Saturday, October 27, 2018

Simple, Extraordinary

My day began with extraordinary moments this morning.  Moments all the more wonderful for their simplicity.

Bundled into a bright red wool coat that I found at a second hand shop my first year living here, I cleaned the frost from the windshield and was driving to the farmer’s market around 7 AM.  As I crested the hill at Morris and Queen, I could see the lava-coloured band of light that was blooming against night-blue on the horizon and all I could think was …Ohhhh…please wait for me!  I want to be on the water and in front of the windows when you go full glory!

I found a spot, the first along the curb, and scooted in, heading straight for the back.  

And I was not alone.

As soon as I’d left the car, I had called someone dear to me that I knew would be awake and would appreciate the wonder of the moment.  I described it to her as I stood there and we shared in its breathtaking display.

And I was not alone.

Many of the vendors who were still setting up and some of the early shoppers were also  against the glass in an agreement of hushed awe.  People were drawn to watch this sunrise and people were drawn together because of it.  Gentle conversations were happening.  “The best I’ve seen this year…”. “Look!  There’s the loon!  She’s back!”  “Do you see that cloud? Look how full of light…”

I actually had a conversation about favourite sunrise moments with a woman I’ve come to greet almost every week because she works at the booth next to my favourite viewing/sitting spot.  One of the guys at the bakery stand against the harbour pulled out his phone while I was picking out an apple turnover and he showed me the photo he’d managed to get without the reflection of interior lights.  There was an older couple holding hands and staring quietly.  

I told the woman at the booth next to my favourite spot— It just seems wrong to turn my back on this…I want to face it full-on.  

As I stood there…with others beside me, with others in heart…People who didn’t necessarily know each other…drawn together by beauty, held together by a marvel of nature, captivated and quiet and there together in palpable harmony… I thought about the world.

The world, rife with violence, injustice, assassinations, bombastic political rhetoric…

I thought about the world and wondered what would happen if just for a moment in our days, we were caught up together in simple extraordinary beauty and not bombs of one sort or another.  What if we could behold something of astounding grace and wish that our neighbour had that same chance because we know what it feels like inside us and believe that the feeling of fullness and awe is not diminished in the sharing but multiplied yet again instead?

Not long ago I read a quotation that resonated with me— “Do the good that is in front of you, even if it feels very small.”  —Sharon Salzberg

I’d tried writing a blog post about that but what came out felt too trite, even for what could feel like a greeting card quotation, that I’d read on Social Media.

This morning, though… Those few very small moments of shared marvel…a slim fraction of time…sharing them…listening to others in the midst of such beauty…conversing with both strangers and those known and dear, about it… 

It feels like good was done.  

And glory, for the sake of our world, I desire that good to spread like the swirling intensely-toned colours that danced on the dawning sky over Halifax harbour this morning…

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh

What is my account of how
and where and when and to what end
I have embodied Word?

We all need saving now and again.
I don’t mean saving because my soul is in danger
of wilting or wasting or slipping away because of 
boxes ticked or those left unmarked. I mean
saving that feels like reminding, remembering—
in a desperate fragile moment, or in the shimmy of surprise,
that this is what a hand feels like in your hand.
This is what it is to hold fast and to hold on;
This is You are not alone; this is 
the ground will not give way. This
is sunset begets stars and morning will follow.
This is the Word that holds atoms and galaxies
in swirling orbits of stunning grace;
This is the Word that looks like a no longer stranger
and tastes like the perfection of a just ripe plum.
This Word is the single note that hangs at the peak of a cathedral
and tumbles out rumbling thick when there’s fog upon the waters.

I have born witness to the Word; been saved
by this Word. Not because my soul was in danger.

But because Word seeks itself.
And it found me. It reminded me.
Of who I am and
and who we are.

And where we belong,
and to whom we pertain.

And, wonder and glory, 
and awe, and tears,
I believed. 

In freedom because of it, 
in Love for the passion of it,
I live with the broad and startling truth of Word.

So, my account of how
and where and when and to what end,
will be to answer the asking 
of the One who sends us forth—

Where are all the others?—

I want to be able to answer the Where with

Because of your Word in me, Here. And more than here, there.
And not yet. And within humanity and moving upon the Earth.
And I do not know, but oh, I look forward…

We all need saving now and again.
Not saving as though souls are in danger;
Saving that is Word seeking itself, 
reminding, re-membering.

Reminding each other by how we reveal it,
that Word is in its intimacy,
the form, the substance and beauty,
the Love, challenge, and mercy,
the constancy, the fidelity,
the creativity and wild diversity,
of God.

And it is of all, for all, with all,
as light is.  

Light that no darkness, forgetfulness,
aching, wandering, shall overcome.

-Kimberly M. King, RSCJ-

Monday, October 8, 2018

Face to the Sun on Thanksgiving

My morning has left me more than a bit astounded.  Even before heading to the Public Gardens for a good while, I had been given the gift of light in different ways…the Light blooming early and brilliant against the blue outside; the light of warmth that spreads after the first sip of coffee; the gentle light that sometimes comes into the heart and spirit that has been woven through a message from a friend…

And then…As it is Thanksgiving and we had our celebration yesterday, I had the freedom to go the gardens for several hours.  To read, to write, to wander, see, notice, observe, feel… Each of those actions bringing their own worth and wonder.

Face to the Sun in the Public Gardens on Thanksgiving
(With thanks to Mary Oliver who is the first person I’ve ever read who used ‘everlasting’ as a noun…)

When I turn into, toward,
the deep and cradling everlasting,
there is the sensation of being
both taken up by it and 
being blessed by it 
that I might walk this Earth 
knowing, remembering,
what you feel like…
Knowing and remembering
not in selfish exclusivity
but rather to offer 
a place where it can 
bloom, grow, twine, reach
in an unreserved tumble 
of color and texture—
Wildgrace sown and set free.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Recognition in Three Parts

Three separate things…

I was invited recently to consider anew the Emmaus story… it is a favourite of mine anyway and has been good company these recent days.  In part…”Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; but he had vanished from their sight.”

I went to a poetry reading again after several months had passed since last attending the gathering.  Several of the same people were among the 25 or so in attendance, including someone who had taken the time to walk by my chair and said “I’m really glad you came.” at the first meeting.  This time, we had a brief but longer exchange and will have tea and a walk on Thursday.

I remembered a quotation from a favourite book—The Elegance of the Hedgehog… 
They didn’t recognize me,” I repeat.  He stops in turn, my hand still on his arm.  “It is because they have never seen you,” he says.  “I would recognize you anywhere.”


there was a studious art
to remaining indifferent
when mistaken by people and therefore
left on my own.
It was easier,
I thought I was happier,
and on spun the universe
with her elliptical fascinations. 
however, the awe, the art, 
is in remembering to breathe
when the universe stops
ever so briefly 
and we notice each other
and recognize our stardust
and say wow…
if we need
to say anything
at all.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ