Friday, December 16, 2016
Advent IV 2016
Friday, December 9, 2016
Advent III, 2016
|Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC-1073, taken by NASA Hubble Space Telescope|
Friday, December 2, 2016
Advent II 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Advent I 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Nothing Less is Asked
I wrote that in response to the attacks in Nice, France that were followed by an attempted coup in Turkey. In November, I re-read this in full knowledge that it applies as well to the current state of politics in the US.
As the repercussions of the Electoral College choice for president play themselves out, I cling to those few things I can control. One of them is my hope. No matter who sits in the Oval Office, no matter which party controls the House and the Senate both, no matter what I read about which established policies will be rescinded, reframed, or removed, I control my hope. What I believe in is up to me. And I believe in a God of Love. I believe in Jesus, union of humanity and divinity, Word made flesh, who dwelled among the scrappiest sorts and called them friends. I believe in the Spirit, living and moving and having being in God’s people.
And this hope, these beliefs, have implications. I need only look to Jesus to understand that.
It depends on whether I give up or continue to believe that there is a light that no darkness can overcome even when it might be but a match or the spark that arcs in sudden freedom when two opposing forces strike.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
|"All Saints" by Wassily Kandinsky|
Saturday, October 29, 2016
La Mirada... The Gaze...
La mirada de sabiduría humilde...
La mirada de haber tocado los y las intocables...
La mirada de entender...
La mirada de "Ven...descansa..."
La mirada de trabajo duro...
La mirada de "hasta el fin..."
La mirada de amor en toda su plenitud ...
The gaze of compassion...
The gaze of humble wisdom...
The gaze of having touched the untouchables
The gaze of understanding...
The gaze of "come...rest..."
The gaze of hard work...
The gaze of "until the end..."
The gaze of love in all of its fullness...
Friday, October 21, 2016
Mine are the originals,
the poets, the wanderers,
those who don't fit in.
Terrifically flawed and
full of glory, I made you Human.
Those who walk, exposed to the journey,
heart open and loose in the joints:
yours is a fullness of living.
Do not be afraid.
I made you—you are mine.
With every verse, every thought,
every act, every wail and shimmy of your soul,
Draw near. Bring others.
Lift your faces to the galaxy;
Count the stars if you are able.
You are not alone.
Nothing can separate you
So, go forth. Be broken open.
Again, again, and again.
And see how my love
claims its own.
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
Sunday, October 16, 2016
13 October, 2016
11:50 AM Basilica de San Francisco de Asís I would love the chance to be alone here. The ceiling and the walls are astounding. It is like being inside his story. All of the shapes, the art, the life! in story... Like a gold-edged family album from centuries ago. The Colors...the Blue! The longer I look the more I see. Trees and suns and heads...full scenes too--baptism, receiving the stigmata...it is one big fluid story that enfolds and incorporates those who sit in these pews and try to take it in. (I have moved so as not to be overtaken by a buzzing swarm of tourists). I love looking at all of these different things coming together. La confluencia de las texturas... the confluence of textures...artistic, temporal...all of it...
Reading Neruda in San Damiano has forever changed or at least enriched how I will understand his Versos. Somehow, reading That poetry in San Damiano...it became More. The passion and the justice, the struggle, the connection he makes with who he is writing for or to... it became divine. The passion was for God. The sensuality was about God. Francis knew that sort of love...and God has that love for creation as well. It was as though the Who of the poetry became even more beautiful in the union of real and mystical. The poems are full of memory and longing...it was a gift to read it in this environment and have it open before me, invite me inside in a new way.
And then, the humble deep peace of praying before the same crucifix that spoke to Francis in prayer. And to take time and bring to mind and heart those times when I have felt that level of intimacy with Jesus..when hearing becomes an act of the heart that blooms, flows, and sometimes trembles. It was a time to give great thanks.
14 October, 2016
...sometime after the singing of Office and now seated on the wall with my face to the sun...loving the sound of the wind and the fact that you can hear it before you feel it. It is so incredibly peaceful here, And it is a gift to share the silence with D, L, and Y...as well as with a man who also opted for this stillness when the rest of his group went onward into the woods. When the wind doesn't blow, the silence is...primeval. As though it is the same silence that welcomed Francis and his companions. It is an old silence...the silence of God. And not so far removed, perhaps, from the Word of God. What a thing to consider...Que este silencio tan ruidoso sea la Palabra en su esencia... If silence is the fullness of sound so that we may listen--like light is the fullness of color so that we may see...then AUGH, what that says about the Word! The Word and all that is within it...AUGH...astounding.
15 October, 2016
Now seated in the town center...here with a large group of gum-cracking, mostly disinterested, German boys and their chaperones. The chaperones who seem to be organizing an espresso run among themselves, as one has broken away and is headed into a cafe. I was able to dry off enough of the bench to sit without feeling too damp. An older man with his seriously jowly dog just made use of my proffered soggy napkins and now occupying the other half of this bench. The bench is across from Santa Maria Supra Minerva-- the church built upon an early temple to the goddess Minerva. The columns are original to the temple...And there is a large carillon as well...it just pealed on the quarter hour. Today the air is warm and moist...Hm, Caffe-Mok is delivering supplies to the shop next to the bench and Carlsberg Italia is bringing beer to the place across the square. Preparing the day's bookends... A tourist group has set upon the more jowly of my companions...He seems rather used to it, actually, sitting for selfies. He looks like a bloodhound, a basset, and a lab rolled into one galumphing bit of canine. He is following the flow of traffic with his head, baaack and fooorrrth...and he is sitting on the feet of the older gentleman holding his leash. The man has just kept his quiet...staring off into a place he alone can see...I am glad they chose to sit here. I love the way the sun is coming into the piazza. Like the spread of a fresh clean sheet on the bed...and the smells...the light waft of sugar mixed with a tinge of cigarette and an underscore of earthy rain... it's a great combination, oddly enough, when it all comes together. And, it was a gift to share this with the man and his dog, without saying much--or really, anything--beyond "grazie" for the napkins and looking at one another in the eye when he said "bouna giornata" when he and the four-legged got up to leave. Somehow, there was an understanding between us that we would each allow the other to be while "be-ing" together. Again, there is something to be said for intentionally created quiet intentionally shared.
Have just had the best 1 Euro macchiato and am now standing by the stone wall opposite Casa Papa Giovanni, watching the birds fly over this landscape; this mystical, holy, landscape. This is like no other place I have ever been in my life. It is saturated with peace. I could have spent these last hours here inside of a church I have not seen this trip or returning to pray before the crucifix in Santa Chiara, but I can't bring myself to go inside when all of this glory is out here, laid out by a passionately imaginative God...a God of Love who delights in beauty...God for whom creation IS beauty, in all of its textures, patterns, colors, that come together in a free-hand harmony that draws me in to my center and at the same time calls me forth in a great gasp of awe. The breeze has turned cool, the earth is a dark, beautiful, brown; the roof tiles present a muted patchwork of earth-toned half-pots. The leaves and pine boughs are shot through with threads of spun birdsong and sunlight. The stone building sides have become canvases for shadows that duck and soar on currents of unseen mystery. Thank you for this time. Thank you for this place. Thank you for the passion and vision of Francis, for his Yes. And thank you for calling me. You have my Yes, forever and always. You are my light, my strength, and my salvation.
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Walk with me
Yesterday was one of those days I'd mark with a star. A day when things came together and took on the shape of simple grace.
It began around 4:45 AM when I found myself entirely awake and serendipitously in a Skype call with a friend in California. Her day before was ending and my next day about to begin. We shared that in-between space for the better part of two hours...just chatting and telling stories and catching up.
I left the Villa Lante at about 8:30. The sky was a brilliant blue and the honey color of the buildings just bloomed. At that hour, everything is quiet in the Trastevere...quiet and fresh... though the memory from the night before is still at hand. The street sweepers have been through, but lemon and orange rinds as well as corks and cigar stubs still find their way in between the cobblestones. I am sure there is a law of nature about that--along the same lines as water finding its level regardless of the container. Vendors are beginning to roll up the metal grates in front of doors and windows and when you walk by, there is the lingering acrid pinch of bleach from where they have broomed the patch of stones in front of their shop. The people who are out then are out for reason, not for leisure, for they most part. Groceries, errands, espresso.... I love the time with people doing their daily whatnot rather than tourists clicking and snapping. It somehow seems closer to the ground, more real. The old men sitting on benches and making room for a third friend they called over from the other side of the street. The construction workers standing in front of the bar, holding saucers and sips of espresso before heading out for their job. The women with the wheeled grocery bags who walk a syncopated journey to the markets...these women with fixed, serious, faces and arms that become a living swim stroke of language when they meet.
I stopped for a cornetto and ate it while sitting on the edge of a stone planter. It was so delicious and so utterly simple. It flaked, it melted, and it had the slightest hint of orange in the glaze. Wondrous.
I made my way through several other blocks and eventually headed home. I practiced with someone who gave their Province presentation this afternoon. Poland. For this presentation I learned a whole host of words I'd never known how to say in Spanish before... ley marcial martial law; astillero shipyard; bolchevique Bolshevik... and others. Several words on my list were translated for me while having another long distance conversation filled with deep friendship, joy, and mutual understanding. By then I was hungry for lunch. Saturday is a free day, most of the time, so again I headed out. I went to a near by sandwich shop for a caprese sandwich and acqua with bubbles. Turns out that at that same shop were the two rscj in charge of probation. I sat with them and we ate our sandwiches. They invited me to walk with them as they ran errands...which meant first walking over to Vatican city and finding the Russian Icon shop. Oh, the beautiful things that are there. I just love some of the faces...so full of compassion and knowing. Knowing what it is to suffer and choosing love anyway. Knowing of hurt and choosing life. I find their faces of knowing and longing and love so very beautiful...
From there we took a bus to Via di Trastevere and had to find a place to buy chocolates that they needed as a thank you gift. We stopped into a chocolaterie/bakery and oh...glory. such beauty! Fruit tarts to rival the finest still life, Bits of artwork, each one. Each fluffy disk of meringue with a perfect swoop on top. Each cookie edged and aligned with a partner that helps to hold the different fillings. Fondente, lemon curd, pineapple...
Then we turned back to come home, which meant crossing back through the piazza with Santa Maria de Trastevere. While walking I caught sight of one of the most "well suited" couples that I have seen in a long time. It was such a fitting celebration of love. They radiated such peace and a deep, abiding joy...and I felt such an aching gratitude for the gift of having seen them, having witnessed their love, even if only through a glimpse and a walk by.
Then in the late afternoon there was the presentation on Poland which went well and was complete with dancing and a typical dessert that the sister had made. It was a sort of apple cake with meringue on top. Divine.
The probanists all went out to dinner while the two directors and I stayed home to share a simple supper. Sometimes simple is so very nice. Scrambled eggs with onion done to well-whisked perfection and toast. It was quite simple and just the thing and such good company.
I went to bed absolutely tired and absolutely filled with gratitude. Such a great combination.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
A Glimpse of Sunday
A photo I wrote while out on a wander this morning. It was so beautiful...
Inside the church. Only twenty minutes have passed since entering Antica. Seems like longer ago than that, but then again, I was famished and wolfed the pan dulce and cappuccino. Perhaps after lunch I will walk across our bridge and wander a bit over there. Maybe find a place to sit and just take in the context. That is one reason I am here so early and why I like my time in coffee shops. They are places where one can "sit in the midst" and yet be unobtrusive. I love that opportunity--to simply step my senses in context. The clackity-clunk of the plates and saucers, cups and mugs at Antica. The press of the too small wicker chair bottom.
The organ is playing with a fantastic, full, sound. The light pouring through the sides...like the warp or weft threads of a loom and the church as well as what rises from it is somehow woven around/woven through these threads of light. They are helping each other hold together this small bit of the universe. The people gathered, they add the pattern, the texture, the dimension that brings life, vitality, purpose, to this weaving. People...LIFE...it is for THIS that the universe IS held together. The call to life in abundance. And if Life in abundance then Love in that measure as well.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
I posted in Facebook recently that I went to the Public Gardens one evening in search of…something. I didn’t know what the something was and yet it seemed as though I might find it in the Gardens.
I was restless and achy of spirit. I needed to Go Out, whatever it was I’d find. It was there that I met these characters dancing with the evening’s wind—each one with her own bit of flash and pizzazz.
The joy of chancing upon them, unique manifestations of nature’s whimsy and perfection, divine mathematics, and simple, fresh, beauty, fed the call for today’s adventure.
I would wake up, pack my satchel, and make a whole day of Going Out.
I chose my pens and paper, zipped them into a pouch, selected a book, tossed this into a bag, filled the water bottle, filled up the car, and I was enroute by 7:30.
First stop, the Farmers Market. Coffee, an apple turnover, a table by the water, and the comforting warble of merchants and millers-about exchanging greetings and engaging in the business of locally grown fruits and vegetables and locally baked goods and locally butchered meats. Once I had written a bit and satisfied my need for food and caffeine, I began to wander the stalls myself.
And then I wrote some more.
It is a vision of beauty here this morning. The vegetables are at their stunning peak. The baskets are pure sculptures of nature’s glory. The peppers caught me particularly—their contours and colors—from a deep aubergine through shades of red and yellow and then into green as the other bookend. The leeks and onions, too…just sitting in the sunlight, bare, brilliant and unafraid. The light! The way it wraps, embraces, what it encounters…and at once fills it and lends that sheen of beauty to the outside too. That is what makes me stop. Makes me stop and take the time/care to notice. Finding that… or, this…might have been what I went to the gardens to find yesterday. A deeper beauty.
That’s it. Deeper beauty….the Light that comes through, that encircles and infuses. It is a call and desire of my senses, my being, to spend time steeped in this deeper beauty. To touch back into it as a balm for the ache of spirit. And it thankfully, blissfully, lives in everyday extraordinary places. In the pleats and crevices of field peppers, in the spiralling cones of flower petals that satisfy organic formulas of order. In the dance of light on water, the company of a book in my bag, my heart when remembering friends, the comfort of jeans and a loose long sleeve shirt on a chilly blue sky morning in place called Home.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
A Light no Darkness can Overcome
I spent six weeks away this summer. Five of those weeks I was working at our General Chapter, translating/interpreting. While I did that, life went on... The life of the Chapter, the life of the Province, the life of the world.
When I came home, it was clear that a sister who had been sick before I left would soon die. As her journey drew her homeward, we kept vigil with her through the day and though the night. The house took on a different feel those days...as though time was somehow measured differently within this particular circle of love, fidelity, and relationships.
She died in the middle of the night. The next morning while I ate breakfast, drank coffee, and made a shopping list for what we'd need for the wake, someone was editing her obituary, and someone else was making phone calls to coordinate liturgical particulars. And, the washing machine decided to start screeching and students were coming over to use our downstairs space for a leadership workshop, I had a meeting at 10, and someone needed to go to the airport later in the afternoon.
Life continues its rhythms and cycles. It goes on. Not indifferently or blindly, but it does go on. It occurred to me that this sort of determination-force, this generative being-ness, growth, evolution, that can not be held back, is the heart of the Light in the prologue to John's Gospel.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
The Word can not be held bound...not by place, not by will, not by death. It will bloom; dance; console; disturb; reveal; inspire; challenge; beckon.
Life and Word go on. Around, within, and through the whole of creation, which includes This particular and unique being. I and all I feel, think, and have within my being, are beautifully, mysteriously, bound up in this cycle of Light. This cycle of Love.
How utterly astounding...and humbling...and worthy of deep, quiet, thanksgiving.
World without end; Light beyond darkness; Word made flesh; Amen Amen Amen.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
The prayer of This Translator/Interpreter
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Amazing Grace in Troubling Times
From my notebook here in Nemi, Italy, where I am translating/interpreting at our General Chapter for five weeks...
16 July, 2016
7:50 AM. On the bench. Or, on A bench. It's actually one to the left of the bench I have been in for the last couple of days because I wanted a view that was straight on this morning. I love how the changing light highlights different colors in the landscape. Today, it is the honey and terra cotta colors that feature. Other days, it has been the green canopies of trees or the shiny blue of the lake. The news from today is of the golpe-del-estado attempt in Turkey. Apparently it was not successful-- or, at least, that was the last I had heard on the news. This following on the attack in Nice, France just yesterday. And this is not to speak a word of all that has also undoubtably happened in the last two days without making the headlines or in some way pricking at the tentacles of the media.
Though it is the only way I know how to Live, how to have/feel/know a sense of Home, Meaning, Call, or Freedom, I sometimes find it strange and inexplicable that I continue to believe so strongly in a God of Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Inclusion, when the world is filled with such hatred, violence, and the use of the name of God to justify and ratify atrocities. And yet, I do. I believe that there is a light no darkness can overcome. I must, if there is any sense to be made at all. Or, I must, if I am to welcome and to be welcomed by this Mystery and live within it.
In some ways, perhaps I am coming into a new understanding of Faith. Or, perhaps it is circumstances that are directing me toward a new facet of it. I can say with certainty that some large measure of the grace that is faith is what has brought me safe thus far; perhaps this new light is the grace of faith that will lead me Home.
Thank you, God, for your invitation, your constancy and understanding. Thank you for loving me as you do...wholly, completely, and without reservation.
Monday, June 13, 2016
I was listening to this music when the BBC notice about the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando blipped up on my screen. The shooting in San Bernadino last December elicited an intense response from me. This was different somehow. I am no less saddened and certainly no less ashamed of congress or concerned about how such hate manages to flourish. Perhaps it is a certain sense of being Fed Up. Fed up with people wondering how it can be that people do this. That seems pretty clear. You make a decision that one group of people, whoever that might be, deserves death, you buy a gun legally, you plan, and you execute the plan. What leads up to this is nuanced and multifaceted, for certain. There are questions of evil, of extremism, of loneliness, illness and hosts of other issues. But the basic how seems as obvious as the lack of interest on the part of lawmakers in doing a blessed thing about it.
Believing that it’s God who calls you to the fight;
So you exercise a right and buy a gun so you can
meet what you consider to be your divine plan.
That’s bad enough-a desecration of the love
that God has equally for all from above.
They feed the hate and facilitate the war
that is happening Here AND on a distant shore.
Here’s a new one to consider—How long can we last
when the Love we woke up to fades into the past?
When we forget how freedom feels and when fear rules the heart
and we spend money behind fortresses instead of making art
to remind us, invite us, inspire and unite us
in our call to stand together, each glorious one-
in the light, in the light,
in the light of the sun.
With open hands, full hearts, and listening souls
ready to welcome, to learn, to help, and to hold.
closing our eyes to the sight of blood on our hands
Or, we can amend the laws that guide the land.
over the news, over our hearts, over homes of the nation,
and dominate discussions of hate and discrimination.
So Love can bloom wild and dance with rebirth
among all the inhabitants of this beautiful Earth.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
|(image by Jessamyn Rubio)|
Fill me, Jesus,
Spirit and Word;
Open me, Traveller,
breath and possibility;
Sustain me, Love,
promise and sending.
move in me
out from me
until all is All is
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Blue Sky Wanders
The Blue Sky Wanders
I was afflicted today
with a distracting, uplifting,
case of the 'blue sky wanders.'
When gravity says I won't hold you bound;
When the road is open
and the map is vague.
The type of day that
brings to its company
a certain sort of memory:
The color of the ocean
seen from a bus
along the coast of Chile;
A love letter once received;
The fullness that bloomed
in an empty sanctuary,
while listening to the grandeur of quiet.
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Psalm Vision in the Rain
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
Monday, April 4, 2016
What happens when...
Murmurations on the Page
A glorious murmuration of
language alive, alive
with flight and pitch,
tone, resonance, and meaning.
the shape emerging;
sorting the sounds and meanings I hear.
the last sound that is missing,
the note which makes the new breathe alone.
I wait until ah…
the harmony, the awe, of two flocks of words.
Kimberly M. King, rscj
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Easter Grace, 2016
Easter Grace, 2016
and says Everywhere?
follow, serve, be broken open, welcome, accept,
lay down your life, take up your cross…RISE.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Holy Thursday, 2016
The video clip is from the heart rending movie Of Gods and Men
Sunday, March 6, 2016
into its shape, into its beauty,
to the grand eternal scheme,
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
I find myself looking at Lent his year in terms of an awareness of promise along the journey. The sort of promise I am thinking of is the assurance of various realities... realities that can console, challenge, call forth, remind, etc.
There is the promise of awe and wonder-- The delight God takes in me and the gift of occasionally noticing some of the "10,000 places" (Gerard Manley Hopkins) Christ plays, revealing aspects of God's grace and fullness and creativity. The contrast of colors in a new box of crayons or the splay of bare branches against a winter blue sky; the harmonics of a mockingbird; the sound of a congregation singing a Capella; the intimate physics of all that keeps us bound together until as last we are freed again. This promise is what helps me talk about my journey; what drives me to find ways of expressing the overflow I can not contain; what sometimes fills my silence and rounds out my sigh.
There is also the promise of ache, struggle, hurt, and confusion. The life of Jesus certainly bears this out and my own life has been no different. Time in the garden; people who walk away; loneliness; taking up the Cross. This promise is a part of the others, a reality to be borne as well and honestly as I might bear it because it can not be taken away if I am to believe in the promise of Love.
Love...the beautiful and difficult honor. Love, the promise from which I can never be apart. Love, which sustains, frees, binds, calls, sends, and brings me home again... sometimes hurting, sometimes tired, sometimes full of gratitude, sometimes dancing with everything and nothing all at once....always welcomed, always cherished, always known. Love which has abundantly blessed me and brought me safe thus far.
How I walk in the light of these realities is how I walk the journey of my life. I pray especially this Lent to move through my days as one who believes that the Sacred Heart is where these promises find their fullness, where what is most completely human meets what is most gloriously divine. And that the Heart is in all and with all and for all, world without end, amen.
Friday, January 29, 2016
Five Years' Thanksgiving
The poem below is my way of marking this year's anniversary.
of awe and becoming.
You, the large,
the little, and all.
The sigh, the song,
the dance, the struggle,
The question, the laugh,
the hand that I hold
before rising again,
and saying again,
Kimberly M. King, RSCJ
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Snapshot of a Sigh
Preparing dinner tonight was such a simple joy.
I brought in music I enjoy and chopped away to a favorite playlist that includes Carrie Newcomer, Anonymous 4's folk aspect, and Natalie Merchant. I reveled in the warm swath of alto voices and the sometimes harmonies that inclined my ear toward a nearness of sweet noted grace.
We were going to try a new recipe that someone in the house had found and said "Kim, this sounds like your kind of recipe! Would you try it?" It was on a Jamie Oliver card picked up from a local supermarket: Pan baked chicken from Save with Jamie.
My community member was right...it is exactly the sort of recipe I love. Obviously, there are instructions and there are ingredients... but it isn't too rigid and it isn't too fussy and is more about bringing together flavors that play nicely with one another and understanding enough to help them do their thing.
I love that process of bringing together simple things that stay simple but somehow become more....a more that satisfies the senses and fills the stomach...a more that speaks of care and love...a more that is honest and uncomplicated and delicious.
It is my sort of recipe too because it is roomy... Toward the end of its time in the oven, I added fresh spinach to the pan of chicken and roasting red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic that were wading in thyme and paprika laced balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And next time, I plan on tossing in mushrooms too.
Between the music and the textures of the ingredients and the chopping and the smells coming from the oven...glory and sigh, it was a full delight for the senses...for the heart.
To rest in that feeling for a while is worthy of thanksgiving...and I suppose that's why I am writing tonight.
Sometimes the fullness overflows.