“Life is life. It does not freeze at any time, under any conditions. Life goes on, whatever our consciousness of God. And we with it. We go on grappling with life. We go on growing into awareness. We go on struggling to be worthy of awareness in which we now walk. And we fail often.” -Joan Chittister, Illuminated Life, Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light
“Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!”
Wisdom 11:22-26, 12:1-2
“I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for, but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.”
note: a prayer quoted by Ronald Rolheiser in his book,Forgotten Among the Lilies.
In the internet the prayer is attributed to a Civil War Soldier.
I rise early
believing morning will lift
veil of doubt left the night before.
Certain doors are for negotiations, others
open to a cathedral, I
follow a path to the river
along a street , a row of houses,
lawns, well kept, each
with personal signatures: a statue
of Buddha on a pedestal, a grotto
of Virgin Mary, surrounded
by flowers, a boy,looking
so real, playing with a dog,
a small garden of sand and stones,
each expression has its
own origin, own story, meaning.
Walking creates a clearing
“to engage inquiry with curiosity”
each step, a drop of wisdom,
leading to a place
not for a faint heart.
Will you come with me
visit the Tiger’s Nest
walking the path?
note: I just finished reading an exquisite book, The Hare With Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal.
“We are always putting the pieces together without knowing the picture ahead of time. I have been with many people in times of profound loss and grief when an unsuspected meaning begins to emerge from the fragments of their lives. Over time, this meaning has proven itself to be durable and trustworthy, even transformative. It is a kind of strength that never comes to those who deny their pain.”-Rachel Naomi Remen
note: excerpts from Kitchen Table Wisdom,VI Embracing Life, by Rachel Naomi Remen. She relates a story about the relationship of putting together a jigsaw puzzle and life.
I can’t say I know
with deep certitude
I want to know
what I do not know
How to know
what I think I know
a long road, I only begin
to make the first step
and, there is, how to see
and pay attention.
“there is much I’m happy to forget”
-illness as a metaphor.
I have to learn
new ways of survival
I can’t drip in and out of doubt
-fortitude to hold one’s ground.
photo: the river trail that connects Kennedy Park to Downtown Napa. The trail I walk when I’m sorting out algorithm in my head.
There are sounds of triumph
and self-absorbing uncertainty
an extravagance to think
one can isolate ones thoughts
to sublime things, tame
from galloping or falling away.
“In the desert
when a light turns off
stars increase in the universe.”
Forty days and forty nights
the eternal questions
To succumb or endure
hunger, thirst or pain
will not make days holy
Who are those
we know and love
can help us in any way?
Whispers turns into whirlwind,
perplexing, vast, timeless,
When a picture will not suffice.
”A loving heart is the truest wisdom.”
from: Charles Dickens