Of Form & Fluidity

Because of my health conditions, on most mornings I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck.  There can be a long while between waking and when I actually manage to push through the pain and heaviness to get out of bed.  I am blessed to have a spectacular husband.  When time permits, he cuddles with me, and will often massage me and stroke my head.  This makes me feel wrapped up in love and it soothes me enough to lead me to the place where dreams and reality merge into one.  So, what can be one of the most difficult parts of my day often becomes infused with the sweetest of moments.

he fashions himself
like a cup
to receive me

solid

and I
like water
pour into his embrace
arms enclosing me
freeing me
to release my structure
settling to find
the equilibrium
of liquid

communion

spilling into the sensation
of floating on dreams

Delight Yourself in Me


Delight yourself in Me
for my Heart is brimming with treasures
just waiting to be realized

Delight yourself in Me
for I spin galaxies
and dance in the colours on soap bubbles
I sing to you with the morning birds
and through love songs on the radio

Delight yourself in Me
for I am in the wind that plays with your hair
and in the snowflakes that tickle your nose
I perfume the air with cherry blossoms
and turn sunny dandelions into prayerful wishes

Delight yourself in Me
for I invented chocolate to give you pleasure
and funny-looking animals to make you laugh
I ignite your imagination through stories
and flood your body with a rush when you race

Delight yourself in Me
because nothing pleases Me more
My darling
than to delight Myself
in you

Surprise Me

On March 31st, I will be turning 40.  I am absolutely thrilled!!  I can’t wait!  🙂

Much of my 30’s has been marked by profound losses, and the multi-dimensional fall-out from these losses.  I don’t expect restoration in my 40’s, but I am anticipating many treasures, even if they don’t come in the forms that I might expect or even initially want.

This past Christmas, I gave my husband a list of things that I hoped he would buy for me.  He purchased some of the items I had requested, but he also gave me gifts that I had never even thought of, or knew existed.  It was these unexpected presents that thrilled me the most, and had the biggest impact on my life (especially the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Find Your Happiness”).

For my birthday, I have purposefully not asked for anything.  I have simply told my husband that I would very much like it if he would surprise me.  And that is my new attitude for my 40’s:  SURPRISE ME

Not too long ago, my husband went out for dinner with a friend.  The meal he had ordered included a tea.  When the waitress came to ask him to make a choice from the wide selection of options, he asked her to surprise him.  I like that.  This playful sense of openness can enrich so many aspects of our lives.

And I believe that this attitude can also be applied to the relationship we have with God.  Beginning today, in my Morning Prayers, I am asking Jesus to surprise me.  We love surprising others and seeing their reactions.  I am convinced that Jesus is thrilled to do this for us, too.

If you try it, keep your eyes open.  The surprises may be big, but they may also be small — even fleeting.  However, I believe that they will be fashioned especially for the unique person you are.  Don’t forget to give yourself permission to delight in them.  🙂

Our Lady of the Colours

If I could choose a new title for Our Lady and design a unique image for her , I would call her “Our Lady of the Colours”.

Her skintone would be dark — maybe olive or black…and her hair would be long and black, or possibly deep brown.  For this particular “look”, it wouldn’t work if her skin was pale and her hair was light, because then you would only notice her clothing — you wouldn’t see the woman.  This way, her clothing would be viewed as an extension of who she is.  Her eyes would be dark and shining.

Our Lady’s dress would be totally multi-coloured —  made up of every rich, vibrant shade.  The sleeves would be bell-shaped, with the widest parts at her wrists.  On the edge of the sleeves would be crocheting, extending slightly onto her hands.  This detailing would be in the same colours as the dress, so that the transition from the sleeves to the crocheting would appear seamless.  The same crocheting would adorn the hem, falling slightly onto her bare feet.

The veil would be made up of fine, silvery threads.  Her hair would be slightly visible underneath it, with the hair on the sides of her face and forehead remaining uncovered.  The threads in the veil would reflect the hues in her dress, but these versions would be softer and more muted.  And, as Our Lady moved, the colours reflected in the veil would naturally change, so that they would appear to be always in motion.

Our Lady would be dancing on the moon.  Behind her the sky would be jet-black and full of sparkling stars.  Our Lady would be pregnant with Baby Jesus.

She would be absolutely joyous.  She would be thrilled to be pregnant.  Jesus’ life would be radiating outward to fill her whole being.  His light would be shining forth from her.  She would be delighting in being a woman.  She would be melting into the love that the Holy Trinity has for her.  Our Lady would feel like she was dancing on the edge of countless possibilities.  She would be full of wonder, hope, femininity, and playfulness.

In many images of Our Lady, she is sad, and rightly so.  She endured many hardships in her life on Earth.  She has been pleading with humanity for centuries to pray and repent, and her heart-filled efforts have not been met with the response she has longed for.  She is able to see where many of her children are heading.  One of my favourite titles for Mother Mary is “Our Lady of Sorrows”.  This expression of who Mary is especially pierces me, makes me ache to comfort her, and also makes me feel close to her because I know that she able to enter into our pain.

However, I wanted to created a title and an image for Our Lady that would illustrate her wild, boundless joy.  Her life isn’t all about suffering.  She is a daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.  While she can experience pain deeper than any other human (who isn’t God), she is also capable of knowing joy on a level that isn’t attainable for any other human being.  I wanted to illustrate her free of any weight pressing down on her.  I wanted to show her alive in colours, responding with her whole being to God’s love for her, and delighting in being exactly who He created her to be.

Jesus, I Trust in You

I am absolutely fascinated by Jesus’ Heart, and am very drawn to illustrations that focus on this, such as the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Divine Mercy images.  Divine Mercy pictures usually have the words “Jesus, I Trust in You” printed across the bottom, in the language of the culture.  Many people might automatically understand what these words mean, but that isn’t the case with me.  I know that we are to trust in Jesus’ goodness and mercy.  I thought about it for a while, and concluded that it means that we are to trust in His nature, in the power of what He has done, and in the example that He has patterned for us. I do NOT believe that it means, that if we trust in Him, that nothing bad will ever happen to us.  Jesus tells us that things things indeed will be rough for us while we are on Earth.

But, what does “Jesus, I Trust in You” mean for me, personally? I decided to start writing in an attempt to sort it out, and this is what I came up with:

Even when it seems completely illogical for me to forgive,
may I trust in the example You gave us, and choose to cancel debts.
Jesus, I trust in You.

Even when my heart breaks over the cruelty in this world, and I just want to get off this planet,
may I trust that You have a plan for my life, and that my work here is not yet done.
Jesus, I trust in You.

Even when I know that my expressions of love will not be recognized,
may I trust in the richness of Your abundantly generous nature, and give anyway.
Jesus, I trust in You.

Even when the pain depletes my reserves and it all seems totally pointless,
may I trust that, through the power of Your Cross, You have infused all suffering with meaning.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When Heaven seems merely like some sort of a misty dream,
may I trust that it is real, wild with magnificence, and that You have a deep desire to share it with me.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When my longing to see You and be fully united with You is overwhelming,
may I trust that it is only a fraction of the ache You feel in wanting to be with me forever.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When I look back on all the stupid things I’ve done, and feel embarrassed and exasperated,
may I trust in Your forgiveness, and know that You won’t let anything come between us.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When I see how messed-up I am now, and how frustrated I feel over not being the person I think You want me to be,
may I trust that You love me just as I am, and that You are still in the process of shaping me.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When I am freaking-out over the terrible things that I imagine might happen in the future,
may I trust that You fill all time, and that You will be holding my hand through whatever unfolds.
Jesus, I trust in You.

When I just can’t seem to get over the ways that people have hurt me, and the damage they have caused,
may I trust that this is actually helping me to enter more deeply into Your wounded Heart, where healing can be found.
Jesus, I trust in You.

May I trust in Your love for me, because You were tortured and killed so that I could choose to never be separated from You.
May I trust in Your mercy, knowing that You wish to lavish graces upon everyone I pray for, and just need for me to ask.
May I trust in Your compassion, and remember that it hurts You to see me hurting.
May I trust in Your creativity, which I see exploding everywhere.
May I trust in Your playfulness, displayed especially in animals.
May I trust in Your humour, because, Jesus, You are fun!
May I trust in Your love of surprises, that You delight in bringing me unexpected happiness.
May I trust in Your silence, because even when I can’t feel You, I know that You are there.
May I trust in Your tenderness, and allow myself to snuggle close to Your Heart.
May I trust in Your beauty, radiating especially in Your invention of colours, and in the way I am so drawn to You.
May I trust in Your romance, and truly believe that You are totally in-love with me.

And may this resolution reside in the space between each beating of my heart:
Jesus, I trust in You.

In The Current of His Dreams

St. Joseph’s Feast Day is on March 19th.  I wanted to write a poem to honour this man who I find so intriguing.  St. Joseph is generally portrayed as “the strong, silent type”.  He is known for working hard to provide for his family.  But, in addition to this, St. Joseph is also a dreamer.  In my poem, I wanted to highlight the similarities between the Joseph of the Book of Genesis with the Joseph of the Gospels.  However, as the writing of the poem unfolded, the focal point emerged as the current of the dreams.  Even though this poem was intended to pay homage to St. Joseph, I don’t think he minds that the focus isn’t entirely on him.  This slight overshadowing is a reflection of how he lived his life on Earth.

St. Joseph, Dreamer of Dreams, pray for us.

 IN THE CURRENT OF HIS DREAMS

One Joseph
favoured by his father
wore a robe of many colours
and fell into dreams

Betrayed by his brothers
his robe drenched in blood
cast into a well
so barren and dry
yet still he was carried
in the current of his dreams

To Egypt! To Africa!
glorious in her fertility
lush in her abundance
her voluptuous nature
drawing in the lean

As in the dreaming
his family came forth
seedlings of a nation
preceded by
reconciliation and
reverence
to glean from Joseph’s hand
the grain that had allured them
the wheat that would sustain them
the bread that would speak of
a future of blessings
more numerous than the stars
that travel the heavens

Another Joseph
favoured by the Father
dreamed
and was entrusted with the roles of
Protector
Provider
Companion
to the Woman
fertile enough to bear
the God-Child
from Whom all colours
flow forth

He dreamed again
the man, the Woman, and the Child
now leaping into the racing current
propelled by the river of blood
streaming from the Innocents
mixing with the sting of tears
in the flood from Rachel’s eyes
carrying them
to Egypt
to Africa
where memories of their ancestors
lay sleeping
in the architecture

And Joseph dreamed

The current now carrying them
back to his nation
back to his brothers
where the God-Man would become
Living Bread
filling the expanse of time
aching
to allure all people
generous enough
to sustain each pilgrim
who would set out on the journey
to travel to Heaven

And in the breaking of the Bread
His Heart was ripped open
unleashing a torrent
of Water and Blood
pulsing with the living colours
of every grace
so that we could all
forever
choose to immerse ourselves
in the current of His dreams

Where to Look

He leads us

deep into our own hearts

so that we may find

His

 It is natural to look for God in the external world:  places of worship, pilgrimages, shrines, holy sites, rituals, the enactment of traditions, holy books…  And I believe that God is in these places, waiting to be found, waiting to be known…  These journeys and repetitions are important for our human development.  They collectively shape how we view ourselves, how we regard each other, how we interpret creation and our interactions with it, and how we come to understand God and our relationship with this Great Being.

I also believe that God is a Person who is madly, passionately, head-over-heels in-love with us.  And I believe that He is far less constrained than we imagine Him to be.  And what does He desire most?  Our hearts.  That is what He seeks, that is what He aches for, and it is a place where He chooses to live and breathe.  In searching for the Divine outsides of ourselves, I think we often forget that we can find Him within, too.

I have multiple chemical sensitivities.  No churches that I am aware of are willing to go scent-free, so I am no longer able to be there.  I watch daily Mass on TV or on YouTube.  My husband brings me Jesus in the Eucharist.  Each morning I ask Jesus to help me to see Him, especially in the unexpected places.  I play hide-and-seek with Him.  I have found Him in people, in my rabbit’s fuzzy face, in colours, in chaos (hey — Jesus was born in a barn/stable — He is quite at-home in the messiness of our lives), in sunlight glinting off snow, in the way my husband looks at me… I have also found Him united deeply with me in my own heart.

Whenever I receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I think: “I can’t go to Jesus, so He comes to me”.  I also feel:  “You Who spin galaxies have come to me in such an intimate way…on my tongue…Heart beating…uniting Yourself with me, as I am, right in this moment…”

I think that the reason we often don’t take the time to search for God in our own hearts is because it doesn’t seem obvious.  We are used to looking outward.  God has to be very gentle with us so that we are not overwhelmed by the brilliance and enormity of who He is.  Also, I think that if He made His presence really obvious, we couldn’t help but love Him, and that would infringe on our free will.  Love cannot be real if it is forced.

He is a Man in-Love

leaping across chasms

ablaze in colours

cloaked in gentleness

hiding in plain sight

taking up residence

in the tabernacles of our hearts

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