Thursday, December 27, 2012

Of Magic, Chocolate, and Story

I told someone not long ago that when I was a child, I seemed to know intuitively of the magic within, rivers, leaves, books, flowers...the wonder that was there, waiting for me as a gift, if I was patient enough, still enough, thoughtful enough. In fact, I remember the feeling and deep desire that if I could just loosen up enough or look intently enough, perhaps I could even see inside, beneath the surface, into the heart of things... This was not a wish for x-ray vision, but rather the belief that somehow I was being invited in to see the essential and that it was possible.

This conversation returned to me earlier this afternoon as I stared into a pot of drinking chocolate on the stove. I had whisked together 3 oz. of grated dark chocolate, 2 oz. of grated 72% cacao chocolate, the finely grated zest of a clementine/satsuma, a pinch of sea salt, two pinches of cinnamon, just a hint of sugar, and 2 cups of milk. I was whisking and watching for just the moment it would reach a boil...I realized at a certain moment that in fact what I was trying to do was see below the surface to know when the bubbles would rise...or perhaps, as when I was a child, I thought I might chance to see the moment of perfect blending when the flavors all come together and harmonize into a whole greater than the component ingredients.

Standing there in the kitchen, I also thought about how this morning I was nestled into the corner of the third level in a local coffee shop, reading a book and writing a bit. One of the books I wanted to read over break is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Unbelievably to many, I have made it this far without having done so and it was time to remedy the gap. More than half way through this adventure, Bastian has entered Fantastica and this morning was conversing with Grograman the lion, also known as The Many Colored Death. Bastian, the first to ever eat and sleep with the lion, the first to weep at his daily death, asks if it is possible to stay with him. To this question, Grograman replies

Here there is only life and death, only Perilin and Goab, but no story. You must live your story. You cannot remain here.

And it occurred to me that perhaps that is the essential that I strive to see, to live, to taste, touch...the final result of the chocolate in my mug is not a moment, but the taste of a story of flavors. The heart of a stone is not a single flash, but cosmic years of light that has traveled incalculable distance. What ever I dare to write is not a final fixed work but part of a larger whole resting on the page, waiting to be freed in the reading of it by others.

All of this makes me see too that what I learn of God, the presence I experience, into which I am invited, and which is accessible, the faith that I have, is not a single observable thing, but a lived Love that is itself a grand tale without end. A tale I am asked to live actively, intensely, one page at a time, no skipping ahead, no staying put.

And I have to say that part of the thrill is not knowing what will come as well as looking forward to finding out.

The chocolate was certainly delicious...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent IV, 2012

Galaxy group Stephan's Quintet, as taken by the Hubble telescope

Advent IV, 2012

It is the almost time, uncontainable,
and stillness does not suffice.

All trembling grace is in a stir.
Birth is near and nearer and
everywhere around within
my free and wild hope.

O mystery of light, sing to me!
O life abundant, dance!

Kimberly M. King, rscj

Sunday, December 16, 2012

So many things

So many things are gathered together in my mind and heart after what happened in Newtown, CT on Friday...things that at first might seem contradictory or something like magnets put the wrong way together. Yet, there they are...teaching me, challenging me, calling to me in love and sadness and anger and humility.

I believe evil exists and I believe there is light that no darkness can ever overcome.

I believe anger and compassion are not necessarily distant from one another...

I believe God welcomed with tenderness and extraordinary love each adult and child who died. I believe God welcomed too a wayward son.

I believe this day and every day is a day to tell people that I love them and that it shouldn't take a tragedy to remind me.

I believe that the children and faculty/staff were loved in this life by someone. I believe the shooter was too.

I believe there are times when to love someone is a difficult honor and calls for a courage that lives in the deep warm stone that steadies my center.

I believe that people do things I might not ever understand for reasons I might not ever know...yet, I do know intimately of pain and sadness, of hurt and anger, and my own capacity for sin.

I believe I can never know the day when something unspeakable will happen where I am; I can begin each morning and end each evening with "Thank You for loving me as you do...wholly, completely, and without reservation."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent III, 2012

Field of stars photographed by Hubble Telescope

Advent III

In the knowing, nothing
now is sameness.

The iridescent ordinary
occupies my wonder, ah!
while spice warm mystery
cradles the dancing of my awe.

Oh the wind borne glory of this,
the unsettling elegance of love!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent II, 2012

  (Star forming cluster NGC-3603, taken by Hubble telescope;

Advent II, 2012

Wandering wrapped
in the star tousled wind,

I turn toward infinite onward hope
in a moon washed silent
fullness of Yes, now embracing
the readiness

for birth, for possible,
for unshakeable becoming.

C. MperiodPress