Journey on

I used to have a distant thought that there were two events that really connected us as humans. We were all born and we all must pass. The “dash on the tombstone dates” as Kevin Welch calls it, is where we all went our own way. While some similarities and parallel roads occurred, we didn’t reconvene on the big stuff till the end.

Now I’m beginning to shape the idea that while it looks different for us all, the “dash” is the thread that connects those two events for us as individuals of course but also as the family of man. The children of one Creator/ Creation.

I think that “thread” is answering in our spirits, the questions of the big mystery, or thinking we need to have the answer. When Richard Rohr talks about the impossibility of successful dualism, I think of how we understand it in our minds but our hearts refuse to get on board. But our heart, our spirit, is the Creator talking and in that there is no duality. The duality comes from the Creator, our spirit wanting us to progress and grow but our humanity, our culture, religion, fear and shame tell us we don’t really deserve it.

Those that dare to step into the dance of the unknown, to trust the Creator have never said they have all the answers. In reality the deeper they step into the unknown it’s understood that answers aren’t the interesting part. Answers are no longer the desire. Reality and connection, then relationship comes from the journey. The ebb and flow, the tides of the spiral. That’s where the meat is.

If not having the answers keeps us questioning and trying to connect everyday then that is a much better spirituality than thinking you have the answers. Because if you do think you have the answers, then the tendency is to camp out there and also to begin telling others what the answers are. Even reading that back to myself seems ludicrous, yet we all have participated in that. But hopefully we will trust that the Creator is bigger than religion, bigger than culture and that answers were never meant to be the goal.

If you don’t agree and you want to hold onto your traditions as though they are the holy part, then that’s fine. I just hope you give others the grace to hold onto what they feel in their hearts is the breath of the divine. If you get too far away from your brothers and sisters you will only see what separates you, not the thread of hunger to connect with the wonder and holy that lives in all of us.

Many Native people believe that those closest to the Creator are the infants that just came from God and the old ones who are about to return. They have a peace about them. I hope I can live in that peace with enough time to enjoy it and for my children to see it.

Peace to you all. Aho

 

I am

I am American. A Southerner and Floridian. I am English, Czech and Indian. I am perfectly imperfect and imperfectly perfect. Significant beyond measure and yet a speck of sand in the great deserts.

I am lost and found. A believer in the goodness of mankind and scared to death of my own dark possibilities.

A seeker and deep wanderer. Complacent and moved by selfishness.

I am moved by ceremony and many times untouched by beauties and graces that surround me.

I am thankful yet much of my life shows no sign of that.

Many times I can’t say what I mean and I wonder if it’s a lack of command for words or if deep down it’s my heart.

I know there is something bigger than me but can rarely define it.

I am insecure and yet completely comfortable with who I am and the journey I’m on.

I am full of the world. Full of love and many times full of shit. Sometimes I have a hard time knowing the difference.

I am here and I am gone. I reach out and hold close.

I am you and you are me.

Do you know me? Does any of this ring a bell?

Thank you for lending me your ear. I have written this straight and from stream of conciousness. No editing.

To Just Be

This probably isn’t so much a post on spirituality as it is on life or getting older. I was raised to think of others or at least care what others think. As I ran that through my life filters, I perhaps created it into something that it wasn’t intended to be. I worried what others thought too much. At some point I had to let that go. For years I tried with effort to let it go but I still felt trapped by those thoughts. As I’ve become older I’ve had little tastes of what letting go really means to me. I couldn’t do it with effort as much as I just had to divest myself from that thinking. Perhaps think of other things and the more I did that the more I just forgot about the other stuff !

I’ve always felt a connection to the Creator. I wouldn’t define that within any religious system, but rather an undeniable sense of something beating in my soul. As I wander along I am feeling that the big truth is in many, many small things, like prisms in glass. Slivers of truths, all equally important for each individual. I can no longer confine the Creator to only my thoughts or anyone else’s thoughts. To no religions, traditions or cultures. None own the truth in its entirety, but we all own a piece of the truth that belongs to our soul. I believe the Creator shows up everywhere in everything.

For now I am still way too hungry to have my voice heard. Too hungry to be right. Too hungry to own all of the truth. I hope my future stages will have me letting go of that hunger, and leave me just basking in the peace and comfort of knowing that my honesty and vulnerability with the Creator is enough.

I’m sure many will disagree with these thoughts. Some will be worried for my soul. Some will think I’ve gone off the deep end. Some will think I am right on track, but really none of it should matter to me. My road is mine, just as yours is yours. I hope we all reach a point where we are so comfortable with our beliefs, that not only do we need to be shouting them but that we also don’t have a desire for the praise or need to defend the criticism.

At some point I hope to just be.

What Happened To The Middle ?

The tragedy at the Sandy Hook School has left us with an ache so deep in our soul that we’re not sure what a recovery looks like. It is a hard shaping of our reality. The are small brush strokes with subtly shape us in a way that we don’t notice until much later. This awful tragedy is an immediate, hard chunk cut from our softest core. Where we crave for answers and none come and questions just bring more questions.

While the tragedy at Newtown has prompted much of these feelings, the world conversations of guns and amendment rights, fiscal cliffs, and so on and so forth have made me ask this question; what has happened to the middle? The middle, the common ground where I really believe most of us live. Are the only choices the ones on the far ends of the spectrums? Is it really “my way or the highway?”. Is it a take my ball and go home world? I don’t think it is. I think most of us in the quieter conversations can see more than just their side.

What has pushed us so far apart from each other? These are serious issues some would say, but really, haven’t they always been. Womens Rights, Slavery, Obortion, Death Penalty, and the list goes on and on. What we humans will do to each other is a deep hurt and simply amazes most of us; and that’s at the hands of people who aren’t in their right mind. What of the sane ones that try to run over everyone else? Ones who would rather scare the hell out of people so their visions of “rightness” will become the way the world lives.

I guess in the end if we are pushed apart and the distance grows and grows then the result will be that we can’t even see each other. If we can’t see then we can’t hear each other. If we can’t hear then we can reach out and touch each other. The closer we live together the less we have to scream at each other. The more we can sit together in this world we share and really try to put our minds together, so we can build a better world for our children. If we don’t we will become a sea of people on opposite ends, mostly manuvered by external input, yelling into the darkness and wondering why it isn’t getting any better.

It is with a heavy heart that these words are typed. Not only for New Town, but for Aurora, and the Mall in Portland. They are typed for the man in Rapid City holding Police off, and for all the painful situations in which we hurt each other. The missing children, the elderly of which some prey on. I pray one day the Master of Breath will shed a light where we can wrap some understanding around this earthly existence. Till then, I hope we can all hold our tounge and wrap our arms around the ones we love. That we somehow drudge up and live with, even if a little at a time, the Golden Rule.

A Blessing

Once in a while someone says something that really reflects how you feel. Something you wish you had said ! Such is the case with a blessing that was written and recited by our friend Melissa Greene at church this past Sunday. For me this is high and above religion and politics, and although it brushes against those themes it is more about  choosing a way to live a life. Knowing Melissa, these aren’ just words to evoke an emotion or posture herself in a certain light. These are words she would put up to her own mirror, words not only for us, but for her too. Letting the repeated word “We” settle into your head as you read, reminds us that it’s not an “I” world but a “We” world.

In this loud world full of banter from TV media and where people shout hateful and dividing words behind the veils of social media forums, hearing these words was very moving. My favorite line is “May we get down off of our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live”. I really believe that we can share with someone in a quiet setting, we find we are much closer than we think, that there is an “open space where all truly live”.

If you find even one line that stirs your soul or sticks to your bones, then the reading will have been worth it. If you find yourself wanting to know more about Melissa’s journey, you can find her at http://melissagreenemusic.com/.

May We Be The Blessing

May we be the blessing today and not the curse.
May we encourage one another towards an abundant life.
May we seek peace and reconciliation in our own hearts and with the hearts of those around us.
May we live humbly.
May we give people, all people; our family, our friends, our neighbors, our communities and our leaders, the benefit of the doubt.
May we let LOVE lead us.
May we let generosity guide our actions.
May we stand for what Christ stood for or rather stand with those whom Christ stands with. ALL.
May we get down off our fences and high posts and come down into the level ground, into the open space where all truly live.
May we dwell in this fertile ground where our lives WILL eventually turn outward toward others.
May we allow our focus to turn from me to them to you and finally to us.
May we live united.
May we seek SHALOM.
May we be reminded of the image of God in all of our lives.
May we seek communion with all.
May we be the blessing not the curse

 

To Follow

If I said to you, “follow me”, wouldn’t you think we were going somewhere, maybe the two of us journeying together? And if someone said ‘follow me”, wouldn’t we assume one person is a kind of guide, and maybe that person already knows the way and wants you and me to join them? At least this is how I hear that term “follow”.

So, when I overlay that thought onto the geography of my journey and my faith, it totally reshapes the perceptions I had as a younger person. I’d heard the term “following Jesus” all of my life. The elders would say “son, if you’ll just follow Jesus, everything will be alright”. I’m thinking they were right, but I’m also thinking their “follow” wasn’t the same as my “follow”. Speaking for me alone, I just don’t think of the Creator as being stagnate, no matter the form.

Does this thought ring true for any of you? I may just be talking crazy and maybe I’m just the last one to get this thought or perspective on the word “follow”. It is a verb, it is movement, and it resonates in my heart to see the Creator as a guide rather than a ruler. I would think God is as fascinated by our journey’s as we are, and is traveling along beside deep in the experience, but in whatever form that great spirit is.

What do you think? I have been in many conversations of late on the static or movement nature of our journey. Many people I talk to are just fine with the view of God they had a 10 or 15 years old, and many who see that in terms of their own experiences as being impossible. They are relishing in the mystery and not having answers to all of the questions, and actually finding comfort in that. Everyone has their own path to walk and it’s important to honor everyone’s walk.

I would love to hear reflections on this, even if you don’t think it’s worth talking about !!!! I hope I have chosen my words with honesty and the spirit of being open to learning and gaining a wider perspective.

The Expectation you have is the result you’ll get

Results usually follow anticipation. Is that kind of like “be careful what you ask for?”. I’ve been thinking a little about expectations, about how if they are misguided then my outcome is probably going to be something I don’t like.

This thought has been rattled around in relationships through the years. In my marriage, at times, I’ve somehow unconsciously and non vocally expected things. Then when they don’t happen, the disappointment appears. The first bump is that others aren’t supposed to read your mind. Second bump is considering if that expectation was a reality on the other persons side.

Lately I’ve had the thread of this idea in my head concerning Bible reading. I have tried and tried, but I’m just not a Bible reader. It’s great if I want to get more confused or if I can’t sleep, but to read hoping some vibrant clear message that will clarify my life will drop out, well then, that’s just never happened. Now other people have interpreted something from the Bible and that is great. I always wonder if they have been reading the same thing I was. So there goes that expectation thing again. I’m beginning to see that my expectations of the Bible needed tweaking if I was ever going to have a shot of finding it a good read. I’m learning. Not a Bible reader yet, but I am understanding the sense in which it was written and what it was meant to be.

The same view of God holds true. I held a childlike view way too long. A simple good vs bad thing. I used God as an insurance policy, and at the very least a “get out of jail free” card. You know, we’ve all done it, “God if you just get me out of this mess, I will ___”. I’ve found He/She is no genie, no puppeteer . So as my expectations change my outlook and my journey changes. I look within as much as I can, and I stumble often. I’m still busy being human, but I think God is just thinking “Well, what ya gonna do with them, they are only human”. I’m learning to lean on mercy, grace and love, not damnation, hellfire and discouragement. Learning to except that we are all loved, every life on this planet, loved just the same by the one Creator, giver of life. What an astonishing thought. Makes me reach to be more inclusive. Like folks have said about Jesus “never saw him build a wall, just a bridge”.

.It’s a little early and not enough coffee in the bloodstream yet, so I hope this post has made some sense and touches you somewhere on your path.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these things, it’s the best way for me to grow and you never know how your thoughts can touch someone else.