20 August 2009


I'm struck by all the space the "doings" of one's life take up. Having just declared myself "no longer a landscaper" (a misnomer, really, since I still have contracts to honor) my life begins to take on a new patina...not the harried, sketchy, thinking, thinking, thinking of the landscape designer/installer, but the meditative perspective of the writer, counselor, listener.

Amazing how simple that is; change one's perspective, change one's view of the world. Had I known it was this easy, perhaps I would have done it much sooner. Perhaps not.

Each step of a journey is a necessary one, is the point I am making. It will remain to be seen what all the lessons were of stepping from the visionary path to the practical one for some 20 years. If God is, as Daniel Snyder tells us, the infinite divine lover of my soul, then I cannot doubt that meaning will be made of whatever steps I have taken. Something way beyond the right or wrong of things. This has proven to be true in my life at each point up to this one, so I have no reason to doubt it.

I remember that when I lived in John Greenleaf Whittier's poetry garret (where he wrote when he stayed along the Delaware River), the mere thought of it was enough to inspire me to write my own river journal. Prosaic, and full of my life's meanderings alongside that wandering river, it was as if Whittier's spirit had infused with mine, and creativity flowed unencumbered. Before that moment, which was also one of the loneliest of my life, I had no idea I was a writer. I wrote out of my longing, my desperation, my deep-soul searching for God. It started from a chance meeting with my landlady, where she showed me a first edition of Whittier's works and remarked, as if by chance, that he sat in the window of my tiny apartment and looked out over the river as he wrote.

A couple hundred years of trees later, one couldn't really see the river from that garret, except in the dead of winter, peering closely through the treetops. It didn't really matter though. It was Whittier's spirit that spoke to mine, talking about the spirit and how it moved here and there between home and the river, and how God spoke to him as he wrote. I understood, and I wrote too.

And what about the time spent with a samurai healer, learning the Japanese herbs? That too was a conflagration of spirits, teaching me how the earth and humans communicated for eons before me, the simple truths that opened doors into my heart and body, and healed me from a lifetime of abuses inflicted by self and others. I understood how a samurai could be both protector warrior and spiritual healer to a whole village of people, and how reverent and responsible that role was for the holder. How sacred each role of each life was to all.

How many incarnations have I had in this life? Too many to number. The God of my Understanding has led me, by the Light, to each of a myriad of places that I needed to encounter to bring me to exactly this place that I stand now.

I always knew that God was calling me. Since I was a child, I've known. Then, in the midst of dreams and visions, I saw the things the Bible could only talk about...the burning bushes and the staff into snake into staff. I knew they were there for me as signs that God loved me. I knew they were there in case I doubted, and doubt I did.

My whole life long, unsureness has been the constant. Right alongside of God, the inconstancy.
Perhaps this is what free will is about. Will you choose the familiar, earthbound fearfulness, or choose the unknown, beckoning God? Will you venture out to the edge of the boat, fearful of falling in? An teacher said to me a long time ago, "We find God at the edge of the boat in the midst of the rocking sea." And me, I've carried a fear of drowning all my life: a fear of swallowing too much water, or knocking my chin on a hidden rock in that water, or not being strong enough to swim against the current.

Yet swim I must. The little inner voice has only gotten louder over the years. "You are a Minister," it virtually screams at me now. Okay, I get it. Really. At 57 years old, I finally realize that it is not going to stop, not going to go away, not going to leave me alone. I surrender.

God is the infinite divine lover of my soul.

Therefore, God will never desert me, never give up on me, never leave me alone.
And I? I just need to stop and listen. But listen with new ears. Really hear what is being said, and then stop and listen some more. Deep listening. Deeper listening. Be in relationship with the lover of my soul.

Never has something been more scary in my life. Where will You lead me? What adventures lie ahead? Do I have what it takes? Evidently I do, for You have chosen me.

Yesterday I read, in the 1959 Britain Faith and Practice, that we adults have the responsibility to listen to the call of God, and to act on our leadings, so that we might set the example for the youth to come. If we don't step out in service, how will they know what to do? This little volume even talked about the supernatural leadings of the Light, and our duty to answer them.

For years I have wandered about asking questions in the darkness. Is this real? Who would believe me? Am I crazy? Even now, attempting to "answer the call," I don't really know what that means.

It takes seasoning, the elders say. So I am waiting. But not waiting alone. Finally I have understood the need for clearness, and that it cannot be sought in a vacuum.

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