Sunday, October 31, 2010

Best Adventures

"The best adventure of all--living openly and allowing life to touch the heart."

This past weekend was full of these best-adventures. One began with the simple need to leave the house for a bit, to get fresh air, stretch the legs, go on an amble amidst a greater reality. I went with one of the other Probanists who was looking for chemical-free cream. In our walk along the Tiber we were beset with "carcajadas" (loud guffaws/silliness/laughter--SUCH a great word) as well as the quiet rumination and wandering conversation that is allowed when two people are at ease and trust one another.

That feeling is a precious one and I have been gifted with two friendships like this in the months I have been here. Who knew it would be that way? I am filled with such a depth of gratitude.

We continued along the river until the bridge that would take us to the Plaza Argentina. Across the river, in between checking pharmacies, we stopped at a pen/paper store and somehow began a conversation on the history of colors while looking at the rainbow of sheets they had stacked on the walls. In hearing Spanish being spoken, a woman in the next aisle said, "Oh! It is SO nice to hear people speaking Spanish!" She came over and engaged in conversation. Turns out, she is an engineer from Venezuela who has lived in Rome for 16 years.

In a short time, we got the brief version of her last twenty years or so and also shared with her who we were and why we were in Rome. She was so kind, so open and interested...and helpful and generous as well! When we told her about the cream and the need to find blank cds, she set out on the walk with us. She showed us the Jewish quarter of the City, pointed out stores we should visit for different things we needed, told us about her family, and dropped us off at an herbalists' shop. But, the shop was temporarily closed. So, she invited us to join her for a classic Italian sandwich at a shop just around the block while we waited for the clerk to return.

The deli specializes in "paninos"--especially those filled with mortadella. I admit to having previously snubbed the thought of mortadella...think really huge bologna made from pork, small chunks of pork fat, pistachios, and various spices. Note the use of the word Previously... this sandwich was amazing. Foccacia bread split open, paper thin mortadella stacked inside, wrapped in a brown paper wrapper and handed to you to take outside and eat on the go. The line was out the door, the shop was insanely small and jammed full of people calling out "Largo!" "Piccolo!", indicating sizes with handspans, and a clerk who could make change, toss change, and keep order with an ease I have not often witnessed.

The sandwich practically melted in my tender, so delicious, so...of the moment. Walking the streets of Rome with a friend, accompanied by an incredibly kind woman we did not know an hour ago, speaking Spanish, eating a mortadella sandwich wrapped in crispy brown paper, and wiping crumbs onto the cobblestones for the birds to find.

This followed by a slow walk home, God-filled conversation, more laughter, watching the river...

And then another walk in the evening, this time with a group of people... to look for the Mariachi Mass that never was. Turns out the information we had was wrong about the day. Some opted to stay in the same place and wait through the Rosary until Mass began. The two of us who had been together earlier opted to walk back toward home and find another Mass instead. Those who stayed ended up in the midst of a Latin Rite Rosary and Mass. We, however, ended up in a simple, though lovely, church, with a cantor who had an incredibly lovely voice--so rich and round. We followed this with a walk in the Trastevere and pizza while sitting outside.

Then, a fabulous movie in the community room with others who were knitting, braiding hair, and simply being with one another.

Indeed..."allowing life to touch the heart..."

Friday, October 29, 2010



I am a woman of bone and blood,
of air and ink and fire and clay.

A woman created, and meant to create...
meant to touch and feel and breathe,
meant to love and shape and hope
burning embers into light.

This, while letting go myself-
allowing the One and the Many
to reach in and stir
my own deep heart flame.

This, while 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.

c. MperiodPress

Friday, October 22, 2010



You have had my yes
for years--
and I have had yours
since the sun, the seashells, and the storms at sea.

But now, and I
are more than yes.
As time moves with, within, and around,
this yes of ours takes on wings, takes on colors I never imagined,
challenges that strengthen and soften me,
glory that stills me, stirs me, extends and opens me.

It becomes a murmur of love that we share.
Love that frees me and compells 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.

c. MperiodPress

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Vow

A Vow

To desire

to stand before you and bow before you
and be within you
and feel you within me
and see you, reveal you,
know you, and touch you
in the others I meet along the way…

To do so with my life,
with any ache or wonder I know
of heart or mind,
that comes from the glimpses of you
I sense in the eyes and wounds,
in the humming joy and confusions
of the earth that roots me and the love that moves me

is yes and yes and yes
the vow I make to witness
to your glory, your mystery,
ever alive and always becoming.

c. MperiodPress

Friday, October 8, 2010

Canticle of Flying

After returning from Assisi...

Canticle of Flying

Loosen me Lord, and free my spirit!
I want to fly!
To know the wind as the bee knows the wind;
to taste the salt water rain of tears
that act as prisms do, reflecting the fullness of light.
When the thunder comes moonless,
when the fields are ready in a ripeness of green,
let me fear neither the darkness nor your glory.
I want to juggle the sparks between lightning and stone,
while riding on currents of grace and mystery.

Oh yes!
Teach me to fly with my feet on the ground!
Take me by the hand, with your hand
that makes a chain with time and space,
through the clouds of witnesses and history!
And let my other hand reach
for the hands of the ones on either side;
And let them reach as well!
Oh, let the circle be unbroken
so that when you ask each of us—
Where are all the others?
We may bow together, humbly,
and stand as well…
Standing with our faces toward the sun.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

So too, the heart

I get up at roughly the same time every morning. It is good for my body as well as my spirit- the constancy of it, but also what it allows. Establishing a routine can allow for noticing variations in the pattern that otherwise might have gone unnoticed. Scientists have approached curiosities in this way for years; however, for me, it is less an issue of resolving curiosity than expanding it, allowing wonder to be in greater and greater dimension.

The nuances of sunrise, for example. By watching it every morning here in Rome, I can say that yesterday's was a vibrant, confident, proclamation of glory and today's is a bit misty...sifted through the clouds and emotions of a just-waking sky. How lovely to know that both are complete, both represent a fullness. What will tomorrow's add?

In a similar way, these weeks have taught me new things about the capacities of my heart. Each day brings unique feelings, opportunities to go to the rooftop and proclaim my "YAWP" (thank you, Walt Whitman, for that) as well as times of more subtley. A gentle curve, a bend around which one finds a stand of honeysuckle perfuming the night air. The boldness of one, the quiet of another...each yeilding a fullness my heart is pressed to contain.

And sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I can do no more than weep in gratitude...or in fullness or in awe or simply as a response to the intensity. Sometimes my response is a ripple of quiet floated in the pond. Sometimes laughter...

But, it occurs to me as I sit here with coffee, perfectly milked, and quiet all around, save the nubby bumping of my fingers on the keys, that the love that lives in those moments is like the sunrise.

The sunrise is the expression that comes in different different colors and intensities and nuances...

but still, it rises.

Because that is what the sun does.

And so too, the heart. It loves.

God is good.

God is enticing.

What will tomorrow be?

for now it is enough to know the sun will rise.