Life Unending

Photo by Joe Grant © 2019


Once an official asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what should I do in order to inherit life unending?’ Luke 18:18

Seeker,
How do you make time for love and space for life in the course of your days?

When the ancients became confirmed cultivators,
relinquishing their nomadic ways
to settle and sink roots,

they thrived on the miracle of soil and seeds
that give and grow through mysterious cycles of dying and birthing;
the endless transubstantiation of matter.

Our ancestors mapped this spiraling journey— mirrored in ocean currents,
seasonal rounds and meandering rivers— by the pilgrim passages
of sun, moon, stars, and the coursing migrations of herds, shoals and flocks.

Peak seasons of planting and harvesting, drought and deluge,
gave birth to rites and rituals that moor each community in the moment;
even as we all drift in the momentum.

But there is this rhythm
of how things grow that
we are privy to from
time to time.
Mark Nepo

Such primal expressions of moment and movement— still preserved and practiced by fringe-dwelling communities— seeded religious consciousness that inspired philosophical and scientific inquiry.

Yet, we continue to scour and contemplate
the inscrutable character and composition of time-space
through our pinhole of understanding.

So come the storms of winter and then
The birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?
Sandy Denny

Like water trickling through
hands tightly cupped, we struggle
to grasp the fluid continuum of fleeting moments.

More than a succession of separate instances,
spliced into minutes and eons, our perception of time-space
is defined by the depth of our presence to each moment unfolding.

Once, an aged man brought a waistcoat to his tailor.
‘This belonged to my great-great grandfather,’ he boasted,
‘and for over two centuries the men of our family have worn it proudly.’
Astounded, the tailor replied, ‘But this vest looks brand new!’
To which the owner commented, ’Indeed, that’s because it’s had four new fronts and three new backs.’ ‘With so many repairs,’ the tailor mused, ‘this can hardly be the same garment.’
The owner contested, ‘Oh but through all those changes, the arm-holes have always remained the same.’

Throughout this ceaseless cycling— ever rising up and dying down,
cresting-collapsing waves of the fabric of time— if what remains of life
is the love space between and before us, then love itself is life unending.

There is LIFE longer by far than mine or yours.
There is LOVE deeper that we can all fall into.
There is an always-unfolding, ever-widening ripple of presence.

Every moment and every event of every(one’s) life on earth plants something in (their) soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of invisible and visible winged seeds, so the stream of time brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of (people). Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because (we) are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love. Thomas Merton

Since love makes space for life to flourish,
may you make time to marinate in the sacrament of this moment
and let the loving connections therein be revealed.

joe

Find me on Facebook and Instagram: @InTheStormStill

Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant

Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace Pre-Order Set For Release On 11/12/2019 12:00:00 AM

To pre-order: https://shop.franciscanmedia.org/products/wandering-and-welcome-meditations-for-finding-peace-pre-order-set-for-release-on-11-12-2019-12-00-00-am

Uncap the Well

Photo by Joe Grant © 2019

Forgive, and you shall know forgiveness; give, and it will be lavished upon you. A goodly measure, pressed down, shaken and spilling over, shall be poured into your lap; for the measure you mete out will be the measure you get back.
Luke 6:37-38

Seeker,
Do you worry and wonder about what is happening to us?

In fear-filled times
we are tempted to protect personal assets,
throw walls around territories, and stockpile for scarcity.

Manipulated messages prey upon the silent (consenting) masses;
milking the venom of vindictiveness;
heightening the instinct to hold back.

With disgraceful insinuations and petulant pronouncements
some conspire only to segregate or scapegoat—
so easy to conquer the so-well sided.

Still others would storm the bastion of righteousness
to poison youthful passion with hateful conspiracies
and horror guised as honor or holiness.

And, as the bar of acceptable human behavior drops,
insults and demonizing ideologies
spiral and spin into dark webs of violent idolatries.

Bluster builds to an acrimonious squall.
Hatred fuels a whirlwind of flapping flags,
fiery crosses, prideful parades of power, mobs and derisive chanting.

And lodged deep, in grainy black and white,
memories of dread-full times (not so long past)
stir-up a disorienting dose of déjà vu.

Whatever God does, the first outburst is always compassion. Meister Eckhart

What bridge can span
the canyons of bitter segregation,
amid a hailstorm of threats and taunts?

Surely truthful reconciliation
is the only conduit capable of crossing the chasm
that separates retribution from restoration.

But who dares display
the necessary remorse
that gives way to mutual pardon?

Love every enemy,
to those who despise you do good,
bless everyone who curses you,
pray for anyone who abuses you.

Luke 6:27-28

There is no time left for holding back tears.
Only lament can release mercy’s unction
to unhinge the encrusted doorway to peace.

With courageous resolution,
daily choosing love over control,
we can gently and persistently uncap the well of great-fullness.

Now, generosity and gratitude
overflow the brimming bounty of blessings,
freely received and given and shared.

Try saying this silently to everyone and everything you see for thirty days: “I wish you happiness now and whatever will bring happiness to you in the future.” If we said it to the sky, we would have to stop polluting; if we said it when we see ponds and lakes and streams, we would have to stop using them as garbage dumps and sewers; if we said it to small children, we would have to stop abusing them, even in the name of training; if we said it to people, we would have to stop stoking the fires of enmity around us. Beauty and human warmth would take root in us like a clear, hot June day. We would change. Joan Chittister

Will you bare
a listening heart
to a torrent of tirades?

Will you unseal the font of forgiveness within,
to lavish compassion and dwell in abundance
till fear itself is washed away?

joe

Coming in November 2019, A New Book by Joe Grant

Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace Pre-Order Set For Release On 11/12/2019 12:00:00 AM

To pre-order: https://shop.franciscanmedia.org/products/wandering-and-welcome-meditations-for-finding-peace-pre-order-set-for-release-on-11-12-2019-12-00-00-am