not in some way flow from the truth of our oneness
Is ”fake news.”
We swirl around in fake news hurling judgment and condemnation
Trying to get the upper hand and maintain it.
Fake news is the lie on which empires come and go.
And what is imperial power but the lie of our separateness
Lived out on a grand scale with all the isms that give rise to empire:
Racism, sexism, militarism, consumerism, tribalism, and to all the ways
Some lord it over others.

And here is something else that is very simple to understand
But very hard to implement.
The contemplative vision is the Good News.
The Good News is the real news.
It is the news that gives birth to the Reign of God.
To envision us all as one is the bedrock of the Reign of God.
It is the beginning of wisdom.
Every single action founded in wisdom
Contributes to a just world and a peaceful world.
The simplicity of the Good News lies in a contemplative vision.
To get free of the cycle of fake news we need contemplative eyes.

Sharings from the Lectio

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The Lectio

Do you think you can only find God in one way? Then, consider this. You cannot find God in any particular way, since God isn’t bound to this way or that. So, don’t desire the way, but rather the One who is the way, and when you do this, you’ll find that every way leads to God because every way is God. But you will only come to know this if you truly abandon yourself. Meister Eckhart

Sharings from the Lectio

When we are nothing,
There is nothing but God.
And anything else is ourself at work–
Our personal salvation project.

Take up your cross and relax.
Fully let go
So that God can inhabit the soul,
Which God longs to do.
When you cling to nothing,
Everything is for you.

Rather than take a walk,
Give yourself to a walk.
In fact, give yourself to the silence,
To the Love in the silence.

And I don’t know who said this,
“If God is with us in trouble,
Then give me more trouble.”

The Dent in the New Dryer

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If you were standing there
After the delivery men left
You might have thought
Only a dent-less dryer would ever make me happy,
Agonizing as I was over a dent, hardly noticeable
On the top left hand corner, right at the crease.
It fit in like it was made that way.
But not for me, the one who discovers–
If it is to be found–
Imperfection in anything newly purchased.
It kills me over and over.

I call my wife, “Can you see this,” I ask.
“this dent?”
“I wouldn’t have, if you hadn’t pointed it out,” she says.

“Well, It’s a dent in a new machine.
And it shouldn’t be there.” I say.
We paid good money for a dentless version. And here’s a dent.
And don’t we regularly end up with
Something imperfect? Damn!
Whatever happened to Quality Control?
“You can hardly see it,” she says.
“I can see it even when I’m not looking at it.”
“Even when I’m in another room
I see it in my mind’s eye, and it seriously bothers me.
I’m going to call and get a new one delivered.”
“Why don’t you sleep on it?”
“I can’t sleep with this dented dryer in the house.”

Next morning I call and set up delivery for a new dentless dryer.
The kids come over on Sunday, enter through the mud room,
Admire the new machine and see nothing of any dents.
While I am out walking the dog, my wife points it out.
“Oh my God,” they say. “We never would have noticed. It fits right in.”
And when I return, they tell me in their own kind way, I’m crazy.

I am–crazy that is.
I drive myself crazy.
I’ll be the first to admit it.

There’s a lesson here I have yet to learn.
One I kinda’ already know, deep down– life’s imperfect, basically messy.
It’s a lesson that keeps on giving, keeps hitting me in the face,
and I keep fighting back.
If I am going to learn it,
I know that this dryer needs to be here in this house.
A new one will only prolong the suffering–
needing it all to be perfect before I can be happy.
Because it never will be so.

This lesson,
If it is to be learned,
Is one more small death
On the way to dying before dying.

Once I was building porch stairs for a friend and mentor and
I made a mistake that would have been hard to correct–
An inch off the width between the stringers from top to bottom;
And the treads and risers already on.
I realized it when I put the railings on.
and they tilted in slightly.
Save for a practiced eye, it could not be noticed.
I pointed it out to him, meaning to fix it.
At my expense, if I must.
“No problem,” he said, “I like when things aren’t perfect.”

That was years ago, I’m still learning that lesson.
The next day I called and cancelled the new improved dryer.
“I’ll live with it,” I thought.

Nine months later I hardly think about it.


By | Contemplation, Contemplative Journey, Contemporary Issues, Mysticism, Natural World, Nature, Poetry, Spirituality, Uncategorized | One Comment

I am a pilgrim
Walking by the light of the moon
In and out of shadows
Having to peer into the darkness,
To see at all.

Beckoned, I am
Urged to keep on the journey
To Press on
Knowing only dimly
And not to depend on better words.

My beating heart is a lantern,
Sure and faithful hope,
Nothing more.
Therein is the union
which claims me
An infinite horizon
Of dawning light
A smile of sunrise and cool morning

Even as it illuminates
Another day of shouting and swords
Which thrive in the afternoon glare
The heat of certitude
The holding of ground
The standing there,
The giving up of walking,
The desiring only to sleep
in the night.

Heart’s Pondering

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Thoughts Inspired by My Reading of The Way of Paradox, by Cyprian Smith
(By Way of Trying to Understand What He is Saying)

In the emptiness of my chamber,
Which is my soul,
The Ground of my being,
The Word sounds as an echo.
This withinness of God in me
IS God in me,
Because there is no longer
Anything of me in me.
And I see out with God’s eyes,
Look upon the world as other,
Yet wholly me.

(“I am not God, but I am
not other than God.”)*

If I am to pray at all,
I must say, God, empty me
Of what is false, illusory,
Unreal, so that your Word,
Continually sounding, may
Sound in me. My I give birth
In being emptied of all that is false,
To what wants to be born in me
Of You.

Prepare the home of my heart
As if it were a womb able to
Receive the seed of the Word
Sown in the universe, falling always
To the ground, sometimes on the path
Where it is trodden upon, sometimes
On the hardness of the rocks, and scorched
In the blazing sun, sometimes
Amidst the thorns where it is choked.
May I be fertile ground for you to spring
Up and yield a hundredfold. (Mark 4:1-9)

“What is the spiritual life?”, one may ask.
It is hospitality of the heart, detachment,
An empty space ready to be filled
With an echo of God’s Word.

And then I am reminded of those
Evil spirits, the roaming false self,
cast out and
Seeking once again a place to inhabit, (Luke 11:24-26)
and I say, “In prayer,
Do not ask for an empty heart
Until you have tasted God’s sweetness
And desire nothing else.”
Yet, we must ask for an empty heart
So that God’s sweetness
Already filling the universe
Can fill the space with its fragrance.

*James Finley

You Can Be the One Astounded

By | Contemplation, Poetry, Spirituality, Uncategorized | No Comments

Having said goodbye to you
I close my eyes
And begin the sacred journey.

I am here
Thinking once again of death.

But more, I am thinking of life,
Thoughts of death
being more about life:
Memories that could easily
Bring me to tears,
Rememberings lodging
In the heart.

In meeting God
Face to face
I know I will see God
Rushing from the farmhouse porch
With an embrace
A ring, a robe, sandals.
So joyful a return
A banquet set.

“We made it together,
Didn’t we? I so love you.
Come see your family and friends,
They’re waiting.

And do not judge yourself
Worthy or not. Let me be
The One first forgiving,
The One with the short memory,
Let me be the One who takes every life
And weaves it into song.

You can be the one astounded.”


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The day is sunny,
“But will it last?” we ask.
And hope says,
“No matter,
even if the clouds return,
The sun will shine again.”

“How do you know this?” we ask.
And hope replies,
“Do you remember?”

Anchors as Reminders (Part II)

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Life in the Spirit. When we speak of God’s presence, we include the Father who is for us, the Son who is with us, and the Spirit who is within us. We participate in this Reality through the generosity of God who made us and lives in us completely as God.  And as God does everything only in love; we are made in love, and actually have God’s heart and mind within us. And so it follows that God is consciousness within us.  God knows in us. And when our True Self is fully manifested, we are the compassion of God, the love of God for the world.

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Anchors as Reminders (Part I)

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I find that I need anchors, some key concepts, metaphors, that act as reminders of Reality for me.  Otherwise I tend to forget, or just get plain fuzzy and seem to lose my bearings.  So I need these reminders that connect me back to God, to my Source, and to Life itself; basically to everything. These are faith-based affirmations rooted in my image of God as “the one who is  able to give only love and who withholds nothing from us of Godself; the one in whom there is no condemnation.”  Here are some of my anchors.

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