Archive for becoming

A Way to God

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2021 by thecrossingchicago

In a 1967 letter from Thomas Merton to Matthew Fox, Merton wrote:

“I’m glad you are going to work on spiritual theology . . . I do think we are lying down on the job when we leave others to investigate mysticism while we concentrate on more ‘practical’ things.  What people want of us, after all, is the way to God.”

We all have our own way to God.  Writing, meditation, acts of social justice, and many other ways.  I employ all of these, but I am a writer.  

That statement, “I am a writer,” was always a difficult one for me to say.  I have long felt I wasn’t good enough to claim that title for myself.  But, as Fox came to realize himself, “I am a writer.  Because I am so happy writing and putting ideas together and in a form I can communicate with others.  And I learn so much doing this.”

Upon reading War and Peace, Charles du Bos commented, “Life would speak thus if life could speak.”  It reminds me of Parker Palmer’s admonition to let your life speak.  So, why not?

I want to write my way to God.  Perhaps not literally, but I want to compose words that speak to the collective heart of humankind.  I want to create sentences like Merton, Buechner, Brown Taylor, and Lamott.  I want to till the ground for a mystical experience like Tolstoy did for Fox.  Again, why not?

What about you?  What is your way to God?  Are you a singer?  Then sing.  Are you an artist?  Then paint.  Are you a social prophet?  Then speak.  The world is short on people who are living into who they really are and at what cost?

Imagine if DaVinci never painted because he thought he wasn’t good enough.  Imagine if Tolstoy never wrote because he thought his words didn’t matter.  Imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr. never spoke because he thought nobody would want to hear what he has to say.  Imagine if you don’t do that thing that burns like red embers in your soul.  Will yours have been a life well lived?

How would life speak if you were to put it into words?  Some of us need to hear it, so speak.  Some of us need to see the face of God in the work of your hands and heart.  Don’t try to keep it in, because after all, it will consume you if you do.

Sounds Baths and Spiders

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2021 by thecrossingchicago

The sound washes over me in waves; undulating, matching the vibration of my own energy until each cell and the bowl are singing in unison. 

“What is your intention?  What do you need to let go of?” The meditation guide asks. This seems to be a recurring theme as of late.

And so as I lie there with eyes closed, body humming, I jump and allow myself to fall.  I fall through layer and layer of clouds trusting that something or someone will catch me eventually.  But then I realize, I don’t need to be caught.  Falling is a safe form of letting go; maybe I’m even falling upward.

As the clouds turn dark and storms form within them, the thunder roars around me filling my ears with ominous sounds until I allow myself to become bigger than the storm and then smaller than the electrons that fuel the lightning.  

I’m becoming myself, my intention while the drum beats steadily and the singing bowls peel away layer after layer of things I don’t need.  The hand that I grasp is my hand and all difference ceases to exist as we are one.  Interconnectedness is manifest there while energy flutters in ebbs and flows like a phoenix flapping her mighty, yet delicate wings.

We are intertwined as the spider makes her way down the web above me.  Then she goes back up and I can almost hear her laughter as she does.  Why do these spiders seem to follow me? 

“Why indeed?” She asks.  “You have feared and loathed that which is you: your own spirit animal.  Creative.  Beautiful in its own way.  In touch with the universe.  Do you see now?”

“Yes, I do,” I reply as I watch her make her way even more directly above my head.  She seems to be showing me my own true self; telling me it’s finally time to go home.  Or better yet, showing me that I’m already there.  All realities made present as I lie there intertwined looking up.

When I am gone, the spider is gone, too.

I drive while I long for just a glimpse of the mountains.  Making my way west I sing to Les Miserables at the top of my lungs.  A concert for an audience of one. 

When I come to the end of the Finale, I cry; loud and hard and quick.  Not knowing exactly what I’m letting go of in that moment, but feeling it leave me. Then it’s over.  And that’s ok, because sometimes that’s what falling looks like on the outside.