Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilds.Mark 1:12
Along the windswept edges of lives
and frayed fringes of land,
out-of-the-way and off-the-trail,
amid troubled times
of tension and transition,
where worrisome shifts in weather and mood
threaten a change of season
and the rupture of routine,
pedestrian predictability turns wild.
“What’s that over there?” (said the boy)Charlie Mackesy (The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse)
“It’s the wild,” said the mole
“Don’t fear it.”
“Imagine how we would be
if we were less afraid.”
Here, alone with the Wild,
we are made accessible
to Spirit untamable.
Whether it’s a weedy window box
tangled hedge, cluttered creek
or overgrown lot, relentlessly reclaimed,
in lonely abandonment
wildness pushes through and cries out
to any be-wildered soul who cares to linger and listen.
Re-WeededJoe Grant, Scratchings
By weeds are we saved,
whose stubborn resilience
rewilds and reclaims.
Migrating millions of us,
all round this swirling globe,
daily try to make our way home,
through bustling streets,
distracted days and weary nights,
ever searching, never finding, solace sorely sought.
And now, in the north,
as rusty leaves turned brittle
rasp in autumn bluster
their gilded refrain
interrupts the commute
with colorful proclamations
about release and relinquishment,
about the glories of losing and letting go,
about the necessary falling away.
The clearest way into the UniverseJohn Muir – John of the Mountains
is through a forest wilderness.
in whatever form
we come across them,
are those see-through states,
perforations that directly expose us
to raw outbreak of Spirit.
Not as a flight
nor to fight
this harsh honesty of Nature,
we can enter the wilds unguarded,
to encounter, be drawn down,
carried off, even blown away
that liberate breath
and captivate imagination.
There is only breathingMark Nepo
in the country of this moment
where everything touches everything else.
Made permeable in wilderness,
we are penetrated by a multitude
of miniscule and majestic triumphs and tragedies.
Coming home to the living land,
cast into a greater drift, the thicket of everything,
we walk right into wider, wilder mystery.
to find such reclamation
in what are deemed “the wastes.”
In a cascade
of falling leaves and littered lives
may you come home,
grounded in enduring impermanence,
set free to saunter
as you rejoin
that longs to reclaim you.
Joe Grant is a seer and a sayer, a prophet and a poet. He divines the divine in the everyday stuff of life and speaks the essential truth that every place can be a thin place, every time Kairos time. Scratchings is Joe at his alliterative best, offering us a beautiful sacramental vision in which Spirit weaves us into a great, timeless community with each other and with the more-than-human world. This quiet, gentle, but powerful book is absolutely necessary medicine for our troubled times.
– Kyle Kramer, Executive Director of the Passionist Earth & Spirit Center