I like words.

RSS
Mar 3

This beautiful chant comes from the Taizé Community. I had the privilege of learning (and playing on violin) many Taizé songs in Seminary. They continue to guide my prayer life and provide spiritual protection (oh dear, I’m talking like a Pentecostal now!) throughout my day.

Original German:
Behüte mich, Gott;
Ich vertraue dir.
Du zeigst mir den Weg zum Leben.
Bei dir ist Freude, Freude in Fülle.

English translation:
Keep me safe, O God;
for I trust in you.
You show me the path of life.
With you there is joy, joy in all fullness.

There is a faith in loving fiercelythe one who is rightfully yours,especially if you havewaited years and especiallyif part of you never believedyou could deserve thisloved and beckoning handheld out to you this way.  … and if you wantedto drown you could,but you don’tbecause finallyafter all the struggleand all the years,you don’t want to any more,you’ve simply had enoughof drowning and you want to live and youwant to love and you willwalk across any territoryand any darkness,however fluid and howeverdangerous, to take theone hand you knowbelongs in yours. from “The True Love” by David Whyte

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

… and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all the struggle
and all the years,
you don’t want to any more,
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning

and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness,
however fluid and however
dangerous, to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

from “The True Love” by David Whyte

Since my house burned down,I have a better view of the rising moon.—Basho

Since my house burned down,
I have a better view of the rising moon.
Basho

Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.

— Simone Weil

“That is how life goes — we send our children into the wilderness.
Some of them on the day they are born, it seems, for all the help we can give them.
Some of them seem to be a kind of wilderness unto themselves.

But there must be angels there, too, and springs of water. Even that wilderness, the very habitation of jackals, is the Lord’s.”

—Marilynne Robinson

"She felt so old, so worn out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst, and only then did she discover how much she missed the whiff of oregano on the porch and the smell of the roses at dusk. Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia. The need to feel sad was becoming a vice as the years eroded her. She became human in her solitude.”

—Gabriel García Márquez

"She felt so old, so worn out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst, and only then did she discover how much she missed the whiff of oregano on the porch and the smell of the roses at dusk. Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia. The need to feel sad was becoming a vice as the years eroded her. She became human in her solitude.”

—Gabriel García Márquez

Advent

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss —
This is true: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction —
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever —
This is true: For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world —
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted,
who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers.
This is true: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your young shall see visions, and your old shall have dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for the liberation of humanity, for justice, human dignity, and
peace are not meant for this earth and for this history —
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice.
Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ — the Life of the world.

from “Ocean Drive”

(Personal Note: I’ve been saving up these words for a little while now. Apologies for the long hiatus.)

In the end we all have to lie down.
If I’m lucky you’ll touch my hand and I’ll remember
all the good you have done me and your beauty—
no one was more beautiful, your wet black hair, your hands full of roses.

Miriam Levine

 When she was still alive We would go out, arm in arm, And look at the elm trees Growing on the embankment In front of our house.
 Their branches were interlaced. Their crowns were dense with spring leaves. They were like our love.
 Love and trust were not enough to turn back The wheels of life and death. She faded like a mirage over the desert. One morning like a bird she was gone In the white scarves of death.
 Now when the child Whom she left in her memory Cries and begs for her, All I can do is pick him up And hug him clumsily.
 I have nothing to give him.
 In our bedroom our pillows Still lie side by side, As we lay once. I sit there by myself And let the days grow dark. I lie awake at night, sighing till daylight.
 No matter how much I mourn I shall never see her again.
 They tell me her spirit May haunt Mount Hagai Under the eagles’ wings. I struggle over the ridges And climb to the summit. I know all the time That I shall never see her, Not even so much as a faint quiver in the air.
 All my longing, all my love Will never make any difference.

—Hitomaro

 When she was still alive
 We would go out, arm in arm,
 And look at the elm trees
 Growing on the embankment
 In front of our house.


 Their branches were interlaced.
 Their crowns were dense with spring leaves.
 They were like our love.


 Love and trust were not enough to turn back
 The wheels of life and death.
 She faded like a mirage over the desert.
 One morning like a bird she was gone
 In the white scarves of death.


 Now when the child
 Whom she left in her memory
 Cries and begs for her,
 All I can do is pick him up
 And hug him clumsily.


 I have nothing to give him.


 In our bedroom our pillows
 Still lie side by side,
 As we lay once.
 I sit there by myself
 And let the days grow dark.
 I lie awake at night, sighing till daylight.


 No matter how much I mourn
 I shall never see her again.


 They tell me her spirit
 May haunt Mount Hagai
 Under the eagles’ wings.
 I struggle over the ridges
 And climb to the summit.
 I know all the time
 That I shall never see her,
 Not even so much as a faint quiver in the air.


 All my longing, all my love
 Will never make any difference.

Hitomaro

Just live your life as it comes.  Keep quietly alert, inquiring into the real nature of yourself.  Perception is based on memory and is only imagination.  The world can be said to appear but not to be.  Only that which makes perception possible is real. You agree to be guided from within and life becomes a journey into the unknown.  Give up all names and forms, and the Real is with you.  Know yourself as you are. Distrust your mind and go beyond.  Do not think of the Real in terms of consciousness and unconsciousness.  It is utterly beyond both.  It gives birth to consciousness.  All else is in consciousness.[…]You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility. Because you are, all can be. The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become. You are neither consciousness nor its content. You are the timeless Source. Disassociate yourself from mind and consciousness. Find a foothold beyond and all will be clear and easy. —Nisargadatta Maharaj

Just live your life as it comes. 
Keep quietly alert, inquiring into the real nature of yourself. 
Perception is based on memory and is only imagination. 
The world can be said to appear but not to be. 
Only that which makes perception possible is real. You agree to be guided from within and life becomes a journey into the unknown. 
Give up all names and forms, and the Real is with you. 
Know yourself as you are. Distrust your mind and go beyond. 
Do not think of the Real in terms of consciousness and unconsciousness. 
It is utterly beyond both. 
It gives birth to consciousness. 
All else is in consciousness.

[…]

You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility.
Because you are, all can be.
The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become.
You are neither consciousness nor its content.
You are the timeless Source.
Disassociate yourself from mind and consciousness.
Find a foothold beyond and all will be clear and easy.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sailing on Lake Superior

Before us now the edge of the earth,
below us the nearly endless cold.
Around us nothing but shimmering water,
the miles of empty and sparkling blue.

For a few hours, the sail fills on
toward infinity. Shadows of
our delicate bodies ebb and flow
across the deck of our delicate boat.

What if the beautiful days, the good
and pacific temperate moments,
weren’t just lovely, but everything?
What if I could let it fall away
in the wake, that ache to extract
meaning from vastness?

Let this suffice; the ease of thinking
it all goes on, whether we’re here
to see it or not. The splashing waves,
the suntipped gulls arcing across
the radiant world.

—Kirsten Dierking

oh god it’s wonderful
to get out of bed
and drink too much coffee
and smoke too many cigarettes
and love you so much.
—Frank O’Hara

oh god it’s wonderful

to get out of bed

and drink too much coffee

and smoke too many cigarettes

and love you so much.

Frank O’Hara

Jun 5
“I will make a palace fit for you and me Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson

“I will make a palace fit for you and me
Of green days in forests and blue days at sea.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Jun 5

I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.

— Charlotte Brontë

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”  - Robert A. Heinlein

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
- Robert A. Heinlein