Changing The Shape Of The Universe

 


A response to Stephen Evan's post, The Jesus of Silver Spring



English has two great forgotten words, namely 'helpmeet' which is much greater than 'lover' and 'loving-kindness' which is so much greater than even 'passion'.  Lawrence Durrell

I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in. Virginia Woolf. (Without hesitation, I would remove the 'perhaps'.)

A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him. Dylan Thomas (What he says of the powers of poetry, I would extend to all authentic writing and every random act of kindness.)

Who do you say that I am? Jesus Christ to St Peter.



Perhaps the last quote seems a strange inclusion in the light of Stephen's post. For me, it does sum up his musings.

Any response to the question is generally unvoiced, shadowy, hardly or never considered, but is implicit and inescapable in our attitude to being. In this mirror, we see our reflection. Through our own lens, we measure others, forever searching for an image we recognise, though we're scarcely aware of it. Meanwhile the quest for joy, for a life of fulfilment and meaning goes on.

Jesus says: I am come that they might have Life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Abundant life! A blossoming tenderness for the whole of Creation and a compulsion to care for it.

Then all may become as it should be, by miraculous consolation, even in the dark times. Keats' 'negatitive capability' is a cosmic phenomenon and a scandal equally to logicians and doomsayers as to those who seek shelter in a shiny fools' paradise.

This is the most precious gift. This is Living. This is Love. Enjoy!

Hearts do matter!

 

Heartsease courtesy of Matthew Drollinger

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The Jesus of Silver Spring

In my novel The Island of Always, Lena (my protagonist) compares her ex-husband to Jesus—in that he loves everyone, just no one in particular (meaning her).

I was thinking about that today as a friend and I were exchanging emails on the subject of being alone later in life (I'm 63, and have been alone or on my own or however you want to put it for some years). My friend and I both agreed that writing (which is what we do, or at least how we think of ourselves) plays a part in that, both as a prerequisite, solitude being implicit in the writing life, and as a proxy, providing the joy and meaning that might otherwise come from companionship. 

Then I thought about Lena's line, and it occurred to me that there might be another alternative: compassion. Or perhaps the more personal counterpart: kindness. Maybe being kind to others, not just to other people, but to all the life around you, generates in you some of the same well-being that partnership might. It’s more spread out, certainly, easier to miss, no doubt. But maybe in aggregation enough to keep the heart alive. 

Perhaps in the end it all comes down to endorphins and complex neurochemical reactions. Or maybe there is a higher accounting, a karma to be built. But I wonder if the choice to engage with your little patch of the world in this way, each day, to smile at a neighbor, give a treat to a dog, or leave bread out for the birds and squirrels, can sustain the heart through the solitary years ahead. 

I hope so.

Hearts are important. 

 

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A Shapeshifter at Play

All the windows are locked.  Curtains closed.  Blinds pulled down all the way to the sills.  Even so, its chilly breath hisses through the tiny gaps and reaches my knees.  There is an occasional tremor in the candle flames on the coffee table.  The nervous awareness of the force outside.  The normally vocal pigeons on our roof are silent.  The shapeshifting dragon is letting rip, giving a spectacle of its histrionic power.  Now it soars into the skies, its tail lashing the dark clouds, sending crackling rain to slam against the window panes.  Now it's a tiger roaring in the night, sending a rumble rippling through the air.  Now a witch slaloming between chimneys on her broomstick, her impish giggle tickling the stars.  Then a gigantic owl, screeching in the roof, its wings whooshing in the air.  Then it swells into a tempestuous sea, foaming lips gnawing at the cliffs, then ebbing away before gathering into waves rising tall, fearless, tossing ships like juggling balls.  All of a sudden it retreats, quietens down, vanishes, like a memory you doubt.  Odd phrases of a tune that haunts you but which you cannot quite remember.  But, just two minutes later, it's a dragon again, spewing flames like a Venetian glassmaker's furnace, the bewitching fire of an Andalusian gypsy – spinning, swirling, lunging, turning raindrops into needles of ice, the supersonic speed of its flight making the windows quiver.  I am king, the dragon says. I am emperorAnd you've seen nothing yet. 

 

"It sounds like everything's about to come crashing down," H. says, looking up at the high ceiling of our living room.

I feel electrified, a thrill stroking my skin, like fingertips running up and down my spine, a sense of excitement and joy swelling inside me.  That and the unwavering sense that the power outside is choosing to keep me safe.

"I love – I've always loved the wind," I say.

 

Scribe Doll

 

 

 

 

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Silver And Gold Have I None...

 

 Harking back to 2012...a lifetime ago!

 

 

Febrile kindled flame
gathering energy on

deluged thoroughfares

banishing our ruined dreams

fresh vision broadcast

 

the nation focused
reminiscent spectacle

of our heritage

gone the touchstone of its soul

the flint and tinder

 

struck by our forebears
tillers of the untamed earth

servants and soldiers

merchants, miners and martyrs

bringers of quick light

 

vicarious now
the hope of saving glory

coffers overdrawn

no securities gilt-edged

faint hearts overwrought

 

seams, today seamless
our lottery's tarnished coin

spent and spent again

the lure of medals hinting

new Jerusalem

 

Seize the pick, the pen, the spade
the simple plough and harrow

bind up wounds, support the sick

life's not fair's true sportsmanship

our children's gold tomorrow!

 


 

from Mysteries of Light (collection in preparation)

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