Images and text by Joe Grant © 2022
…and all Life shall see divine deliverance.
When has astonishment stolen your breath and evaporated answers?
As oblique solar radiance
casts the northern rim
into wintry shadow,
this darkening season
brings a hush to cold nights
that makes stars seem to shiver.
Clad in bleak spareness
now comes winter’s wakeup-wisdom
to kindle wonder and fire imagination.
ByJoe Grant, Scratchings
Have you noticed
the shift in wind song
as it slips and glides through leafless tangles?
Have you wondered
whether bare tree tentacles
are trying to tickle the stars?
Have you been awestruck
by milky cloudbanks waves
that seem to capture moonglow?
Look deep into nature,Albert Einstein
and then you will understand everything better.
Wonder liberates a visionary
cascade of connections and experiences,
punctuated by breathless gasps of insight.
Without wondrous awe
to unseat and humbly disturb,
we remain trapped in dialectic contractions.
wonderless, we wander
the maze of our own minds,
by concepts of our own construction
blinded by floodlights artificial.
As a frame can illumine or obscure a work of art,Joe Grant, Scratchings
perspective and passion
do perception fashion.
Wonder is our gateway
to Fons Vitae Sapientia,
the creative outflow of wisdom.
For millennia, in harsh and hopeful times,
our forebears have looked, over and above,
within, around and beyond, and have wondered.
Gazing nightly into spacious infinity,
they conjured constellations
to illustrate mythic tales and map mysteries.
In the domain of dark
they listened to lessons
from the starkness of the season.
Nothing lasts foreverCarrie Newcomer
Not even winter.
This is the way the forest bears witness
To all that is soft and heavy,
Lost and lasting.
Pardoned and persisting,
How beginnings usually come
When something else ends.
Cold bleakness can also
draw us in
and bring us closer,
Huddled around fires,
still we share stories,
wonderings and ponderings,
as we hold vigil with flickering flames
in anticipation of the return of the light,
spinning into a bright new beginning.
Rolling dark to lightJoe Grant, Scratchings
in endless revolution,
bright fades back to black.
After over a decade of maintaining this blog,
in a variety of emanations,
I must announce that this is my final In the Storm Still posting.
I am profoundly grateful for the people who have journeyed with me
and for this monthly discipline that has birthed
multiple connections, publications, classes, and retreats.
As I retire this blog, I have already started another adventure
as director of a new hermitage ministry
among the rolling hills of rural Kentucky, USA: https://holyhillshermitage.org/
With a full heart
I close with a blessing
to fuel the coming year with wonder:
May you be sent forth, inspired to embrace,Joe Grant, Scratchings
take in and transmit, the fullness of an
unending, providential present with
inspired blessings as subtle,
rhythmic, and responsive