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Thursday, May 31, 2012


The first thing I do after they leave
Is pat and rearrange everything
Back into the shape of my liking.

Just so there’s the illusion of control
For eight hours at least,
Until school bus brakes screech
And backpacks catapult
Landing in speed bump positions.

For eight whole hours,
I take out my ears
And shutter my face.

Not even the dog gets in.

I am off wandering
Puttering among posies and weeds
Growing riot and rank over
The landscape of my silence.

And when eight hours is up,
I’ve usually cleared
Just enough ground to stand on
With flowers in my hands.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May Your Kingdom Come...

     I was in the prayer room at Elim Baptist Church in NE Minneapolis, sitting in my seat in a circle with three other women from Abbey Way. One of the parts of being a member of AW is that we participate in either group or individual spiritual direction. My group and I have now journeyed, once a month, for about 1 or 2 years.    
     A beauty I've noticed as part of the practice is that often a common theme emerges throughout the group and I'm reminded again that I am part of a 'we.' I am connected to others and that God works with and through us all; like a master weaver creating a tapestry. We may be in completely different places, but we are connected by that common hand working in our lives.
     That evening one of the women's feedback to another woman was the word, 'play.' That word has been circling me lately, and I've noticed that I haven't been playing much; I think I'm waiting for permission.

     Another woman saw a 'picture' of a fully harnassed and blindered horse tied to a machine that forced the horse to work/walk in a circle. The next picture she saw was a wild horse running on a hill.

     As the evening progressed, in one of the silent times between listening to a person share; I felt God touching my imagination. I saw the harnassed, working horse (for me, I saw it harnassed to a mill in a building). As I watched, life and power infused the horse and it literally burst from the rut it was in and jumped up out of the track. As it did everything fell away except for the center post and a haltar and leadrope still attached to the post. As the freedom and hope increased in the picture I saw it was one of many horses tied to a large tree trunk and they were became a magical, living carousel; whirling and spinning in pure delight. Immediately the scene shifted and the horses were people and they were performing a Maypole dance, the one where they dip in and out of each other's way and the ribbons weave down the pole.

     I felt God say to me, "This is my Kingdom."

     I thought of how the work in that image is connected with others, the load is shared and balanced and made beautiful by co-operating in community. The previous pictures of the horse were of horses on their own, isolated, cut off from the 'herd.' I noticed that each interaction between the people created either an opportunity to give (go under the other's ribbon) or receive (go over the other's ribbon). It was that precise action that created the weaving. The dancer's wisdom and success in the design was in knowing which was called for, when. Joy, release and delight at Spring's return is in the picture; it is definitely an image of play -- an image of work that masqueades as play.

     I want to work like that; connected, not enslaved, not wildly on my own. There are moments of bending down and rising up -- it is work -- but there is the joy and support of the companions. The blessing of a fellowship; a people sharing the same place, time and purpose.

     I realized that it was May day and it was good.