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

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slightly outside the circle

it happens every time
every time there is a funeral
a celebration of a person’s life
more, a person’s being

family and friends gather
and love flows
toward the one who is gone
toward those who remain

and people cluster
in the kitchen
the living room
wherever there is space
circles of friendship and compassion form

and I stand
somewhere outside the circles
not quite out
not quite in

it is the place
where I have spent most of my life

it is not mystery to me
for the most part
why I stand here, a bit aside

why the circles form without me
and why, when I try to enter in
I try to hard
a 12 year old in a 62 year old body
awkward and afraid

oh I act secure
perhaps too confident
oh yes I have stories to tell
and accomplishments to flaunt

but therein lies the problem

too many times I have been so passionate about my agendas
my plans, that I have imposed them on others

too many times I have been too busy
running here and there
to sit down
and listen
and be a gentle presence

too many times I have tried to prove myself
and have made the conversation about me

and so I become a pastor who is not connected
and a boss who is isolated

and so I stand and watch
slightly outside the circle

slightly alone
watching the love and compassion flow

and I rejoice in the people I see
I marvel and admire them
for they know how
to be


My special thanks to Erin, Bryce, Midge, Susan and Mavis Jean
Those who have stuck with me, and have been not just sister, children, and
not just a spouse… but friends

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