Sunday, June 28, 2009

He looked on his servant in her nothingness....

I.

I looked at my soul.
And my soul looked back at me.

Such poverty
                       (to see)

And yet
Such majesty
                       (to be)


I looked at God.
And God looked back at me.

All in an instant
Appeared
A hole: My very soul?

A space into eternity
Vast emptiness - of heavens.
Clear through
what had been
(me).

Full of God's gaze: The Spirit's blaze?
Like laser's trace
My finite self
Erased
Leaving a space
Of limitless grace.


II.

God's love is
A purifying love.

It scours us clean.

Like water
It wears a way.

Clean through.


III.

"He looked on his servant in her nothingness..."

Magnificat, Annunciation song.


I think in our deepest hearts we are all alike. There is a window in us - that opens to eternity - which to me appeared as something like the night sky, full of stars, not just around me, but right through me. As if ... seeking after the Mystery, and coming "face to face" with this mysterious gaze upon us, we are somehow transformed - even replaced by the Mystery itself - or it's trace in us. And maybe, over time, if we have enough such moments, we literally disappear into the Mystery.

Some people, it would seem, want to shut that out. Not just from themselves, but from others too. They have that window (onto eternity) "capacity" - but may choose to ignore it. Or they may shut the window - as if to erase the capacity in themselves.  Or worse, some try to shut it down for others too. (Thus missing this great adventure - even depriving the cosmos of a unique "window"  into mystery.)

God is just one way of wording it. A mystery beyond our conception. Holy Mystery - whatever is deepest, truest, most transcendent, most real - although most hidden. I used God here because it came as part of the poem, part of the experience. But mostly I prefer terms which veil the mystery. Something which can never be penetrated. Indeed, if we try to penetrate it, or so it seems to me, the Mystery only grows greater - as we ourselves become part of it - or it becomes part of us. Could be both.

Nothingness. It attracts Mystery. And Mystery draws you into nothingness.


IV.

None of us is perfect. Yet this experience taught me that God does not so much look "at us" as "through us". Beyond our imperfections. It's as if, in the gaze of God, our imperfections, our limitations, simply disappear.

We can take comfort in that, I think.

It is a compassionate gaze. A transforming gaze. Nothing to fear.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Through the hole in the sky…a poet once wrote… it is that precise blueness that releases the mystery to me. Seeing and feeling a connection to everything, and nothingness. And golden green thru the trees breaking light into beauty. I feel it in your poems. The Gaze of God is a vast concept through which I look back, cannot answer and feel humbled. The growth of a seedling, yearning to be, and being.
-stratofrog

Rowan said...

There is indeed the Majesty, but I believe we are not simply rooms into which it flows, nor passive in its immensity. We are each of us contributing members of that. Within the vastness is a song to which we each add our voice and uniqueness - from the flower in the sidewalk, to each creature - including humans who bother to worry about such things.

Being is an active verb.

TheraP said...

Oh, to have blessed with such beautiful comments! From which I can learn: Yours, strato. And yours, Rowen!

I am transported by them both! I am honored. I am humbled.

It's not like I was in a room, Rowen. It's as if I were both "in space" - within the universe - but it was also as if it was part of me (this vast hole right through me). As if I was participating in it - from the inside and the outside.

I love the idea of our being contributing members! And the song to which we each add our voices and uniqueness. Yes! Oh, yes! I'm sure you're right!

I'm so glad to be in a universe that contains such beauty!

I wonder if, when we sing the song or the note which is truly our own, the universe itself transforms - like the quanta leaping at that instant.

Rowan said...

I think that in the universe there are few statics. It is constantly transforming. Sometimes we can feel that shift and other times we cannot.

Sometimes big decisions can cause shifts. I know that when GW decided to take revenge as the direction of choice for 9/11 that I felt a fracturing. I STILL think we jumped to an alternate reality leaving a number of possibilities in some other timeline. The fracture was not the events of 9/11, but the way those events were responded to.

I have thought a lot about that. That the transformative moments are not WHAT happens, but how we respond to them.

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

My mom had an experience like that once. all of a sudden being a part of everything.

It was after my dad passed away. Maybe intense emotion brings these things on. I dunno. This blog comforts me, and speaks to me in ways that matter. I tend to want to hide myself away when times get tough. So I understand about wanting to close that window.

I am happy you are still writing, though, dearest one.

--bwakfat

TheraP said...

Oh, bwak! So good to see you!

I have no idea how much I may or may not write. But this offers greater safety. And thus a more open heart in what we can say.

Right now I'm still tinkering, experimenting with formats and such.

Patience is a virtue....

Rowen says: "Not WHAT happens. But how we respond."

That is very deep and very wise. I shall try to live up to it!

stillidealistic said...

Thera, I am trying again...we'll see if it goes through!

This is just so you, dear heart. I know how you struggled with those whose names shall not be spoken here. It will be good for you to have a place where you can share your heart w/o having to expose it to them.

Your voice will be sorely missed on a daily basis, but it gives me solace to know you are keeping an eye on us over at TPM, and I hope that when the urge or the needs arises you will comment or post from time to time.

I think you are going to LOVE doing this from a protected space...

Congratulations...with much love, Stilli

Miguel de los Sueños Jones said...

Nice place you've got here Thera. I'll stop by to visit from time to time.

The mind of the past is ungraspable;
the mind of the future is ungraspable;
the mind of the present is ungraspable.

- Diamond Sutra

Paddlin' Through said...


Silly as it seems dear Thera . . .

. . . Silly As It Seems

You know me by my Quack!

Obey said...

I'm so glad to see you back to writing, Thera. I'll 'follow' along if that's alright ;0)

Do you know Mauriac's Vipers' Tangle. One of my favorite books, mainly because it gives a beautiful account of one of those mysteries I can't quite fathom: finding God. The story of an old bitter atheist who finally 'breaks through' the shallow emotions of anger, hatred, envy, self-assertion. Towards the end the epiphany is expressed as follows:"Robert's [his son who betrayed him] stupidity had been what struck me about him, and I had confined myself to that superficial feature. Never had the appearance of other people presented itself to me as something that must be broken through, something that must be penetrated, before one could reach them".

We spend so much time in the clutch of reactive attitudes - bouncing off others' behavior that threatens our interests or denigrates our values, and it seems going beyond this game of emotional ping-pong involves not so much breaking through these threats, but resetting our own conception of our interests and values. Once they are set aright, those walls often fall down. When your Self comes to embrace the Other, barriers crumble, and the self both disappears and expands.

I somewhat grasp the theory, but it's ever hard to apply.
oh the humanity...
;0P

TheraP said...

Oh, to be blessed with such wonderful friends.... Such wonderful comments.

I cannot begin to tell you how enriching this is. How humbling as well.

Tears in the eyes. Music in the soul.

I am thinking of many, many things. If I walk this path there is so much to say....

Blessings upon all who come this way. Whether you walk for a while or at length. Whether we pass each other. And have a moment's understanding. A tear. A smile.

Peace. Peace to all.

Anonymous said...

Outside my window, hardworking, good men do as they are bidden by "he who must be obeyed" -- cutting down a fifty year old dogwood tree (so recently ablaze with star-crossed flowers) so that He can control (he thinks) manifestations of wonder.
It is he, and his ilk, to whom you refer when you say:
"They have that window (onto eternity) "capacity" - but choose to ignore it. And instead of letting themselves be erased (transformed) by God, they seek to erase God in themselves - and others. (They have to be in charge, thus missing this great adventure.)
One of the grounds crew has promised me to nurse a seedling from the a cutting. One night before I leave here, he and I will plant it, so that years hence, when all of us are gone, its swaying branches may provide, as
Strato notes: the "golden green thru the tree breaking light into beauty".... that will emenate from "the growth of a seedling, yearning to be, and being."
Thank you, TheraP, for a place to experience nothing -- but gentleness.

Rowan said...

Anon,
So sad, and such a frequent assault. There is something tragic in the murder of a tree - for me anyway. I know that many think it nothing, but the wisdom and the beauty is each tree's own.

I heartily approve the joint "guerilla action" of returning the beauty for the future.

TheraP said...

Trees are so important to me. All my life I felt an affinity with trees. I believe they are healing. I recall in college, and other times, needed to be near trees - as if I could breathe better, more easily, surrounded by them. When we bought our house, one of the requirements was a lot with lots of trees. I love their leaves, swaying in the wind in summer. I love the colors of Fall. And I love the bare branches in winter, outlined against the sky or covered with snow. I've often thought how wonderful it is that they provide shade in summer and allow the warmth of the sun in winter. I've thought about their strength - so rooted to their spot, yet swaying freely with the breeze. We can learn a lot from trees. I once had a dream where I recall this line, which was like a revelation: "I and the tree are one."

It is so sad that trees are dying for whatever reason. I hate clear-cutting of forests.

Thank you, Rowen, for your wonderful comment - off of which I have riffed!

I love trees! With a passion! Then again, I love rocks and mountains. And wild animals. Too. I love rivers and oceans and waves crashing into rocks. Or flowing onto beaches. God, I love this world!

TheraP said...

Here is a quote that confirms my poems:

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Lamentations 3:22.

Maybe I'll add it to he post. Or do something with that one day.

Anonymous said...

So, there you be. I figured you would go somewhere, but I missed the trail of breadcrumbs. I should brush up on my tracking skills...some kind of injun I am. ;o)

Trees are.....this got to me. One day, mebbe, I will tell the story of the ash tree that grows in my back yard. It is sacred, by injun standards, and I am its guardian.

I will be checking here to see how you are faring, TheraP. I think you will be faring well, though.

~flowerchild~

TheraP said...

I so look forward to the story, flower!

As a child I tried and tried to sneak through the forest as Indians might have. But never succeeded. But I did come to love the forest. And the trees. I think every child needs a woods. And the freedom to roam it.

Thank you so much for your visit! :-)