Rebirth

A magnolia leaf from my classroom. Didn’t quite make it safely home. But now it’s here, and you can receive its message too.

I’m behind again on the daily poetry, so I’ll pull another from a previous day. The prompt was to write a 3-5-line poem which was a story of loss and redemption. I cheated (it was my own prompt anyway) and made it six lines. Not sure where the angels came from, but there they were. I’ll receive them.

Rebirth
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The onslaught may feel like it’s carrying you away,
but in the morning, though fear remains,
though pain, though worry,
though the guardian still waits at the gateway,
Resolve will awaken within you,
and you will have the strength of angels at your back.


Listening to Mamuse’s “We Shall Be Known By the Company We Keep” over and over and over again these days. If that’s the case, Friends, I am in a good place. The company of You is so wise, so tender, so articulate, so compassionate, so justice-serving, so playful, so winsome, so deep.


Gratitude List:
1. “Always we begin again,” said St. Benedict, and I am finding his message a simple and comforting reminder.
2. So many people committed to justice and democracy and goodness and saving the planet.
3. Pink, pink, pink, pink trees!
4. Dawn chorus
5. Wise friends. Such wise friends.
May we walk in Beauty!


“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.” —Diane Ackerman


“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.” ―Wendell Berry


“A crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or “spin” to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with.” —Jean Shinoda Bolen


“Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther.” —Thomas Carlyle


“At the end of the day, I’d rather be excluded for who I include than included for who I exclude.” —Eston Williams


“Free me. . .from words, that I may discover the signified, the word unspoken in the darkness.” —Byzantine Prayer


“Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.”
—Maya Angelou


“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
—Leonard Bernstein


Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.”
—Mary Oliver


“If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” —Harper Lee


“Some days, you don’t know whether
you are stepping on earth or water or air.
Place each foot carefully before you
and offer your weight gratefully to
whatever it is that holds you.”
—Beth Weaver-Kreider

Following the Path of Grace

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There is no prompt up yet, and I have to head to school.  I’ll do a second post later today with the poem.

Gratitude List:
1. Awakenings: Yesterday in a short story, the girl’s boyfriend and his mother offered to help in a chaotic moment at the restaurant.  The dad went out to wait in the car.  This was an incidental sentence in the story, but two of my classes stopped the story and complained about the dad.  They expect more of men these days.
2. Companionship: This bright boy sitting beside me and reading as I write.
3. Redemption. Grace. Restoration:  We don’t always live up to the possibilities.  The people we care for sometimes break or trample the trust we put in them.  Still, we find room for grace.  Today’s grace may be fragile, may be temporary, but I will nurture the hope it offers with everything I can give it, like the tiny, impossible flame we tended at the fire pit a couple weeks ago, giving it our breath, feeding it, believing it would catch.
4. Solitude: Not yet, not yet.  But last night I began my first dreamings for my contemplative solitude retreat this summer.
5. Growth: Sometimes the daily minutiae of teacher-work can make it seem like there is no growth, or that the growth is too small, too slow.  When I step back and look at the progress of students’ work from last year to this, it suddenly becomes clear, like looking at that small oak tree out on the hill.  I cannot see its day-to-day growth, but when I look at it over time, I can see the miracle of its growth.

May we walk in Beauty!