November 2013

here’s to opening and upward, to leaf and to sap

and to your(in my arms flowering so new)

self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain


and here’s to silent certainly mountains;and to

a disappearing poet of always, snow

and to morning; and to morning’s beautiful friend

twilight(and a first dream called ocean)and


let must or if be damned with whomever’s afraid

down with ought with because with every brain

which thinks it thinks, nor dares to feel(but up

with joy; and up with laughing and drunkenness)


here’s to one undiscoverable guess

of whose mad skill each world of blood is made

whose fatal songs are moving in the moon




ah, the hidden sweetness

we find when the belly is empty!

we are no more or less than

string instruments: if

the sound box is full of something,

no music: obviously.


so: if the brain and the belly

are burned clean with fasting,

every moment a new song

comes out of the fire:

the fog goes away

a new energy

makes you run up the steps

in front of you.


be empty: make music

like a reed pipe;

write love’s secrets

with a reed pen.






Any Christian whether living in the world or in the Religious Life, active or enclosed, is being called as was St Antony of old to go down into the most frightening places of world history. If we are really trying to live this life in Christ, we are called to go down into the work! situation of today, which is rapidly be­coming divorced from God. It is only in prayer that those truly given to God can face this awful sense of disintegration, and face it united to Christ not only in his Passion but also in the power of his Resurrection.

We have got to live now in and through the dying, in order that we may bear witness to the Resurrection life … If we live in this glorious perspective, we do not have to wait for the fullness of life after death. Life in God is here and now, experienced first and foremost through experiencing death. Do not be afraid to die, do not be afraid when you are overwhelmed by the sense of your own weakness and sin and muck and desolation. Let everything which is in you, and everything which is thrown up against you by the power of evil, be held in Christ’s healing power. Do not absorb it or be overcome by it, but let it in you meet Christ’s power to heal; let it in you meet this almighty power of God, so that in you the mess can be transformed, answered.


from a Conference given to the Community, Sunday in the Octave of Prayer for Unity, 1968



Indra’s net

Buddhism uses a similar image to describe the interconnectedness of all phenomena. It is called Indra’s Net. When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web is tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra’s net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra’s web implies all else that exists.

from Timothy Brook, Vermeer’s Hat


To forgive,” writes Mary Gordon, “is to give up the exhilaration of ones own unassailable rightness”

And there is loss in that, only it is the loss of an illusion, and what is gained is unmistakably real: the chance to live again, free from the bitterness that draws the sweetness from our lives, that gives us scary faces and turns us into carrion crows who blot out the sun with our flapping.

No one else does this to us. We do it to ourselves, but we do not have to.

We are being forgiven every day of our lives. We are being set free by someone who has arranged things so that we have all the advantages. We have choices. We have will. And we have an advocate, who seems to know that we need lots of practice at this forgiveness business. How often should we forgive? Will seven times take care of it?”Not seven times,’’Jesus said,“but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’’ This is no chore. This is a promise, because forgiveness is the way of life. It is God’s cure for the deformity our resentments cause us. It is how we discover our true shape, and every time we do it we get to be a little more alive. What God knows and we don’t yet is that once we get the hang of it, seventy times seven won’t be enough, not to mention seventy-seven.

We’ll be so carried away by it that well hope it never ends,



Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye,

clear. What we need is here.


Wendell Berry



The same leaves over and over again!

They fall from giving shade above

To make one texture of faded brown

And fit the earth like a leather glove.


Before the leaves can mount again

To fill the trees with another shade,

They must go down past things coming up.                 T

hey must go down into the dark decayed.


They must be pierced by flowers and put

Beneath the feet of dancing flowers.

However it is in some other world

I know that this is the way in ours.


Robert Frost, In Hardwood Groves

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