Friday, December 11, 2009

Waterfall of mercy

Hmm. I seem to be getting off to a bit of a slow start this morning. I did take some pictures of the frost, but they didn't turn out that well. So I pulled up a picture taken in Florida, but after two tries that seems not to be what today is about either. All of which makes me wonder: if I WERE to take on a full-time job, would I still have the energy or the inclination for blogging? Because I'm sure it's the play that's taking it out of me today -- all these late nights, and the concentration required...

I'm also distracted because our younger daughter's flying home today, and her planes are being delayed -- which results in numerous phone calls as she tries to rearrange her rather complex social life based on estimated times of arrival.

After the first two tries on the blog I realized I was exhausted, and decided to go back to bed for a nap in hopes that would rejuvenate me. And as I was heading up the stairs my husband said, "You know, you could just take a day off from the blog." Of course he's right; "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds," and all that. But there were things I wanted to share -- I just can't figure out how they all tie together. So I think I'll just list them and let you make whatever connections seem to need making.

1. My husband came home grinning yesterday because he'd seen a bumper sticker that read "Political Correctness means always having to say you're sorry." So I of course said (showing my age), "Does that mean Political Correctness is the opposite of Love?" but he didn't get the reference (to the tagline from that ancient movie, Love Story -- "Love means never having to say you're sorry." -- all of which ties in with a poem I wrote yesterday and posted as a comment on Seedlings in Stone, a poem called "Offensive Apologies," about when you're expected to apologize and do so but in such a way that clearly puts the fault on the other person.

2. I read this morning's post on the Image and Spirit blog and was really struck by David's piece, particularly these lines:

I’ve allowed Netflix and caffeine into my space (again) to make their claims and set me down on the couch-of-my-life. These are all the low-level comfort/addictions of a typical middle class life – and the unconscious fear of the unknown that goes along with it...The Three Wise Men, the Kings of the Orient, represent a kind of inner soul bravery of spirit, a curiosity that trespasses barriers, an expansive outlook, a search for our Origin that leads out into far flung territories, something that follows a Star. This is all wrung out of us here in the West – in the West-of-our-lives – doesn’t matter if you are reading this in China – we all have a ‘West’ – a place of safety and drunkenness with safety. A place in the self with a lot of very human preoccupations and No Trespassing signs. The signs and barriers are there - even when we don’t see them - especially when we don’t see them."

...And I've just started, on the advice of my dear friend Nan, reading Richard Rohr's latest book, The Naked Now, and am finding it to be a marvelous gift on many levels. Here's my favorite quote for today:

"No wonder all of the great liturgical prayers of the churches end with the same phrase: "through Christ our Lord, Amen." We do not pray TO Christ; we pray THROUGH Christ. Or even more precisely, Christ prays through us. We are always and forever the conduits, the instruments, the tuning forks, the receiver stations (Romans 8:22-27). We slowly learn the right frequencies that pick up the signal."

Perhaps that's the issue -- I'm just not tuned properly today. Maybe it's the coffee, or the late night TV (to help bring me down from the highs of performance) that are interfering with my signals, keeping me from following whatever star was shining out there today.

Luckily Rohr has one last thought for me that keeps me from being too hard on myself:

"You are standing under the same waterfall of mercy as everybody else, and receiving an undeserved radical grace which gets to the root of everything."

Are you feeling a bit out of sorts -- discombobulated, as my mom used to say? Come join me under that waterfall of mercy; there's room for everyone, I'm told.


Maureen said...

I loved your poem, which I read last night on L.L.'s site.

I was up rather late myself, as I was trying to deal with sad news of a dear friend's death... Seeing your image of the waterfall is strangely comforting. Perhaps it's just a feeling of the water, so elemental, carrying away all the piled-up grief. Mercy is the right word.


"The waterfall of mercy" - thanks for the invitation, I'm in!