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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Sacred rush

Starlings in Winter

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,

even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

~Mary Oliver, from Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, 2003

sometimes I am an earthbound creature
plodding along day by day
bowed down, burdened

by the ills of the world
beset too by burdens of my own making

it is all so very heavy
this fear and anger
these expectations and hopes

and I am pressed into the earth
my feet sink into the soil
and my heart follows

I cannot rise

and yet
I do not stop
one foot goes in front of the other
and on I go

seeking that presence that can give me wings
so that I may rise and spin
and might feel my “boots leave the ground”

may the Sacred rush through my soul
prompting me to “think again
of dangerous and noble things”

of generosity
and forgiveness
and love
(which are dangerous and noble)

may it wash away all fear
with love

so that in this winter of discontent
in this wilderness of greed and abuse

I might be full of “gorgeous life” 
and travel light

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