the suchness of life

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october’s sky is gray
a bird calls and
the dog barks
the i struggle and still

thou knows and waits
now

slow-rise bread
lemon, rosemary
awakens the senses
to pen down thoughts

into this
suchness

the oven clock startles
the senses awake
dark crusted broken bread
joins the sacredness of now

no stories, no analyzing
of today’s yesterday and tomorrow
capture the segment between –
the staff of life awaits

thou knows

the I still struggles
october’s sky is gray
another bird calls
the dog sleeps

and work awaits
this for ever now

~ sonja s

retreat

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Retreat means to withdraw, to step outside of one’s normal routine, to linger – but to linger with intent.

A retreat was a gift this change of season.

This life must seek the gift, enter the holiness, accept the wholeness, and find its place in it.

Its mind must remember the snapshots, its heart must remember the cobwebs, so that at the clearing of the soul the woman befriends the child.

Scattered and spent across the seasons, the fruited seeds of desires and possibilities wait and want and wail. The offshoots must be brought together.

Who will know the thistles from the wheat?

The angst of desire brings a restlessness, a lying awake at night. And four o’clock in the morning brings a pilgrimage. A dozen pauses at the edge of life, stripping the self naked – a clearing for the fullness of possibilities in this world of time, a clearing for the possibility of fullness in this world of timelessness.

“If you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time.”

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and this life not healed. But the season’s change brings the gift. The gift will seek this life, wholeness will enter and holiness will find its place in it.

 
 
 

A reflection on words written by Wendell Berry – What are people for?

Text from Matthew 13:30, The Message

new growth

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I tended the neglected vegetable patch last week. Still wrapped in the aftermath of a summer’s holy days, I found home clay-cold, to-do lists long, and knuckle-down difficult. When the sun offered a sudden noon warmth my winter cold body took the blessing. The sweet scent of the jasmine unstifled the air as I dug into the soil, bare hands uprooting the dry and the neglect, open to receive.

Too many times before, and even more so of late, the tasks of hands tending, unearth heart and mind – yearning and seeking for a rhythm of life.  I found some seedlings waving small new leaves. How did they survive? Echoes of dreams, ideas, reflections … sown and watered …  in the wait of the growth it is easy for distractions to take over, for dryness and neglect to settle in … but somewhere, somehow, some do survive.

I raked the soil and removed stones, pieces of bark, and dead wood. I watered the dryness earth and planted again the seedlings – their small new leaves a healthy green. I hope for another chance, another bearable growth. I think about the distractions and the discomfort caused, and I’m grateful for the discomfort – it offers a new beginning.

I saw new growth on old wood. The place where the old growth ended and the new growth began left noticeable scars. A sealed past awakened for a tomorrow … and I’m grateful for the itchy scar, the healing dailiness of new beginnings.

A life in a day.

Tidings

A day, not long ago, I read

… I chose not to get my driver’s license … I walk every where. In walking I find freedom and creativity. Sometimes I find peace. I live in my head – except when I walk … I am not walking away from my head; I’m walking through the disconnect between head and body … I walk because I have to …

… and I felt the brushing of a slight disconnect between head and body … and wondered, am I thrown off-balance?

On that same not long ago day, I read

If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.

~ Lin Yutang

And I thought of past experiences and the future open full with possibilities… and wondered, am I conscious of this day?

Two seemingly disconnected readings. But a time glimpse of the past captured life’s ebb and flow; a seesawing between the easy and relaxed known, and the hard and excited unknown. The epitomes of my soul?

And I feel a brushing, a connect between head and body, a balance … and I hope to be able to hold gratefully, but also lightly; to be able to embrace but also let go… this new given moment.

~ s.s

Hoisted with my own petard

I constantly remind myself that one of the reasons I write, is to find, or hoping to find, resonance. And in this knowledge of hope, writing hides in waiting.

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done ~ Marie Curie.

To find this writing I’d have to write. “Hoisted with my own petard,” I’d think and say and feel the looming defeat as the battle begins: the absurd, the impulsive, the dreamer against the just, the controlled, the committed. Good writing against bad writing. And in the midst, an inner ‘it’ warily measures the distance between the ideal writing and the real writing, between the present perfection (really?) and the past imperfection (really).

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle ~ Kahlil Gibran.

From this dist…the fight is a losing battle. The oughts and musts bulk too large. Yet, in this battle with words, hope continues to seek fullness.

 

While waking up for this day

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Not even a cold wind

could blow away

the befuddled morn

but ritual

not reason

served coffee and chores

and just like that

while fumbling for rhythm

stress sounded

and on the brink

of a mood

quite in discomfort

the self waited

 

aware

wanting

waiting

without thought and excuse

and it was

miraculous

the way the silence

lifted the lie

It brushed and sensed

a world clear

and then

in you walked

 

did we sense

the mystery

yet to unfold?

~sonja s

Of writing #1

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Others form man; I only report him: and represent a particular one, ill fashioned enough, and whom, if I had to model him anew, I should certainly make something else than what he is but that’s past recalling.

~ Michel de Montaigne, Of Repentance

Again and again, Dinty W. Moore‘s writing exercises spur me to fill my paper with the breathings of my heart – to quote William Wordsworth. The words that follow, two exercises – one, to translate the above paragraph in today’s common speech, and the other – to write a contemplative essay, attempt to breathe the beatings of one heart.

Most people are other people – did Oscar Wilde read Montaigne? I portray a prim and grim personality: me, myself and I. Does this ill-shaped three-in-one being tell my mind that I need to be different from how I actually am?  And now my ego believes it is her role to fix this self-spirited-soul! Is it then past hope to live my life from essence?

 This attempt might take a life – a life time.

die skaam is opgehoop

en het op gehou

hoop

maar die hoop beskaam nie