By Karl Martens
"I find I am humming, softly, not to the music, but to something else, some place else. A place remembered."
from A River Runs Through It
By Karl Martens
The theology of progress forces us to act before we are ready. We speak before we know what to say. We respond before we feel the truth of what we know. In the process, we inadvertently create suffering, heaping imprecision upon inaccuracy, until we are all buried under a mountain of misperception. But Sabbath says, Be still. Stop. There is no rush to get to the end, because we are never finished. Take time to rest, and eat, and drink, and be refreshed. And in the gentle rhythm of that refreshment, listen to the sound the heart makes as it speaks the quiet truth of what is needed.
It is not difficult to keep faith with a God of justice when the freedom movements are successful. But it is when the revolution fails, despair sets in, and the dreams are shattered—and, on a personal level, when people have to face a future of unemployment, poverty, and isolated caring for severely disabled dependents—that the discovery of a God who suffers with us, who becomes vulnerable with us, is what sustains our hope.
Source: The Outrageous Pursuit of Hope
Music Is In The Piano Only When It Is Played
We are not one with this world. We are not
the complexity our body is, nor the summer air
idling in the big maple without purpose.
We are a shape the wind makes in these leaves
as it passes through. We are not the wood
any more than the fire, but the heat which is a marriage
between the two. We are certainly not the lake
nor the fish in it, but the something that is
pleased by them. We are the stillness when
a mighty Mediterranean noon subtracts even the voices of
insects by the broken farmhouse. We are evident
when the orchestra plays, and yet are not part
of the strings or brass. Like the song that exists
only in the singing, and is not the singer.
God does not live among the church bells
but is briefly resident there. We are occasional
like that. A lifetime of easy happiness mixed
with pain and loss, trying always to name and hold
on to the enterprise under way in our chest.
Reality is not what we marry as a feeling. It is what
walks up the dirt path, through the excessive heat
and giant sky, the sea stretching away.
He continues past the nunnery to the old villa
where he will sit on the terrace with her, their sides
touching. In the quiet that is the music of that place,
which is the difference between silence and windlessness.
As something is breaking, somewhere
something is being joined. As something
is joining, somewhere something is breaking.
As something closes, something opens. As
something opens, something closes. Where
there is dark, somewhere there is light. And
where there is light, somewhere there is dark.
When things go clear, somewhere things are
thickening into confusion. And when people
are agitated, others are calm. I don’t understand
this. But as something is taken, something is given.
As something is given, something is taken. As some-
one is cruel, someone is kind. And when kindness
appears, somewhere something cruel is poised to
sting. Then someone is lost, as another is finally
at home. And some are aware of this, while others
are not. The way things break and join at once, the
way people are cruel and kind at once, the way life
constantly opens and closes, how there is light and
dark in every soul, how we’re clear and confused
just behind our heart, and lost and at home in
every breath—This is the river we’re born into,
turbulent at the surface, swift in the deep. This
is what we try to make sense of and live through,
feeling it’s all too much but needing more. So lift
your head and steady your heart, knowing, as you’re
swept along, that Experience is the face of God.
The reverse side also has a reverse side — Japanese proverb
Thank you to Running After My Hat (John E. Simpson)… for this post.
Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.
So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.
Naomi Shihab Nye
(from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)
- Nickel and Dimed - Barbra Ehrenreich pg 221 (via gorawickid)
daily reminder that the divide between rich and poor is so vast that it is historically unprecendented
"It amazes me how easy it is for things to change, how easy it is to start off down the same road you always take and wind up somewhere new. And it makes me feel, weirdly, like maybe all of these different possibilities exist at the same time, like each moment we live has a thousand other moments layered underneath it that look different."
- Lauren Oliver