In the Garden

It’s no secret that I am a little obsessed with Mary Magdalene, with her story, her lore, her myth. And in the Jesus narrative, my favorite moments are the Jesus the Happy Trickster moments following the Resurrection, when he reveals himself to Mary in the garden, to Thomas in the upper room, to Peter and friends along the shore, to the friends walking to Emmaus.

I’ve tried, again and again, to capture the moment of Mary’s moment of turning in the garden in poetry. I think I’ve been successful. Yet I return to the moment over and over, as if saying it yet another way will open the story that one inch more fully. There’s that moment when she turns, from the cool shadows of the empty tomb to the glaring light of day. Maybe she already guesses that it isn’t the gardener, or that it is the Gardener. I don’t mean to be glib about one of the most powerful moments of story I know, but there’s a Schrodinger’s moment here as Mary is turning, when she both knows and doesn’t know, when a thousand thousand possibilities bloom in the space between not knowing and knowing, and gnowing.

And in the series of Rilke lines that my friend Tim offered me for poems this week, today’s was the perfect opening line for a deeper reflection on this moment of dawning truth.

Gratitude List:
1. A weekend with family.
2. Making music with my siblings.
3. My church community–earnest, loving, joyful, Present
4. Morning prayers in the grove. The pear trees are blooming.
5. Coming alive
May we walk in Beauty!

“Our task is to take this earth so deeply and wholly into ourselves that it will resurrect within our being.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

“We have no symbolic life, and we are all badly in need of the symbolic life. Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul – the daily need of the soul, mind you! And because people have no such thing, they can never step out of this mill – this awful, banal, grinding life in which they are “nothing but.” —C. G. Jung

by Shel Silverstein

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS,
Listen to the NEVER HAVES,
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.

If you are a dreamer
by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

“It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
—Mary Oliver

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —Once-ler, in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ―Nelson Mandela

Twelve Things I Have Learned So Far: (1) You do not always have to be right. (2) People can change. (3) Loss comes to us all, but so does grace. (4) We can disagree and still be together. (5) Kindness is the greatest treasure I have to give away. (6) We are all healed even if it does not happen on our timeline. (7) Imagination is a form of prayer. (8) I own nothing. (9) Life is full of sacred signs if only we look to see them. (10) The ancestors are real. (11) Not all of my friends and mentors are human. (12) Now is eternal and it is my home. —Steven Charleston

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