Prayer for the Inmost Light

Beloved Creator, God of the Universe, open my inward vision to the beauty of your hidden presence. This morning, each day, in all places, may my mind be seeking you in love and delight, most Beautiful Presence. May I be able to see you and know you when you appear in the grace of the world. Fill my mind with good thoughts and deep joy. You are the One who looks out through the eyes of all creatures. Inspire my words and actions to reflect your delgiht, great Light who never expires. You make the darkness shimmer in the night with the stars of your inmost light.

 

 

Originally Written April 2nd, 2016

Photo by Mark Kamalov on Unsplash

I, Humanity, Memory of All Nations

 

 

I, humanity,
memory of all nations,
remember the savannah
within me.
Do not forget us,
but accompany us,
Ancestors,
friends of the heart,
on our trails into the future.
Remember us who come after you,
Remember us who go on before you,
Remember us who live in the heart-world around you.

 

… … …

 

I am one among millions who has known the loss of family. Maybe it is so that every living creature, when it becomes aware of its inevitable separateness from the beings most near it, feels this loss of unity, this severing of oneness. The genesis story of Eden is full of this metaphor. We were blind to our own abyssal awareness: then, we saw, and we became like gods, who who knew death, and the foresight of death, and the meaning of the anguish of self-awareness that accompanies the hominid brain.

I am a face in the sea of time: who will remember this one face? Genetics, maybe, or written words or painted images, better yet. Text is incarnated. You, God, would know most of all; You, who are always present and listening, it is your remembering us that I want for sure. You, who fill the whole earth with your breathing, must know and feel all that we feel in our creaturely lives. Being as that you are in us, and we are in you, then not one of us would be lost to the depths of time. And If you are truly omnipresent, then you would know how sacred the World is. I want to become an ancestor when it is my time. I never want to leave it.

 

 

 

 

Poetry by Gentle J. Pine

A Book About Evil and God

 

 

Laying down, reading a book about evil and God,

two insects wrestle on the ground below my eyes

while another carries her dead comrade away.

I, monumental–

and the ants– what devotion they show me.

Obscure, so near to them,

an incomprehensible cloud.

 

 

 

poetry and photography by Gentle J. Pine

Greatly Loved In Its Wildness

I’m an ex-cradle-born-Unitarian Universalist for good reasons. I’m politically moderate. I converted to sparkly Roman Catholicism at age 21. I am Jewish-curious, and am deeply attracted by their cohesive peoplehood and long, honorable struggle with a crazy God. When I was 22, I did something like animism and nature-based rites of passage in a community, but that community didn’t stick, even though the spirituality sure did. I don’t believe in fairies, I believe in birds. I don’t believe in unicorns, I believe in equines. I don’t believe in dragons, I believe in reptiles. The World is what’s real. Prayers and spells don’t save you; human research and evidence-based practices do, but a really grounded spirituality makes it all worth living through. Now I’m a scientific panentheist (is it really necessary to differentiate between pantheist and panentheist? Really?) who believes in a Creator that lives, breathes and moves in all created beings. I don’t claim that this Creator is always or ever going to do as we wish, or can even be trusted the conventional sense, though it can be greatly loved in its wildness. Nature is violent, insane and unjust, and we have every reason to think that any Creator who wrought it might be the same way. But Nature is also, simultaneously, beautiful, life-giving and deeply good. And so the same must be for this mysterious Creator. Such is life on earth. Sometimes I wish I were born in an Animist hunter-gatherer tribe of 30,000 years ago. Then again, I’m grateful for the gift of reason, evidence, vaccines, the internet and refrigerators. What I want most of all is a real tribe I can belong to. I wander, but I am not lost.

 

 

 

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Benedicite

The following is adapted from a letter recently written to an acquaintance.

Well, sir, you showed up in my dreams for the past two nights in a row. It’s a record. I’ll keep you informed if you-or-your-apparition shows up again. You never can tell, these strange days on the wide earth, who’s who wandering where in the Lord’s lands.

I’ll take it as a clue from The World that you must be greatly anticipating the transcription of our interview. Ha! It’s on its way. I’m learning how remarkably full one’s time becomes when one starts a business. I hope to not believe too greatly in it, however, and to remain utterly insubordinate. Tom Robbins warned, “Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.”

Here’s hoping my rambunctious exit adieu to the school staff didn’t make you blush too hard, now.

Let me know if you get this. I think once in a different time I emailed you or something and I didn’t hear back. Or maybe I dreamt it –who knows? Something about meeting an old blind woman with a dog, and my helping to walk her home, and there was our country made new again. It really happened, one night, when I was the last of all souls to leave. But I think you either did not receive it, or were like, “whatever.” :)

What dreams have come to visit you? It’s in this time of the darkening, turning year that these animal dreams of humanity do ache in the chest all the more. Visions seep hind-wards and earth-wards into memory of family and home, the recollection of fire, the passing of faces across the grey sea between one pair of closing eyes and another.

Benedicite,
Gentle J. Pine

“I kneel to sow between the Lord’s fingers
by way of the Almighty’s hand
on this earth that is growing
this glade that is coming up.
Old woman of underground
soil-dame, earth-mistress,
now set the sward pushing up
the strong earth heaving!
The earth will not want for strength
ever in this world
while there’s love from the givers
and tending from nature’s daughters.”

                The Kalevala of Finland

The Greatness of Soul in All Its Varying Forms

In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.”

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Tracking Notes

Applodontia rufa/em> has poor eyesight and she’s the size of a gluten-free loaf of bread. Our comparing her to our agricultural inventions is more the comedy of our pleasure in observing her strangeness. Applodontia rufa has a foot-track like Castor, but smaller, and away from a water source.

The difference between Gopher and Mole: gophers make a fan-shaped mound. There are no gophers on Linne Doran. A mole’s track: the ground is lifted up.

In general, Lagomorph scat is more round, whereas Deer’s is more bean-like, mostly. Rabbit poo color changes from fresh to old scat: green, black, brown.

Flying Squirrels dig to feed on Truffle Mushrooms. There are here on Linne Doran.

Rotten stumps, nurse logs littered with Douglas Fir cone flakes: these are signs of Douglas Squirrel. A Midden is a home and base cache of food for squirrels.

Beaver scat is like sawdust on land. They mostly poop in the water and are carriers of giardiasis. Scat sign doesn’t change much over the seasons.

Stone Canoe

When Hiawatha ran into the woods out of grief,

Love haunted him. The Peacemaker came in a stone canoe,

floating above war and death. He told evil to go.

Happiness came back to the land.

When Taderdaho looked into the water,

he saw the face of who he once was.

Taderdaho’s terror was being loved into life.

So the people encircled the hut of the evil one,

they began singing, snakes will come out of his head,

and his mind will be healed. His back will be straightened.

Peacemaker fell from the crown of a great pine

and in the white river waters he came back to life.

He was not lost. We are his people.

Instructions to catch the Peace Tree when it falls.

Now when we cry tears we know

the birds come to the great waters

to lift, on wings, our stone canoe.

 

 

image source: public domain

The Discovery of the World

 

Last night I dreamt of an intersection of cars in the city, but on the corners were green and flowering trees. The sun was rising in the east and it caught the beauty of these shapes in gleaming angles, defiantly shining its light through the cars saying, “look closer”. God was near in this patch of land, unseen by others, hidden among weeds and small trees. Children and my peers were there, and we knew what we were sent out to find. It was as happy to be found by us as we were to find it.

 

 

 

 

image source

“If I were God, I would make a world just like this one…”

“If I were God, I would make a world just like this one, where everyone comes raw and naked and dependent into it; where everyone enters bloody between the legs or through the cut belly of a woman; where nothing is for certain and there is so much to learn. I would make the world unfair as this world is unfair, because only in a world like this one is it possible that maybe the rich will take down their fences; maybe the poor will get together and break the fences down; maybe those who know how to read will teach those who don’t. Maybe the fed will feed the hungry. Maybe the lion will lie down by the lamb.”

­–Pat Schneider, If I Were God

 

 

image source: public domain