The Tree Spirit of Goldfinch Bluff


Can you see the thoughtful face of my friend there up on the hill, keeping watch over the farm?

Today’s Prompt is to write a “Stranger ________” poem.

Stranger Dreams
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

In that space between sleeping and waking,
aware of your day body breathing,
the sounds of the next-door world seep through,
the sounds of the dream-people speaking.

Past your body the dream-people wander,
and you are the watcher, observing
as they go about their dream-life day
while you listen to your own body breathing.

Sometimes you find yourself leaping
out of the breathing husk of your body,
grabbing the child from the predator’s pouncing
or answering questions dream-people are asking.

When you stumble back into your breathing body,
you find your eyes fluttering open,
echoes of dream-conversations ringing
into the quiet stillness of afternoon.


Well, I had a Dorothy Day Day a few weeks back. This seems to be my Bonhoeffer Day:
“We must finally stop appealing to theology to justify our reserved silence about what the state is doing — for that is nothing but fear. ‘Open your mouth for the one who is voiceless’ — for who in the church today still remembers that that is the least of the Bible’s demands in times such as these?” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
***
“It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” —Nelson Mandela
***
“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” —Thomas Berry


Gratitude List:
1. Feeling good feels so good when one has felt bad.
2. Long naps full of crazy lucid dreams
3. Solitude (but for the dream-folk and the cats)
4. Kale and Jarlsberg quesadilla
5. The strong voices of women speaking out

May we walk in Beauty!

How the Light Enters

I don’t like questioning people’s spirituality. We all believe what we do for various reasons. Still, I have become incredibly curious about the folks who are making policy in this country, about the supporters of the current raft of laws and bills that further marginalize the poor, that block people fleeing terror from reaching safety here in the US, that put so many in danger of losing their health care. I know that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and many of their comrades call themselves Christians, and I do hesitate to call people’s faith into question, but. . .  Yes, but I think that there is an appropriate time to do so.

I think someone needs to ask these guys how their faith informs their politics. I would like to ask these folks about what they see as the message of the Prince of Peace. I would like to ask them what it means to them to follow the way of Jesus.  I would like to ask them what they do with the Sermon on the Mount, how they interpret the Beatitudes, and even how they answer to some of the Old Testament prophets who called down gloom and doom upon a nation that would not see to the needs of the poor.

Again, normally I would consider it bad form to question someone’s faith, but this is the kicker: So many people in this country who also call themselves Christians are following their plans, supporting their ideological architecture of greed and graft, that they have more to answer for than their own faith. They have become the preachers and the prophets of a style of Christianity that I want to repudiate and distance myself from. I want to know how they carry that weight on their souls. Or perhaps, if they do not feel that weight, I would like to show them the weight that they carry.


“Do anything, but let it produce joy.” ―Walt Whitman
*
“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” ―Madeleine L’Engle
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“I believe that if I can sit out there long enough those crows, the trees and the wind can teach me something about how to be a better human being. I don’t call that romanticism, I call that Indigenous Realism.” ―Dr. Daniel Wildcat
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“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.” ―Carlos Santana
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“Take for joy from the palms of my hands
fragments of honey and sunlight,
as the bees of Persephone commanded us.”
―Osip Mandelstam
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“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
―Martin Buber, “The Legend of the Baal-Shem”
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“It’s no wonder we don’t defend the land where we live. We don’t live here. We live in television programs and movies and books and with celebrities and in heaven and by rules and laws and abstractions created by people far away and we live anywhere and everywhere except in our particular bodies on this particular land at this particular moment in these particular circumstances.” ―Derrick Jensen


Gratitude List:
1. A long fun day with the family at Legoland yesterday. We came back exhausted and happy.
2. Today’s Work
3. Good sleep
4. Anger, rage, grief: these, too, are teachers, unwelcome as they often are.
5. My friend’s yard sale: Last year, and this year, I went to her yard sale and found the basic clothing that I will need for the coming year. No need to make a big shopping trip to search for clothes that fit and might or might not look like me.

May we walk in Beauty!