blundering

“The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.”

– Lewis Thomas, Lives of a Cell

(via Rob Brezsny)

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blessing

Beannacht
(“Blessing”)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O’Donohue
Echoes of Memory

(received via Sabrina Ward Harrison)

virtual victuals

firstvegetablesI have often been tempted to post recipes on this blog, and have thus far refrained from such postings, limiting myself instead to postings about food. But there are recipes that I’d like to share with the world, and so my friend Sean and I, after kicking the idea around for quite awhile, have begun a new co-blog entitled Virtual Victuals where we will both be posting recipes. So check it out and enjoy some embodied theology!

a prayer for ash wednesday

ashcrossThe darkness asks us questions.
You are out there and we do not see.
You invite us into the night,
the stillness, the loneliness, the desert place.

We cannot see our shadow;
the cold damp of unknowing rises up from beneath our feet.
We tread cautiously, tentatively.

We are afraid,
afraid of ghosts
haunting us with spectres of guilt
and shame.

We would like to run back,
reach the river bank,
swim the Jordan,
sit in the sun by the sea,
mending our nets.
But you have brought us here
– with no bread.

When we look we can see only ourselves,
our darkness.
When we read,
it is invisible words which cannot be grasped,
thoughts we cannot clutch,
hope we cannot capture.

Yet the wild honey remains a taste in our mouth,
a memory for a new day.

Why have you brought us here?
What miracle will you perform for us?

The darkness sighs around us,
dense with your unseen presence,
close to our breathing,
close to our breathing.

O darkness, enlighten us,
embrace us with your invisible love.
Let us see your glory in the ashes.
Take us by the hand that we may trust the darkness.
Minister to us by your Spirit that we may not be afraid.
Jesus, keep the beasts away.

Amen

prepared by William Loader, 15 February 1999

sadness and learning

“The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”

– spoken by Merlyn the Magician in T. H. White’s, The Once and Future King