R.S. Thomas

The Bright Field

I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the
pearl of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

When Growth Stops

I’m 5’11.5″. I tell people that I am six feet tall. Growing up, I always wanted to get to 6′. For whatever reason, it was some benchmark that became a goal–one that I had basically no control over. I never drank coffee when I was young–so I guess I can at least say that I didn’t stunt my growth at all. But there came a point when I had to accept that I wasn’t going to grow anymore. I wasn’t going to get to that 6 foot mark. And I never would.

I’ve been practicing yoga for about a year now. It is a spiritual practice as much if not more than it is a physical one (if such divisions must be made). Among its numerous benefits, yoga helps you to become more flexible. Many people think that yoga is just about stretching, or primarily just an act of stretching. This is not true. But stretching is certainly a significant part of it.

One of the ways that you become more flexible is not just by stretching, but by pushing your stretch beyond the edge. The way you do this is to take your stretch to the edge and breath deeply into it. Then, as you inhale, you come back out of the stretch just a little bit, and as you exhale you push forward just beyond where you were before.  Continue reading

Dag Hammarskjold

I don’t know Who — or what — put the question. I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But as some moment I did answer Yes to Someone — or Something — and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.”

Malcolm Guite

Through The Gate

Begin the song exactly where you are

For where you are contains where you have been

And holds the vision of your final sphere

 

And do not fear the memory of sin;

There is a light that heals, and, where it falls,

Transfigures and redeems the darkest stain

 

Into translucent colour. Loose the veils

And draw the curtains back, unbar the doors,

Of that dread threshold where your spirit fails,

 

The hopeless gate that holds in all the  fears

That haunt your shadowed city, fling it wide

And open to the light that finds and fares

 

Through the dark pathways  where you run and  hide,

through all the alleys of your riddled heart,

As pierced and open as His wounded side.

 

Open the map to Him and make a start,

And down the dizzy spirals, through the dark

His light will go before you, let Him chart

 

And name and heal. Expose the hidden ache

To him, the stinging fires and smoke that blind

Your judgement, carry you away, the mirk

 

And muted gloom in which you cannot find

The love that you once thought worth dying for.

Call Him to all you cannot call to mind

 

He comes to harrow Hell and now to your

Well guarded fortress let His love descend.

The icy ego at your frozen core

 

Can hear His call at last. Will you respond?

This Opaque World

Things seem quite clear. We trust our eyes. If our sight is blurred, we get corrective lenses and the world sharpens. We believe in the reality that we see. We accept what we observe and place (too) great faith in our interpretations. We operate from our understanding without second thought. How else could we live if we didn’t trust our vision?

And yet, though we often forget or ignore it, we know that there is always a deeper reality. A world that exists beyond the one that we live in every day. We know this world exists, but it remains a vague whisper in our minds, like the dream from a few nights ago. Just as every now and then a dream leaves a deep enough impression to stick with us over time, to overcome the veil of waking reality, so too this deeper reality sometimes raises above a whisper, sometimes lingers with us longer than the passing breeze.

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