Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rushing and waiting

“It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work.

This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines...

I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.”
                                                                                      Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

happy dog roars through the house
prancing, rushing, whining
so much urgency
to be on his way

slipping along the road
roaring through the snow
nose down
in an orgy of smells and textures

rushing from one stick to another
one twisted piece of juniper barely tasted
before he is on to the next morsel

“I watch and I wonder and I think”
as I sit here on the 2nd day of Christmas
about the way we roar through life

we plunge into fall, scattering summer before us
as a the trees scatter their leaves
and barely breathing we roll through fall
from Halloween, to Thanksgiving
and into Advent

as season of waiting and reflection
which is sadly lost in the urgency
until some of us finally stagger exhausted into
Christmas Eve Services, where we take as desperate gasp of spirituality
And then return to the chaos of Christmas Day…

But now here we are
The day after the day
And the days of Christmas stretch before us
Pleading with us

Take a moment to find yourself again
And place your feet firmly on the earth
Mountain pose

Stop Breathe Think
Of things mundane and things deep
Stretch wide your hands, your arms your heart
And let the faint rays of winter light
Creep into the crevices
And dark spots

Stop, Breathe Think
Then journey on gently
Like the Magi
An epiphany awaits

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