WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

IRRESISTIBLE

            There is only one truly irresistible force in my life – the eternal present. Other powers come and go, arise and disappear, seem strong and then dwindle down, but the present is always irrepressibly steady. It’s constantly and permanently right here, right now. There’s no way for me to escape from the Present. (The uppercase ‘P’ seems appropriate.) And if it’s always here, then it’s infinite – without boundaries, limitless. There’s no place where the Present doesn’t exist and have power. The past and future may seem to have separate, persuasive existences, but the truth is that nothing exists – or has power – but the inexorable Present. No doubt it would be good for me to stop resisting this unavoidable, imperative force. It is right here, right now, in all its enchanting ways. The compelling Present is holy ground. Perhaps, like Moses (Exodus 3:5), I should take off my shoes. 

FINDING THE PRESENT 

One day, 
a man found the present. 
It had prepared itself for him 
by holding its usual lights
in its lighthearted way, 
and waving to him 
like it loved him, 
as it always has. 
He held its hand, 
and all of life
lifted up and let itself loose
inside him and out to the stars. 
He stood in silence
and a new and endless sky spread out,
and then another,
and another. 

* below, a scene from Delycia’s garden yesterday – a sparrow atop a sedum blossom, while St. Francis quietly contemplates the birdbath *

And some scenes from a lovely walk yesterday on the Beebe Pond Trail in Groton …

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

COMFORT

            The word ‘comfort’ derives from the Latin word for ‘strength’, and today, with Hurricane Henri hurrying toward us, I need a super kind of strength, and I’m finding it this morning, once again, in some simple words: Spirit is stronger than things.  Henri is a ‘thing’ – a material force of immense material power – but, because it is made strictly of material substance, its force, though very potent, is limited. Its windspeed has maximums, and its duration will be relatively brief as it swirls through New England. Our inner spirit, on the other hand, knows no limits – none. The power of ‘love’, for instance, has no boundaries, and is totally insuperable. No limited, short-lived ‘thing’ like a hurricane has a chance when faced with the power of boundless love. And ‘patience’: what storm, as wild as it might be, can overcome the quiet, unwavering power of patience? What mighty winds can disturb, even slightly, the endless equanimity of patience? And then there’s ‘acceptance’, which, like a bottomless, hospitable ocean, receives with open – and even grateful – arms whatever falls into it, including a howling hurricane called Henri. 

            The never-ending power of inner spirit will be available to me in these coming turbulent days, and I hope I can find strength in that simple, comforting truth.  

Comfort
(what Ellie G., age 42, Blessings, CT, said)

"I always say at least
I have a roof over my head,
and sometimes I see it up there,
the stretching sky, the consecrated stars,
the silent mystery that makes
my life seem small in an illustrious way.
I get comfort from finding strength
in small things, maybe mist among trees,
or the way curtains curl in breezes,
or the sounds of birds that rinse
my mind with songs.  My comfort
comes from the soothing earth,
the simple, reassuring sky."

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

MASTERFUL

         Today I hope to remember, all day, that I am not in command of my life, but that a much greater and higher power is the true ruler of everything. I’m not talking here about the power traditionally called ‘God’ – a supposedly superhuman being who sits somewhere above us and runs the show, both the tragedies and the triumphs. No, the imperious power I’m speaking of is more like an infinite wind than a super-person. Throughout our limitless universe, this non-material, highly skillful ‘wind’ flows and drifts and controls all things, including the infinitesimal but indispensable ‘breeze’ called Hamilton Salsich.  I often laugh to think of my endless efforts to control my life, to be the boss and master of everything, like a wisp of a  breeze trying to supervise the limitless wind. I can imagine the big wind saying to the little breeze, “Hey, relax and let go. I am the captain. I can take you on wondrous adventures today. Just relax and let go and let me do the work.”  I hope to do that today. A masterly force will be always at work, moving me through thoughts and feelings and events the way the boundless wind moves its countless gusts and drafts. A grand adventure awaits me today. I just have to release my hold on the reins and let the immeasurable spiritual ‘wind’ of the universe do its wondrous work. 

ALL IT TAKES  

He saw some branches shaking in a breeze,
and then he understood: the force that frees

the branches isn't in the branches, but in
the breeze itself. The trees receive the spin

and whirl of a wind, and it remakes
their lives. For patient branches, all it takes

is letting breezes do their swirling dance
with them, and soon the branches start to prance.

He saw, like in a dazzling light, that he
could do the same, could be a patient sea

that rolls or sleeps as wisdom blows across
it in the storms of life or in the gentle toss

of daily living.  He saw that he is not the one
who does the work of life, but that the fun

of living comes from letting go and letting
endless spirit do the work. The art of getting

free involves allowing forces larger than
the universe itself to swirl and roll and fan

his life. Like branches in a breeze, he's in
the best of hands, and cannot help but win.