Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What child is this -- this child of Christmas?

Children are full of joy, giggles and holy presence. As we say, what is Christmas without children? They may not know the stories, have life experience but they certainly know the feeling.

My two grands, four and two arranged the manger scene on the mantel last night.* They've never been to Sunday school, are not taught religion and yet the figurines were handled with excitement, great care and feeling. The donkey lost an ear, the Babe bounced from the mantle to the floor twice but both proved to be hardy. The children did not care, their eyes glowed as the two wise men and one wise women, the Mon and Dad took their place in the manger on the mantle.

The one foot Santa was unwrapped next. As the red suit and beard emerged -- an intake of breath. Eyes widened and mouths formed a perfect 0. A high octane sound of pure glee, innocence and deafening aliveness filled the room. Two children bursting their skin with an ecstasy welling up in an instant from a deep, deep land of joy, love, and aliveness.

Christmas is feeling and magic. "The deepest things after all are intangible."** All that matters to the two grands is the feeling -- the surge of joy, sweetness, and love from somewhere, some land within. Maybe this is the child our souls know about without religion, theology, without a face or a word, always waiting and always ready to birth in our mangers.

* Christmas 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

the Christmas turkey...

My daughter is an environmentalist among other things. I try to be but do not want to sacrifice as much as she might. I came across this quote by Berke Breathed recently and thought of an earlier writing published here about the trees crying and the research that reveals plants and water respond to our feelings-intentions.  
So in honor of the turkey and all its kind this maybe the prayer at our table:

"Dear Lord, I've been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us... a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird...a social being...capable of actual affection...nuzzling its young with almost human-like compassion. 
Anyway, it's dead and we're gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family..."
                                                                                          Berke Breathed

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Look, look, there is a star...

"I saw the backyard cedar...charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. It was less like seeing than like being...The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power." Annie Dillard

Watching the yellow finches eating their breakfast, the old bird feeder caught the sun and a flame of light flickered from its edge.  Next time it flashed, squinting my eyes, I saw undulation, red, orange, blue web-like threads of light coming through the window, crossing the table, penetrating the coffee mug, and on into my chest.

 I sat there quite fascinated. Then, instantly, the rays of color were gone. I was left looking at the same old plastic feeder, yellowed by the sun. Beyond the feeder, the lake was ordinary blue and the trees were the ordinary green of the scrub spruce. Then a thought shocked me, "How dull I see."

 All of life must be alive like this. Certainly the new physics has proven everything is energy, light is a solid mass.  Mystics, scientists, and sagas witness to the awesome beauty of the ordinary.  The sun hits the car fender in the driveway, I squint, the rays move up the drive, through the door, down the hall and pass through me. One after noon, I spotted a broken CD lying in the dust reflecting the Tucson sun. The light and colors were brilliant.  My eyes took time to adjust.  I walked around the broke pieces watching light beams ripple prism colors, creating, extending, shimmering threads.

Laughing, I thought, imagine these gorgeous, undulating prism colors radiated from a bleached old, yellow plastic bird feeder, a car fender, and a broken CD.  I did not have to raise my vibration, move into a larger consciousness or be an evolved "light being". No feat of consciousness, just squinting.  

Watching the Christmas star on top of tree or looking at the stars on a dark, frosty morning I see the same beautiful, light beams -- long rays, pointing to and from the most commonest of objects. A wise woman once told me,"Look, look, the Christmas star. Don't be fooled, it's there in the ordinariness -- where the power is" -- like a babe radiating light from a smelly stable, filling the libraries of the world, without having a dime. 

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