Monday, February 8, 2010

Growing into Oneness

Yesterday I followed a link from my friend Maureen's blog, Writing Without Paper, and found a delicious new blog to feast on: Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy. I spent some time poking around that site, and her other wonderful site, Lucy Creates, and then dropped her a note of greeting before heading off with my husband to see the new Jeff Bridges movie, Crazy Heart.

This morning I checked my comments before embarking on the blog, and found "Lucy" had sent me these lovely words:

When a madrona branch withers and dies, it is not in the nature of the tree to allow it to rot or drop off. Its mother tree refuses to abandon it. Rather, as the young, healthy wood and bark grow, they creep up around the aged gray appendage like a bandage, a second skin, covering and protecting it, welcoming it back to tree-ness. No wonder the word “madrona” means “mother.” -- Luci Shaw


Reading that, I found myself wondering if "Lucy" had been peering over my shoulder when I discovered this image last night! And looking at this image in the context of that note, I find myself thinking of these lines written by the Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel as part of the call to our upcoming ECVA exhibit: Recognition and Return.

We are beloved habitations for that Holy Spirit and Comforter who abides within us, awaiting the transfiguration of our awareness and our humble recognition and consent to let the Sacred possess, pray, and act in and through us.

It seems to me that as we grow into the light, parts of us -- behaviors, relationships, thoughts and dreams; good, bad and indifferent -- are always dying off or f
alling away. Yet somehow those things remain part of us, woven into the fabric of who we are becoming.

Perhaps this is how that works: that the mother tree, that holy oneness which resides deep inside us, keeps sending out new life, and that new life somehow wraps around and incorporates that which is lost or dead inside us, welcoming and enfolding it, so that we eventually come to see that everything falls within God's embrace; that "nothing there is, that is not God."

All of which makes me think of that movie we saw, Crazy Heart. The plot was simple, quite predictable, even: an aging country music singer, tormented by his own demons, finds redemption in a love affair gone wrong. And though he doesn't get the girl in the end, he writes some beautiful music, fueled by his struggles with alcohol and loss.

I suppose in a lot of ways that is the essence of faith: to believe that somehow, through all the pain and sorrow and suffering of life, good will emerge. Not necessarily the specific good you longed for or envisioned, but surely goodness is always emerging; new life is always creating, embracing, and growing into oneness...

1 comment:

Maureen said...

The madrona fascinates me. Every image I've seen of it presents so wondrously. Your image here is stunning, with what looks to be an arm reaching up, and that pink skin! It reminds me of the artist Magda Abakanowitz (I'm probably not spelling her name correctly; she sculpted these incredible forms, none with heads).

I left a comment at Lucy's about how much I like the Shaw quote. (Maybe because we're all mothers.) I'm so pleased she gave you a well-deserved callout.