Monday, December 27, 2010

Just lengthen the chain

Here Is Where We Meet, John Berger,

The mother says, “Let a few things be repaired. A few is a lot. One thing repaired changes a thousand others.” The son replies, “So?” And out flows a maternal speech:

"The dog down there is on too short a chain. Change it, lengthen it. Then he’ll be able to reach the shade, and he’ll lie down and he’ll stop barking. And the silence will remind the mother she wanted a canary in a cage in the kitchen. And when the canary sings, she’ll do more ironing. And the father’s shoulders in a freshly ironed shirt will ache less when he goes to work. And so when he comes home he’ll sometimes joke, like he used to, with his teenage daughter. And the daughter will change her mind and decide, just this once, to bring her love home one evening. And on another evening, the father will propose to the young man that they go fishing together… Who in the wide world knows? Just lengthen the chain."

In this season of peace, may you lengthen a dog’s chain. And then see what happens.


The Moon is Always Whole

God of the two lights,
I love the sun,
its revealing brilliance,
its lingering warmth;
but in the dark of night,
let me learn
the wisdom of the moon,
how it waxes and wanes
but does not die,
how it gives itself
to shadow,
knowing it will emerge whole
once more.

Jan Richardson, inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's poem "Remember the Moon Survives"

via - The Advent Door

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fill the house with lions

"Beware when you honour an artist.
You are praising danger.
You are holding out your hand
To the dead and unborn
You are counting on what cannot be counted.

The poet's measures serve anarchic joy
The story-teller tells one story: freedom.

Above all beware of honouring women artists.
For the housewife will fill the house with lions
and in with the grandmother
comes bears, wild horses, great horned owls, coyotes."

-Ursula LeGuin

thank you karis!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This is why the questions are important

If the world is to change, first I have to change. The way I change (often kicking and screaming) is by coming to where the abyss of faith is located. I believe in a new way: not by suppressing the questions and the doubts, but by living more and more deeply into the questions and the doubts. I come to faith in a God who is paradoxically revealed in the very struggle to name God. The closer I get, the more I am questioned in my questioning, the more I am probed in my probing. I begin to wonder how it all fits together, especially when I don't fit together too well myself. I feel naked and exposed and frightened....

My fear and anger are very useful, provided I am able to resist that first panicked impulse to run. If I stand still in whatever cave I've been pushed into, my anger and fear can be a means to my understanding more clearly and with precision what is going on, not only within me but in the world.... Doesn't God reveal God's self in the areas of our greatest weakness--in our questioning, our probing, our suffering and our anger? I believe God does. This is why the questions are important. They stretch and enlarge the heart so that it is capable of receiving a deeper revelation. They expand our horizons. It would be strange if we didn't find this enlarging and expanding process deeply disturbing.

The simple truth is that reality reveals its secrets to us in proportion to the level of our willingness to ask questions. We receive "answers" to fit the kind of "questions" we pose. If our questions are narrowly and unimaginatively conceived, the answers will be, too.

Source: Alan Jones, Soul Making

via inward/outward