Friday, January 30, 2015

Celebrating Grace

7:19 AM

I am in the rocker at the window with a glorious mug of caffeinated goodness...the proportions fell just so and settled into a fullness beyond the average...A nice morning for that to have happened, too--today is the fourth anniversary of my final vows.

And here I am, celebrating this life in Canada...who'd have known? When I think of all that has happened since that moment--or period--was a time of conversion and coming together and moving forward all wrapped up into your absolute grace... Thank you for that. Thank you for This.

Four years ago, I made "final vows"--but now, as I look back and look in a mirror and look ahead, it could be that they weren't "final" in the conventional sense...but rather a lifelong commitment to Beginning. Beginning with Yes. Beginning where I am with the cumulation of experiences that have brought me there. Beginning, setting out, open and free and curious. Beginning, attentive and 'lista' (ready and intelligent)... Beginning kindly, with compassion and understanding and "alegria profunda" (deep joy) to my own humanity and responding to what and to whom I encounter as you would have me and inspire me to respond...

Beginning while promising to follow Jesus Christ more closely in the Society of the Sacred Heart... Vowed to simplicity...vowed to "...letting go enough, loosening until/ it no longer matters or is possible to know/ spark from fire from sunrise/ and whether the glow is inside or out." (from Chastity Oct. 2010) Vowed to "love that frees me and compels me/ to choose you again and yet again.../ that I might respond as I wish to respond.../ openly, knowingly, even a little mysteriously.../ as the bush in the desert responded to flame." (from Obedience, published in The Review for Religious, January 2012.)

The commitment is with my life and with my sisters and with the people of God...the living of it is ever new, ever alive, with each rising sun. The commitment is with you and to you and grace upon grace, world without end. Amen.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Extraordinary Measures

The Measure of Extraordinary


Must I settle for only sipping

at the depth of the poured coffee

quotidian adventure of life?

Must I die my last death before

walking the ribbon of wonder

you weave throughout my days?

What restraint must I show? What awe

not proclaim, what passion temper

for the nearness of you?

Or, may I say simply as I stir to blend

your revelations in my years,

and I marvel in no small measure,

and have to put down my pen,

because even that, even

that, feels entirely close,

"This life you have offered

is extraordinary?"

What say you?


Move with me, let me

speak through you, let me listen

through you, labor through you...

and as you allow me in, I

will be the strength you need, I

will be your courage, I will

bear the grace with you and the hurt

with you--because what I offer and what I ask

will ache within you and

free you.

It will be glorious and beautiful and messy

and draw you close to the edge.

Go there, if you will...

That is extraordinary, my love...

and there is where we meet.


--Kimberly M. King, rscj---



Thursday, January 8, 2015

Emily and Isaiah Meet in Paris

8 January, 2015

From Isaiah...via the Gospel of Luke in today's readings--

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

10:37 AM Halifax Public Library 4th Floor

I am once again able to feel my thighs--thanks be to God--as it is a surreal sensation to be aware of feet and little again until you hit the waist. It was a cold walk between home and here today. What a feast I have found, though, to spread upon my one-person-sized table that is scootched right up to a plexiglass wall-edge, affording me a grand, sweeping view...augh, the open feel, the lines of the architecture and the way the sun stripes through the windows, slicing and gridding patches of wall and staircase throughout. I have the book I came here seeking so I could look at it for ideas to use with the kids next week--A Poke in the I is a great collection of concrete poetry for children. But, augh...such a bonus--I also have The Gorgeous Nothings, a coffee table sized collection of full color replicas of Emily Dickinson's drafts that she wrote in pencil on slit-open envelopes.

For some reason, I find that pleasing...the image and idea of her roaming Amherst and her home with a pocket of folded envelope writings and a stub of pencil... Makes me think back to my cottage in Maine with carpets of purple iris and daffodils between the edge of the house and the rocky ocean coast...the reading chair in the kitchen, the accommodating kitchen meant to be lived and worked in for it to truly Be. And that, in turn, has me thinking back to what I wrote earlier about the opportunity to experience a taste of that grand, modest, imaginary, cottage, through the gift of living here, in this setting of place, time, and circumstance. It has me think about what I wrote about the chance to spend some days with friends near Antigonish last weekend, too...the landscape, sharing in the quiet of a house that knows of love.

At the same time this silvery-iridescent thread is wending through me, so too is the stark, frayed reality of what happened yesterday at Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the bounce-spring of what happened in the lesson I had with the 5th class yesterday when, perhaps for the first time, the students began to think about the effect of the sound of language used to render accessible to the senses the Words that fill our realities and imaginations. What will those Words be for today's youth, given the violence and tragedy of the world's reality? How will they be able to hang on to warm beauty AND be in solidarity with the increasingly bare and angular wounds of creation? How will they believe it possible, even a calling, to discover and reveal You as they work to heal those wounds in ways great and small?

Hm--perhaps, in fact, that is precisely where I and so many other educators come in... to help them believe that they can hold both hold fast to the love that casts out fear and to not be afraid to ache with the neighbor...and not just ache, but to work along side the neighbor toward change or in outrage at injustice or in protest or silent witness, to help them find ways that work for them of seeing into the life of things, of sensing you, of holding light in an open-palmed hand and allowing the light to lead them and to call to others along the journey.


In this short life

that only [merely] lasts an hour

How much- how


within our



--Emily Dickinson--



Monday, January 5, 2015

The Divine Attribute of Subtlety

5:37 pm. 1 January, 2015

The house is quiet...the kitchen smells like butter, cinnamon, and toasting walnuts...there is a cool draft coming in the window to counter the heat of the oven...all is well. Thank you for the gifts of flavor and spice and my senses that teach me so much about who you are and the love you have for your creation.

7:15 pm

The bread is done and came out beautifully! I so enjoy being with you, being of a quiet mind with you and doing something, baking, writing...When I watch the pan with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts and all of a sudden bonds are broken and the ingredients melt and come together, I simply marvel at the science--which is no different than marveling at you, or at least, an aspect of you.

The subtle flavors that layer, that are necessary, that remain in a state of hint and suggestion until they come forward to tap you on the shoulder--these tastes call to mind one of your 99 beautiful names in the Muslim tradition--one of my favorites as I read of them in a lovely small book in #30...Al-Latif, the Subtle One.

I love that name for you...That aspect of you brings me such joy--deep joy--time and again. You, in the first sip of coffee in the morning. You--in the warm nest of my blankets. You--in the bend of the offering tree as she greets the sun and the moon alike with stayed out branches. You--between the notes, syllables, flavors, colors, You, the sensing itself...the invitation to pay attention, to look long and believe that it might just be possible to "see into the life of things," as Wordsworth put it.

It is the discovery aspect of subtlety that I find attractive. I love that you tuck into spaces, are not only obvious and exclamatory--though that piece of you, too, is something I admire...the way you ways of proclaiming your story so boldly in the waves against the breakers in Ocean Beach, the plant that pushes up the sidewalk crack and claims its space and being-ness. At once' you are stunningly unavoidable and exceptionally patient and subtle...

Somewhere in that is the deeper answer to S's question about why I have a jar of pepper flakes and a jar of cinnamon on my desk. I too wish to be both bold in my being as well as subtle, tucking into places, an open decided presence that is using the layers of experiences that don't necessarily spell themselves out externally in order to better serve those around me.

There is a difference I have learned over time...that is the difference between being subtle and holding back. I wish to be subtle and hold nothing back. Thank you for showing me being such a glorious fullness in every atom, cell, molecule, and mote of your creation.

The cinnamon and chile are spices that act that way--or can have those attributes--subtlety and fullness of being. And I like the reminder that I wish to be like that too.

Thank you for this day, for your love, infusing and enthralling creation.