Thursday, November 17, 2022

Being Human

Each face had a long time in the womb to decide
How much it would let worldly things affect it,
How often it would turn toward the wall or the woods,
I it didn’t have to be seen, how much
It would give in, how stubbornly it would
Hold its own.
                                           From “Looking at Aging Faces,” Robert Bly
I am human.
Worldly things have affected me.
I’ve acted in ways I wish I hadn’t.
I have skeletons in my closet—maybe not big ones
but there are some there.
They may not shock others, but they rattle
now and then to remind me
I am human.
Times I gave in, times I should have spoken up,
drawn the line, held firm. Stubbornness
has its pitfalls and its benefits.
I’ve held on when I might’ve let go
and saved myself, made a new start.
I’m still learning, still not always sure
how to choose, what to do, who I am.
Being human is a lifelong process.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Marveling at the Mundane

When things are stressful in the world around us (and aren’t they always) and it is tempting to think the world is in danger, I find it helpful to think about all the ordinary things that bring me joy and remind me that there is more that is good than there is evil.

Here are some things that have been causing me to marvel lately:

·       the sound of wind in the trees, and the ways it sounds different in pines than in deciduous trees

·       the way sunlight makes one tree’s orange leaves pop in a thicket of trees

·       the soft, sweet, sort of creepy song of a white throated sparrow

·       the different ways leaves fall—some spin like whirly-gigs, some roll like a barrel rolling downhill, and others float slowly to the ground

·       the way a large hawk can fly through thick woods without running into branches

What are you seeing or hearing that makes you marvel? Can you make a list, either written or in your head, of these things so that when you feel anxious, they can remind you of the simple, mundane goodness that is always all around us?

Feel free to share in a comment your marvelous mundane moments of joy. When we see what brings joy to each other, it improves our own ability to find the marvelous in the mundane.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A Prayer of Longing and Contentment

I need no more, I have

everything I need. Contentment

is a blessing, a gift. Yet I want

to grow, to know you better, God,

and to know myself better too.

You are always with me, and I am

always with me, yet both shrouded

in mystery. I get distracted, but

deep down, the waters are still,

cool, and teeming with life.

I long to go there, to enter

the depths of my heart, and yours.

I want to know why tears come,

why the sight of clouds against

blue sky swells my heart, why the

touch of another lingers in my mind.

I want direction when I’m aimless.

I want to hear my soul sing.