Nicodemus/Re-Enter the Womb…The New Testament

Nicodemus/Re-Enter the Womb…The New Testament

How can this be?

By night he came
through the shadows.
Nicodemus, you came
searching, trying desperately
to understand THIS light.

Hidden, your ‘literary’ mind
attempting to grasp words—
words that always seemed
so simple for you.

You could utter all kinds
of explanations.
You elicited facts—
Quoted laws—
written lessons handed
down through the ages.

BUT now
you heard,
“You must be born again.”

AGAIN, your understanding
‘limited’ by your own mind.
Your inability to
hear the words—

You thought,
“I’m a grown man—
how am I to re-enter
the womb which gave
me life?”

To return to
THAT, that beginner’s
mind…

That infantile pure mind
that bursts forth out of
nine months in a sea of darkness
AND, then—
Beholds ALL things
as NEW.

Every day
after swimming in
the depths of dreams,
we open our eyes
bursting ‘into’ another
day.

A NEW day
we begin again—
we are born again

to behold life
and re-capture
the innocence
as when we first arrived.

Nicodemus,
you sought what could not be explained.

Your learned mind
a fresh slate

YOU—birthed anew.

“Be who God meant you to be and you’ll set the World on fire.”
                                                                      —Catherine of Siena

Understanding

Understanding

I understand
that I do not understand
much of anything.

I walk in the early
part of the day
trying to quiet my
mind.

It rustles..this mind of mine,
until the wind
picks up blowing it
away.

As the sun pierces
the dawn,
a solitary flower
lifts its head…
it needs nothing.
Its only understanding
is to RISE
even if ONLY
this day.

The soft hooves of the doe beat
on the delicate earth
and her young nibble upon its
soft grasses.

They seem to understand
it is a new day
and they go about
with doing what must be done
or left undone.

A storm approaches.
The sky rapidly
changes—
the only thing to
understand is to settle
in, settle down.

I’m able to find the
comfort in a sturdy
shelter
while the environment
in which I’m enraptured
swirls, holding on
with roots dug deep.

Leaves pulled—some
hang on, hang in
while others tossed,
displaced, removed
but they seem to understand it was
simply time—
time to go
and become part of
something NEW.

These days
so much seems to be
NEW and I understand
until once again a new
understanding presents
itself.

I’m becoming an EXPLORER
of Meaning.

Jesus…The New Testament

Jesus…The New Testament
An Ordinary Man named Jesus

What ?
Ordinary you would call THIS man?

There are many tales
of THIS man’s life…
Stories written, inscribed,
‘bound’ together LONG after
his time.

So much written
that is NOT factual
yet, ‘held’ as truth.

Some hold THIS understanding
trying each day to live
the faith of THIS ordinary man.

Still others ‘use’/misuse
THIS man’s life
creating ANYTHING
but what he exemplified.

We do know
facts springing from
THIS man’s public ministry.

THIS Jesus
set off on foot
sharing ‘parables.’

He asked questions:
“Who do people say I am?”
“Whose face is on that coin?”
“Which brother did what his father asked?”
“Who did you go out to see?”

Many times he remained
‘silent.’
NEVER let
anyone tell you silence
does NOT speak.

He NEVER went about
promoting himself as
the Messiah.

He healed many
THIS Jesus
and would often
say, “Don’t tell anyone.”

Many in his time proclaimed
themselves healers & Messiahs
asking for payment
upon services rendered.

THIS Ordinary Man
simply said, “Follow Me.”

He ‘often’ spoke with
women—countless
NAMELESS women
who opened THIS
ordinary man’s eyes.

Could he have been married?
‘Shaky’ ground we are treading.
It would have been un-ordinary
for a 30+ year old Jewish male
NOT to have been.
More would have been written
had he not been.

Would it matter?
Would it change how you
have come to know him?

The Wedding at Cana—
His first recorded miracle.
Could it have been__________?
Why would his mother
come to THIS Jesus
regarding the wine running out.
A mother’s concern—
would it NOT be if it were ONLY her son’s wedding?

THIS man
challenged the systems of
his day.

He took tremendous risks.
He devoted himself to those
who had little.
Isn’t this why he turned over
the money tables in the
Temple?

The ‘little’ monies people had
the religious zealots would
ban the people from using—
Why?  Because Roman monies held
Caesar’s face on the coins…

The people were told it was pagan monies
and they were made to cash them in for shekels.
What was received—its value was less.
(Ah, but the religious system was
in harmony with the politics of the day—
tax exemptions…are we really
different today?)

He saw the corruption.
He named the injustice.
He spoke of love

AND—to those who set out
to take his life

—He did not establish armies
—He did not build walls to ‘protect.’

Rather, he stretched out his arms
like a mother hen
gathering her brood
and said, “Forgive them for they
know NOT what they do.”

THIS man transformed our
understanding of death.

THIS man’s suffering
revealed a LIGHT
within which we ALL live.

An eternal JOY
surpasses human understanding.

THIS Ordinary Man…Jesus
echoed he is with us.

Believe it or NOT

We dwell in this Cosmic Mystery.
THIS Christ Consciousness
THIS Divine Temple of Creation
Incarnate before any eye
ever open to its vast
grandeur.

THIS ordinary man Jesus
called out to Abba (Father).

Remember the ‘time,’ the history
of his day.

THIS ordinary man—ALIVE in us today.

THIS Jesus invites us to
call out “Mother,” “Source of life,”
“Spirit”… “Nameless breath.”

If ONLY we would
expand our hearts.

THIS man said,
“We would do even greater things…”

If ONLY we trusted
we are ALL One
letting-go of fear
and following a
simple WAY—

LOVE.
“I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for

may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.”

~~~Rainer Maria Rilke~~~

Yesterday’s Harvest

Yesterday’s Harvest

Yesterday…
days ago it seemed
the Fall Harvest—
the last ‘pickings’…
tempered vines
strewn in a wheel barrel.

The compost would be laid
as a blanket
upon earth’s brown skin.

Winter arrived—
the chill swept across
the landscape.
Flakes of powder—
each one different—
an artistic design unnoticed.

Yet, it held in time
on the frozen
pile of Autumn’s leaves
that the winds were unable
to blow away.

All that is about to be—
the awakening of Spring.

We have not seen the
great harvest of Winter
down deep, inside
the body of the Universe.

So much Life
created, re-created
in the death, the remains
of that last
wheel barrel full of Autumn.

The cycle repeats
itself—
each of us is in this
circular dance.

Do we recognize
what dies in us?

Have we let go
of useless, unsettled
‘leaves’ hanging around
waiting for us to allow
them their freedom—release?

Are we able to smell the fresh
scent of Spring
and allow it to fill us—
carry us off our feet
until we settle into
the warmth of summer
soaking in the drops of
sweat while sitting on
a carpet of sand
by the sea?

The wheel barrel
will come again—
fresh compost
gathering the last harvest.

THIS is the essence
of communion
daily received.

In the eucharist of life,
the paten
a simple wheel barrel.

 

John the Baptist…The New Testament

John the Baptist…The New Testament
A Silver Platter

People came to you—
to your lowly
desert haven
nestled by the sea.

You preached a message
of METANOIA—
a turning of one’s
heart
and one’s mind
to a NEW Way.

You began the preparations.

You revealed ONLY the Truth.
For this you were imprisoned

AND

for this your
head laid on a silver platter.

You chose suffering instead
of falsity, gain, and prestige.

You knew the price
and you chose the deepest treasure
discovered within…

You chose wisely.
The Desert is Holy

If the desert is holy
It is because it is a forgotten place.

That allows us to remember
the sacred.

Perhaps that is why every
pilgrimage to the desert
Is a pilgrimage to the self.

There is no place to hide
And so we are found.

—Tempest Williams

 

Full Moon

Full Moon

Holons merrily danced a
minuet around her fullness.

She impregnated the night
with hues too elegant for
mere words.

The veins of the naked trees
reached for her—
the air frigid—
‘still’ the branches
clacked in the wind…
the rush of sap swirled
inside ‘unfrozen’
—the moment far from barren.

Within the trees, the fruit of life
collided creating a Spring
of endless blossomings..

Who can say—
the depths of the moon’s
fullness do not
feed the vast wonders of creation…

The tides reside at her dawning
and rush back in when
her fullness is at its zenith.

Milky white dew drops
splash to earth—
the nocturnal animals drink
in the formed pools.

Awake in this wonder I AM—
a soft shadow almost
wishing the dawn would
wait to rise.

SIBYL MAGAZINE—March 2017/ Bottom Of An Hour-Glass

SIBYL MAGAZINE—March 2017/ Bottom of An Hour-Glass

A PILGRIM SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci—Bottom of An Hour-Glass

One grain of sand slipped through a narrow chamber—another flowed effortlessly pouring itself over words drizzled at the bottom of an hour-glass.  Before each speck of sand incased in an imaginary castle leading to far off never lands, a steady flow of thoughts filtered through my heart.  I became mindful of a tree.  I wondered if a tree should fall in a forest would the sound of its rippling across the earth’s floor be heard?  Would there be a sound if NO one heard it fall?  This question reverberated in my soul and walked the Camino in me.

Breathing in the chill of the morning’s air, I placed one foot followed by another on the ground.  Soon I experienced a deep sense of wonder, of majesty, of beauty and , I listened.  It was all about listening.  Was there any sound?  Did it matter?  I felt deeply overwhelmed realizing that I had become this tree…no longer words sunken beneath sands.  I climbed through the narrow space of the hour-glass spreading myself outward like branches stretching toward heaven’s dome.  I saw myself as if in a mirror— the direction clear, but one I never saw coming.  Every step became a painting.  I was mindful of this sacred moment—of this terrain.  Like an artist’s pallet, each ‘shoot’ of my being became a brush into which I dipped.  The orange pink splashes of the sunrise illuminated the sky and danced around the horizon.  I was drenched in the blue and white raindrops which pelted a gray sky.  I slogged through deep brown mud and I danced in green buds that unfolded into every new day.

Life has turned the hour-glass.  Walking now, I visualize more clearly how the bottom of the glass has become its top.  But, when the sands are poured through, a new bottom became as did a new top.  What an incredible reversal.  Like life going round and round, new moments are given to each of us again and again.

As I took the time to re-read that last paragraph I penned, I paused to ask myself what it was that I had been saying.  I am writing something new and as I re-live what was—it is old news and GOOD News.  The hour glass sits.  I am able to turn it over anytime.  Actually, it turns itself without my having to do anything.

The trunk of this tree that I am (metaphorically speaking) is stronger than ever and at times I want to run from this knowing.  The resilient strength within me echoes ‘be not afraid’ and I press forward.  The hour glass stores countless lessons.  It is not about ‘time’ or time running out.  It is about the realization to draw life from the amount of time given and walk awakened into each day.

Until April,
Buen Camino

Elizabeth & Zechariah…The New Testament

Elizabeth & Zechariah…The New Testament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who were you Elizabeth?

You knew didn’t you…BUT, you kept it ‘hushed.’

While sharing your voice,
You Elizabeth, wife of the great high priest Zechariah,
whose voice was made mute upon entry into the
Holy of Holies, became who you already were—The priestess.
You knew didn’t you, Elizabeth?
Your ancient womb bursting, pulsating
expanding with life.
It was you, a woman, who would audibly proclaim
his name.

You would name your son who entered a
dry, parched barren land, a desert place…inviting people to the
waters.  Truly ‘his’ dwelling was an invitation to the
true holy of holies.
He “listened” to you…
He watched you…
and knew deep within that he would become
a ‘seed’ destined
to blossom.
In the end, he was snipped like a wild
weed from its roots, but his message still heard echoing “Metanoia.”

It was your message—Priestess of God.
You proclaimed what was in Mary’s womb.
The refrain you echoed
Elizabeth even your companion Zechariah knew.

When your call was challenged, Zechariah would write down on a tablet
affirming that what you stated would hold fast.
It was only then his voice opened.
Your husband was born anew.

Wise Crone…
for nine months you were the voice that was
listened to.
Some finally understood.

The pages of your life, sweet Crone
were filled with un-daunting laughter.
Your story…
really never ends.

“Eventually I saw that the path of the heart requires a full gesture, a degree of abandon that can be terrifying.  Only then is it possible to achieve a sparkling metamorphosis.”
  —Carlos Castaneda

I Lost You God

I Lost You God

Today,
“I LOST GOD.”

I’ve put all I’ve ever known,
been taught, studied—“DOWN”
and I stepped into ‘nothingness.’

I walked, and walked, and walked.
I stopped ‘thinking.’

I cannot tell you the moments
or instances—
it was sudden.

Everything, everyone became God.
In my mind, it was an
explosion of sorts.
Light spewed itself in ALL things.

I could not not drop to my knees—
the motion was a dance.

Inside me I felt a flow
moving. It was rushing through me
and I had to reach out connecting
with a tree rooted in earth.

I stood.  The ground beneath my
feet swayed or was it I that was swaying?
It no longer mattered.

We moved together
‘in’ this Life.

God—I believe I’ve beheld you…

NOT in a single glimpse
but, in the endless knitting
of a world creating itself over and over again.

TODAY—NOW

JOSEPH…The New Testament

Joseph…The New Testament

Two wooden beams…

Did you see them in your dreams?

Wood in your hands—
it became like clay…
you would mold and fashion—
create like no other carpenter.

BUT…
a little carpenter you had
at your side.
He watched YOU—
became you.

You LOVED his mother.
You would not allow her to be stoned as was the law
you believed in.

Within your dream
you were stretched.
“YOU” held her—
enveloped her, becoming
her Beloved.

Your tiny apprentice
grew beyond the trade.
He was pulled elsewhere.
In this time—
perhaps, you ‘ALREADY’ gone.

But, you spoke a
message of transformation
far from teaching
in words.

Your spoken
actions were epic.

Who would have thought
your boy, now a man,
would be hung
from the very craft,
skill, artistry
you taught him.

Joseph, father—
carpenter…
you taught your son.

He knew how to hang
from the wood.
He knew beyond the law
that YOU were
with him through the
end of the age.

Together, with
the woman who was
your soul’s companion,
YOU taught him to
believe AND make
all things NEW.

This is why he ROSE
from the wood
and led others
to SEE an empty tomb.

Joseph—you were/are so
much more than
ONLY a Carpenter.
“Dreams pass into the reality of action.  From the action stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.                               —Anais Nin

SIBYL MAGAZINE—February 2017/ A Key—A Stick…’Gifted’

SIBYL MAGAZINE—February 2017/ A Key—A Stick…’Gifted’

A PILGRIM…SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci—A Key—A Stick…’Gifted’

Many faces pass me as I walk.  My thoughts so meaning-filled this day.  The “busy-ness” of life has given way to a quiet awakening within and by day’s end, all the walking took me back…back to its beginnings.  I left behind many earthly ‘things’ when I departed my homeland—a country flowing with milk and honey.  When I arrived in this unknown land, I ‘found’ the true source…the rich Honey Comb.

I was immersed in a sweet essence while I walked, as I glided across the slick cobblestone pavement.  I was mesmerized by the magnificent arch before me—above me a statue of
St James with staff in hand.  I stood—a foreigner, as one in exile embarking on a solitary journey and I heard the invitation to “Come, follow.”  My heart pulsated as I fought to free myself from my ‘false’ self, from the lure of success, from the hunger for recognition, accolades and applause.

The arch I would walk under/through pulled me like a string.  The church to my left whispered, “ENTER.”  I reached for the door handle pushing and pulling wishing it to open.  I felt a certain sadness when I realized the church was locked.  How was I to enter?  I took  a few steps and saw a stout woman holding a skeleton key which dangled from an enormous hoop around her wrist.  She gazed into my eyes.  Speaking not a word, she unlocked the door and beckoned me “WELCOME.”  A latch was lifted.  My heart unleashed a sense of deep gratitude.  Only now do I realize the gifts received.

A walking stick had become for me more than just a stick.  As the pilgrimage began, the stick and I found our way to each other in one of the many shops.  I spent time searching for the ‘right’ one.  This stick caught my eye.  I picked it up—I put it down and it leaned into me.  It became my constant companion.  A simple piece of wood carried me across rough terrains and through all weathers.  Tears bathed my being when I arrived in Santiago and gently placed my companion with all the other sticks.  Before my final release, I did throw it to the ground wondering if it would turn into a snake.  The only hiss came from my lips—blessing to the next pilgrim in need of its assistance.

A key unlocked my heart.  I, the foreigner, was carried by a companion ‘staff.’  A slivered moon illuminated the night sky and I was struck not by the light of the visible curve, but by its shadow in the black sea.  There was my true self in the shadow.  Who I am, who I was becoming, even after all this time—UNKNOWN.  In my silent practice of being, I am trusting what is slowly being revealed.  A new day is dawning and endless sunsets sink into mists of endings.  HERE my true self awakens.

Until March,
Buen Camino

MARY…The New Testament

The New Testament is a branch—
EXTENDED from the expanding roots of the Hebrew Scriptures…

I OPEN the story through the voice of a Woman
—a woman of courage
—a woman who overcame fear
and simply said, “Let it be done.” (Metaphorically speaking)

What was done to her birthed a child, who challenged his time, his people, his culture, religion & politics AND it was she who taught him the words, “Be NOT Afraid.”
THIS he echoed timelessly in every NEW step he chose to walk…

NOW—

MARY…The New Testament
“Don’t be afraid”
Sure, easy for YOU to say
…’whoever you are.’

“Please don’t be troubled.”
Alright, but what kind of greeting do you come with?

Did I really hear what was just
whispered to me like a breeze in the wind?

What has been done I already feel
growing within the fabric of my being—
a tree bursting forth within my womb.

My heart is exploding in wonder.
I know SO MANY will not understand this.
I’m not sure I truly do, Yet—

I will be looked down upon.
They’ll call me names and utter all kinds of insults…
But, I will not be afraid.

My mother taught me this…
She taught me to listen carefully to the ‘Spirit’ of God
and I shall pass this onto the one living
already inside of me.

I am ‘worthy’…this my mother taught me as well.
Yes…I, a girl…

From my youth, it did not matter I was a girl.
In fact, it was everything that mattered.
She sang to me, cradled me in her arms,
told me, “You are a gift of love—
Shine in the world.”

She didn’t really prepare me for just how deeply
it would hurt, but one must
‘grow’ through the seasons of life.

He came and I told him how much he
‘matters.’
He seemed to laugh with delight.

I told him never to be AFRAID…
He listened…
His final words in this world—
“Be NOT AFRAID I am with you always even to the end of the Age.”
“I must be the Virgin and give birth to God.”
                                                                  17th Century German Mystic Angelus Silesius

A Mountain and a Lake

A Mountain and a Lake

The mountain
beheld the silvery lake
at the rocky bottom of
its base.

The water enveloped the mountain—
the snow capped peaks
spread amidst a blue sky—
an endless ceiling encompassing
the sun’s radiance.

The mountain and the lake
spoke to each other
without words:
—they drew no comparisons
—they did not compete
—they did not make mention
of their differences…

Instead, they ‘blended’ into
each other
their Oneness…
a mirror’s image of what
the human eye sees dimly.

Micah…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Micah…(Hebrew Scriptures)

“[God] hath shown thee, O man [O woman]: what is good…”

EVERYONE is good for EVERYONE is of God.

“and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do JUSTLY…”

doing JUSTLY..why do we invest so much of our mind’s understanding JUSTICE.  Simply be JUST—you know if your actions are NOT.

“and to love mercy…”

surely you have been shown mercy in your imperfect life…may mercy open the door to your heart written with the sign LOVE over ALL four chambers.

“and to walk humbly with thy God?”

I’m walking…
where are your footsteps leading you this day?
HUMBLY shine ALL the GOOD
that is in you and others will witness the Divine that LIVES in YOU!

May we bow to each other in holy compassion—
for each of us is created in the image of God.

  Micah 6:8

Watch your words;
they become your ACTIONS.

Watch your actions;
they become HABITS.

Watch your habits;
they become CHARACTER.

Watch your character;
it becomes your DESTINY.

Author Unknown

 

 

The BIG ‘c’hurch


The BIG ‘c’hurch

Every step
and the ones taken in between
each known ‘footprint’
has been guided by
an unnamed source
leading me
to the BIG church.

Its cathedral ceilings
are peaks
packed in snow thousands
of inches thick.

A choir master lets loose
an avalanche.
A surge of crescendos
tumbles down, down, down…
a symphony in time
never to be heard in this
way again
AND then the choir
unleashes another rumble.

The pews spread outward—
miles upon miles of rolling meadows.
Oceans and riverbeds…submerged,
RISE
when the moon
caresses the chalice it is holding—
earth’s most precious blood.

The altar—the table
is wherever the sojourner stops…
breaking bread, giving thanks.
The tiny forest creatures
gather seeking the crumbs that hide
between every
blade of grass.

When the sun, an eternal candle,
finds its opening
through the unframed windows,
its flame ignites places
waiting to be revealed—
even if no one SEES.
Rejoicing goes on ‘in’ this church
because it cannot NOT
REJOICE.

Its doorway has no locks—
it is never closed…
it lives by the seasons~~~
always changing
never the same
open for all.

No dogmas
No rituals
No sacrifice.

This church is in constant
‘communion.’

This church
This BIG church is in relationship
with the stars above
and the secret core bubbling inside
earth’s inner being.

It is in this ‘tabernacle’ the
HEART beats
—it has always been beating…

in chaos
in calm.

This BIG church
stands erect.

Upon her the lives of many
linger day to day
sometimes forgetting ALL that
is offered EVERY moment.

Those who have much
paint images of a church
of their own making…

While those with
‘little,’ often referred to as ‘pagan,’
give thanks for
THIS church—
This BIG church.
They pause
knees bent, arms raised
offering thanks & adoration.

In this BIG church
the service NEVER ends.

Its invitation—simple.
“Come—follow me.”

Jeremiah…(Hebrew Scripture)

Jeremiah…(Hebrew Scripture)

WAIT…

Did you hear me?

Can you hear me?
Get someone else to do this…

I’m too young.
Or…I’m NOT the right person.
(Who is the right person?)

This task you ask…
I’m NOT right for the job—

WAIT…this isn’t a job, it’s a __________

it’s a CALL…

One I NEVER saw coming.
I’m sinking into this, this
whatever you call it.

I understand so little
but, the little I understand I offer.
“One of the very worst self-murdering lies that people tell themselves is that they are no good and have no gift and nothing important to say.”
—Brenda Euland

Without a Lens

Without a Lens

You stand
trying to ‘capture’
the very essence of nature’s
natural (panoramic) surroundings.

AND, then (without knowing),
nature ‘captures’ YOU
without a lens
revealing the beauty
YOU live ‘in’
together.”

STILL WATER

Men [Women] do not mirror themselves in running water—they mirror themselves in still water.  Only what is still can still the stillness of other things.
Chuang Tzu

Isaiah…(Hebrew Scripture)

Isaiah…(Hebrew Scripture)

Alright Prophet—
reveal yourself!

Who were you?

Really?

Out you went.
You were driven…
your handle on an
eternal steering
wheel—

Curved roads
mountain tops
country sides—
you’d STOP

and ANNOUNCE

“One is coming”

One is coming
to restore what’s
been broken,
divided, lost.

You were gone
when he arrived—

Yet, your “oneness”
spoken.

He quoted you
more than any other prophet.

Funny—he left out your line
of vengeance…(Isaiah 61:1-2/Luke 4:17-19)
should we even
wonder why?

It’s really simple—
isn’t it prophet…?

The stones get
it as well
as the sea
and the blanket of
stars.

Interesting how
Theologians
cackle over
what you’d written.
Or—even if you
actually wrote it?

Poets, well
they spew words
like a sheet of
music
or an eloquent
mosaic
trying to make sense of it all.

For themselves?
For others…
others who listen?

Who listened to you, Isaiah?

Ahhhh yes,
those believing,
trusting,
hoping
folk without much of anything…

enduring
with a faith
not even death
could snatch
away.

“Young men [women] may grow tired and weary,
youths may stumble, but those who hope in Yahweh renew their strength,
they put out wings like eagles.
They run and do not grow weary,
walk and never tire.”

                                                                                               Isaiah 40:30-31

SIBYL MAGAZINE—January 2017/A Pilgrim Seeking Temples

Sibyl Magazine—January 2017/ A Pilgrim Seeking Temples

What is this?
Sibyl Magazine is a Publication for the Spirit & Soul of Woman.
At the beginning of 2016 I was invited to submit a piece of my literary writing…
the invitation could not have been more timely as the Pilgrimage I walked in 2015
(The Camino de Santiago) had began to ‘gestate’ in and through my very being.

The GOOD News—
The ‘piece’ was accepted and I’ve been invited to ‘write’ a monthly article for 2017.

Yes—the sharings will focus on the unfolding of the Pilgrimage I NOW live daily…walking ONE footstep at a time TRUSTING I am exactly where I AM meant to be.

Hope that monthly in 2017 you will enjoy the WALK with me.

Buen Camino


A PILGRIM…SEEKING TEMPLES

Sandra Mattucci— A TREASURE FOUND WITHIN.

In March 2015, a journey ‘written’ in the sands of time would seep to the bottom of the hour glass.  The preparations for my pilgrimage began in past chapters.  I trained my being: physically—long walks in all elements; mentally—quiet refrains with no interruptions; emotionally—the longing of my being to connect with soul and spiritually—who are YOU, Source of Life, AND ‘who’ am I?  Delicately the ‘garden’ of my person took root…endless pages were written and many blank pages waited dabbing.

I uprooted myself on March 23rd and departed on my journey.  I would ‘transplant’ my earthly dwelling thousands of miles as I crossed over waves which rolled over from shore to shore to an unknown place.  (BUT, was it really unknown to me?)  I was a foreigner whose soles ‘touched’ a path known as The Way (The Camino de Santiago).  Millions of pilgrims traversed this landscape.  These ancient ancestors, without penning a sentence, shared their stories and kindled a flame within me.  As I stepped ‘into’ their footprints, I became ONE with them on this sacred path.  It was not until I returned from the pilgrimage that I began to sink my roots deeper and more firmly into the ‘grounds’ of Life.

The seeker of temples I became was a ‘temple’ that looked ‘into’ the faces of eternal temples.  I discovered EVERYTHING: trees stretching their branches into the clouds; mountains pulling blue skies into their snow-capped peaks; rivers swirling like woven tapestries; animals draped with bells clanging in the morning’s mist; flocks of birds singing because they could.  WE, I included, are ALL temples—treasures in a field of the Universe manifesting the uniqueness of the Divine.

All BEGAN before the formations of GAIA—the Cosmic Mystery which births itself each day as it calls EVERYONE to the dance—the flow of Life.  My call was an invitation to leave possessions behind.  I discovered that when we are empty, we truly are FILLED.  My temple’s story is not my own…it is part of a web creatively fashioned.  Each slender thread of Life placed, as if cemented, lends to something NEW.

Long ago persons gathered around sacred fires retelling stories.  Oral accounts paved terrains.  Words—NOT written BUT, STORY was ALIVE…’breath’ itself handed down…EVERY ‘temple’ shared a vision which spilled into the fabric of every TODAY.  Pilgrim, ‘temple’ I AM drinking from this well that ALWAYS was present to me.  SOMEdays I’m mindful of ALL I do NOT know and fall in love with the endless questions as I embrace the joy of everything unanswered.  My soles walk with renewed step—every footprint where it is meant to be. My pilgrimage’s ending—HOME…A BEGINNING.

Every new day pearls are discovered…stunning priceless gems…gifts given for ALL.
What is asked…A LIFE well Lived.

A Wheel

A Wheel

Are you the ‘hub’ of the wheel?
Are you its spokes OR the wheel itself?

Maybe you are beyond the rim?

Round and round we go—
Enjoy the dance from wherever you twirl…

JOB…(Hebrew Scriptures)

JOB…(Hebrew Scriptures)
JOB

You…gave the Creator
lessons in ‘good.’

Yes, you Job—
You knew ‘nothing’ of a council
gathering…you had no idea your
name came up as the next contestant
on ‘evil’s’ list.

The One, yes the very one who fashioned
YOU turned you over (at least that’s what is written in the Book)
not once, but twice.

You knew nothing of this ‘layout’
or ‘blueprint.’
In fact, you seemed to ‘blot’ out
everything ‘within the script.’

Your friends…your wife
‘tried’ to help you to ‘see’ the
errors of your ways.
They demanded you to name
them—
to ask forgiveness—
to curse the One who formed you.
Yet, you would not.

Instead, you sat in your aloneness.
Yes, the Divine left you sitting.
You ‘stretched’ the very essence of the Divine—
because of your goodness, Job.

You would not denounce the Source of Life—
Yet, you invited this Creator
into the fullness of intimacy.

You sat
asking one question
after another
until the Divine
left the council
and spoke
Soul to Soul with YOU.

In your stillness—
in your quiet…
a relational
Mystery resurrected.

Your need for answers
were no more.
Your questions
became the
perfection of
‘wholeness.’

The Source of all Life
did not dwell
‘outside’ of you
but, ‘inside’ of
You
and ALL around you.

You have a secret
so many long to bare.
“Participate with joy in the sorrows of the world.”     —Buddhist principle

The Path Behind

The Path Behind

Often times…
I intentionally gaze ‘back.’

In deep gratitude I raise my head
knowing the path behind paved
the way to this ‘present’ NOW—

How can I not, NOT whisper
aloud, “Thank you!”
The Wild Geese
“Horseback on Sunday morning, harvest over, we taste persimmon and wild grape,
sharp sweet of summer’s end.  In time’s maze over fall fields, we name names that went west from here, names that rest on graves.  We open a persimmon seed to find the tree that stands in promise, pale, in the seed’s marrow.  Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes.  Abandon, as in love or sleep, holds them to their way, clear in the ancient faith: what we need is here.  And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear.  What we need is here.”                                     —Wendell Berry

A Letter from Chief Seattle…1852

A Letter from Chief Seattle…1852
(To the United States Government who inquired about buying tribal lands
for the arriving people of the United States…)

“The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land.  But how can you buy or sell the sky?  The land?  The idea is strange to us.  If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.  Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect.  All are holy in memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins.  We are part of the earth and it is part of us.  The perfumed flowers are our sisters.  The bear, the dear, the great eagle, these are our brothers.  The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors.  If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred.  Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people.  The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The rivers are our brothers.  They quench our thirst.  They carry our canoes and feed our children.  So you must give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.  The wind that gave our grandchildren his first breath also receives his last sigh.  The wind also gives our children the spirit of life.  So if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children?  That the earth is our mother?  What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.  All things are connected like the blood that unties us all.  Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.  Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

One thing we know: our god is also your god.  The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Your destiny is a mystery to us.  What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered?  The wild horses tamed?  What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the vine of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires?  Where will the thicket be?  Gone!  Where will the eagle be?  Gone!  And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt?  The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last Red Man had vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here?  Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat.  So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it.  Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it.  Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land.  This earth is precious to us.  It is also precious to you.  One thing we know: there in only one God.  No man, be he Red Man or White man, can be apart.  We are brothers [and sisters] after all.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year Blessings to ALL—
May ‘we’ collectively pray to HEAR Mother Earth’s heart beating …
so EVERY tomorrow may dwell in this sacred world we’ve been invited to embrace!

SOLOMON…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Solomon…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Split the child in two!!!
You heard me, cut the child in half!!!
Even before you finished your sentence, the ‘mother’
fell at your feet…
‘Give the child to the other woman’
You knew, Solomon.
You knew who the real mother was
and you ‘placed’ the innocent child into her hands.

Solomon…
You could have said anything.
Anything you wanted was yours…but
you did not ask for treasures, lands, victories.
You did not ask that your name become famous
across the waters.

Instead, you asked for wisdom
and understanding…
A heart open to kindness and mercy.

Instead of battles, you reawakened
the ‘art’ of communication—communion.

You listened, observed…
seeing through the blinders…
understanding ‘they’ were simply not able to grasp
the mystery.

You judged NOT…yet guided wisely.

Your Wisdom Solomon, speaks today—
Can we hear the message?
“What we do with our lives individually is not what determines whether we are a
success or not.  What determines whether we are a success is how we have
affected the lives of others.
—Albert Schweitzer

The Window

The Window…

From a distance,
a reflection ‘in’
the window.

The closer you move
toward the glass,
the clearer the image ‘presents’ YOU.

Yes, you’re ‘in’ the hollowed sill.

Now, your eyes look ‘in’side
the reflection beyond the glass ‘mirror’
AND
you SEE the reality stored within.

Might we take the time
it takes to SEE inside
what lies in the deepest
recesses of our hearts.

Tamar…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Tamar…(Hebrew Scriptures)

“NO”…

It was so simply stated—

YOU had the courage to say, “NO.”

You shouted, but to him, it did not matter.
His desire, his lust, his ‘ego’—
It was ONLY what he wanted.

You were willing—
Pleaded you did to go about it in a
‘moral’ way.  What is moral?

Long ago morals seemed not to matter.

Is it really different today, TAMAR?

Your voice echoes through the smallest, tiniest cracks.
After years, centuries, millenniums
your voice heard…NO.

It is a voice for our children frightened
to say, “You cannot do this to me.”
“You’re hurting me.”

‘”Take back all your gifts.”
“Don’t use my family’s poverty as a bait to keep me
silent and allow abuse to go on and on disguised
as GOOD WORKS.”

Tamar, you lived a desolate life.
You could have brought to life so much while you lived—

Now we can celebrate YOU.

Woman, unafraid to speak—your sisters and, yes
your brothers, hear YOU!
“How can one not speak about war, poverty, and inequality when people who suffer from these afflictions don’t have a voice to speak?”
—Isabel Allende

A Musician & An Artist

A Musician & An Artist

A musician and an artist
sat along the fringe of
the sea.

For a long time
words went unspoken.

I’m uncertain
what led them
to glance ‘outward’
at the same moment.

It appeared
they beheld a vision
coming down from
the heavens.
A strand of
eighty-eight keys
laid themselves
between the curls
of waves rolling
themselves over and over.

Then, what looked like a
hand except for the
fingertips—INK PENS.
They dipped into the ivory
and gently caressed
the ebony.

Together, they summoned
the sun to rise.

Every ‘touch’ of a key—
Every ‘dab’ of ink
became a drop—
the drop then became
a part of the pool
brimming with life.

Roots from the bed of
the sea climbed
from the ocean’s depths.

A tree
filled with life
stretched its branches.
How could a tree
grow from the water?
How could the water
appear to be holding
this tree?

The musician looked at
the artist…
The artist gazed at
the musician…

They began laughing aloud.

The musician began to play—
the artist began to sketch—

They ‘drew’ from the
well of creativity

knowing, trusting
its depths—ENDLESS.

ABIGAIL…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Abigail…(Hebrew Scriptures)

You, a voice,
whispered in the wind—

still…no one heard or listened to you—
a WOMAN.

Your heart removed from within you—
placed into hands ‘not of your choosing’…
to a surly man named Nabal.

You , still tempered by the spirit of the Lord
could not be untrue to what
was in you.

A seed was planted in your heart.
You a tree, growing, stretching
so beautiful and wise.

When Nabal failed to care for David’s men,
you knew bloodshed was swift in its approach.

You prepared ‘provisions’—blessings—

You set a table for communion—

YOU broke the altar of bloodshed.

How could we be so blind to
have missed your prophetic action?

You, Abigail, sat upon an ass
coming down
from under the cover of the mountain.

Your voice no longer a whisper—
You blew through the branches.
‘They clapped their hands’
and David heard you and ceased from his actions.

David SAW the Lord ‘within’ you
and affirmed your discretion and GOOD sense.

You, Abigail,
daughter of the living God—
how we have missed YOU…your story!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us…And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.                                                                                                          —-Marianne Williamson

Metaphor

Metaphor

Uncharted land…
my feet sank
into the soils.
I was knee deep
and began to write
a metaphor.

I was surrounded
by flowers
until I became one.
I had my fill
of morning’s dew.
The giant orange
ball NOW placed itself
within this twirling,
revolving matrix—
“I WAS.”

Without a warning,
all the flowers evolved
into prairie dogs.
I scurried
from rock to rock—
a playful untangling
unraveled itself
until
I fell into a deep
hole…

down I plunged.
I could not slow
myself.

Embedded within
the earth,
I was at its core.
I heard her beating.
My pen,
attempting to write THIS
metaphor,
turned into roots.

Stretching in every direction—
if direction be understood,
I became unwound.

The endless miles of
‘living’ veins pulsated
with earth’s blood
NOW in me…
Pushed me upward
to the surface.

“I ROSE”
bursting through the blanket
of ground now crushed
giving life
to branches
now cascading into
the sky’s
never-ending sea.

Dazzled
was I
as leaves became my voice
singing a tune
like a chime
in this wind swept
tapestry.

All at once
the metaphor
turned silent—
the eve of night-fall
approaching.

Hidden—
everything before my eyes.
How could I go on
writing what I no longer
could see?

Pausing
I closed my eyes
a moment.
When they opened—
‘sparks of light.’

I cleared what
I thought only
sleep dust
from my vision
ONLY to behold
spectacles of light—
‘shooting stars.’

They were galaxies away
until one fell
landing on one of
my many branches.

I lit up—
consumed, as if by fire,
BUT—I was not
destroyed.

Trying to write a metaphor…
I removed my shoes
knowing the surface
upon which I
had written
was holy—

The metaphor
seemed to whisper,
“Write-On.”

 

DAVID…(Hebrew Scripture)

David…(Hebrew Scripture)

As a child, in the fields
your companions—sheep.
YOU sat in the sun staring at stones.

Without realizing it,
you meditated…you prayed
in a contemplative fashion
though you had no idea what it meant.

A mere lad…a poet in motion.
Like all young persons, you THOUGHT you understood
EVERYTHING, but you were growing.

You had no idea where life was leading,
how you were being called, led.
But you packed up a few stones and
placed them in your pouch.

Then, one day
it was YOU who would face the GIANT.
They fitted you for Battle—
put you in a uniform making you—
turning you—into a sledge hammer.
You did not know this way…
it did not ‘fit’ you.

You cast off the garments
they placed on your shoulders.

You turned back to
what was ‘simple.’
You turned back into stone—
and you let it FLY.

You defeated the giant before you.
You were a HERO
destined for greatness…
BUT you dropped the stone.

Your ‘head’ puffed up with pride.
You wore the gowns of a king…
You gave in.
You forgot…oh simple shepherd
how to be a stone.

Your hammer brought down armies.
You loved to conquer
and your costliest defeat—yourself!

You put a friend on the front line
to be ‘killed’ so you could possess
his companion, his wife.

Your sledge hammer broken…

You wept.

and Yahweh loved bringing you back to stone.
Jesus said, “Split wood, I am there. Lift up a rock, you will find me there.”
Gospel of Thomas

If I…

If I…

If I were
a leaf set on
a branch
of the most majestic
oak tree,
from where would I
wish to dangle?

Would I yearn
to be at the grandest
height
overseeing the sun’s
rising, viewing
landscapes from all
angles, tasting the
first drops of rain?
Would I ?

Perhaps I would prefer
to be seated on the lowest of branches
‘seeing’ the earth’s floor
and being mindful of the
roots within which I’m planted.
I’d be more visible
and I would gaze out
at passersby
wondering what they were
pondering on this
particular day.
Perhaps, I would?

Maybe I would
wish to be in the  tree’s
middle, ever close to its
trunk.
I’d be shaded at all
times
conscious of the light.
I’d be amidst tiny birds
nesting and see their
young hatching.
I’d observe the stretching
of wings learning to
fly and I could not
help but sway in the
wisp of their first
soaring…
Maybe I?

So, if I were
a leaf…
“YES.”

What branch might
be your perch?

SAMUEL…(Hebrew Scriptures)

Samuel…Hebrew Scriptures

You
loved even before you burst from
your mother’s womb.

YOU…
her ‘deepest’ desire.
She loved the “One” who gave her you
so very much.
She offered you back as servant…judge.

She held ‘you’ as long as she could
and then you were placed in the hands of
Eli.  His own sons he could not guide—
Yet, you followed.

As you grew,
your wisdom expanded.

The people came to you.
You knew how to judge rightly

BUT

Some days at the ‘office’
you must have asked,
“WHY…?”
This is a complete waste of time!
I could be, I could be,
I could be so much more.

But, here I am…
solving disputes, ratifying laws, justifying the wars that
bring only further divisions.

I have known only love
and wished only to share it in the
kindest, most gentle of ways…
This did not happen.

So much turbulence
in your time Samuel.
(I HEAR a similar bell clanging today).

All of this turmoil created by humankind…
small acts
done without consciousness…
Seeking what—victory?

No victory was had…
Still Samuel—
You knew love
and in your way
you judged
selflessly.
“It’s very difficult to find in the outside world something that matches what the system inside you is yearning for.”                                                                              —Joseph Campbell

A House of Prayer

A House of Prayer

Entering—
there are ‘no’ locks
on this door…
no sturdy pillars
or stained glass windows.

No saints are carved in
stone nor
wooden crosses
raised high.

No pews
welcome you—
you stand within
an altar…
you are NOW its HOST.

SILENCE—
the only hymn heard.
(Oh, listen to the melody—
no notes necessary).

You plant the ‘seeds’
of your being
in the darkness of earth.

Warmed within
by the sun’s heat
moisture
beats on the walls…
watering what
will eventually break.

Some seeds
may never sprout—
their dying does not
mean they do not live…
perhaps, their life
already lived.
A newness is birthed
for the ‘ones’
who have come to be
AGAIN, and again,
and again.

This house, this green house
this House of Prayer

—is NOT about worship
—it is NOT about doing…

It IS about Becoming—

It is about
Growing into
who we are.

Bring all the seeds
‘inside’ you…

Nourish yourself in a
House of Prayer.

 

Hannah…(Hebrew Scriptures)


HANNAH…(Hebrew Scriptures)

A barren womb
and a man, Elkanah, who loved you so
even though you could not give him
any offspring.

His other wife Penninah…
She, despised you.
You could offer nothing in your barrenness.
She beat you ’emotionally.’

So scared were you.
You went to the temple.
Your tears a torrent of rushing waters…
The priest thought you drunk
but, you were consumed by your emptiness.

How many know your cry?
How many locked in closed rooms silently grieve
an inability to ‘birth?’

Your sorrow heard…
This not the way for all.

You conceived
your child—a son
offered as a Nazarite to Eli.

You nurtured him for his first three years of life.
He fed upon your milk
and nestled into your embrace.

He would be a judge like no other.
And, you, woman
never went back to Penninah
throwing it in her face…

No, instead…
You offered thanks.

“Let yourself be silently drawn/By the stronger pull of what you really love.”         RUMI

Nature Holds No Blame

Nature Holds No Blame

A leaf spoke to the wind—
“You’ve come so soon.
I was NOT expecting you,
BUT because you’ve come
I will let-go.”

The sun spoke to the storm—
clouds adrift on the horizon,
“Come, come…the land is dry
in need of your sustenance.
Fill the rivers and oceans.
If the creeks should overflow
their banks, do what is yours
to do.”

The hawk spoke to the tiny mouse—
“You’ve hidden yourself for
now, but my “EYES” can spot
you from great distances.
In time, I’ll seek my claim.”

The flower spoke to the dawn—
“No one will see my unfolding
in this lowly valley, but I
know there is One who
delights, if ONLY this day,
that I AM.”

The stars spoke to the night—
“When we see your shadow
approaching, it is as if we
are set anew…
a blaze within unfurled.”

A child spoke before
the coming of age—
“How beautiful this life I live.
There is so much to
DISCOVER.”

Then BLAME spoke—
disparaging remarks,
demeaning utterances,
engulfing separations,
postings of hatred
and racial divides.

Nature listened
and listened
and listened.

The tree of Life
sat in
the center
simply
hanging,
weeping.

Will these children
ever return to
the garden?

 

RUTH…(Hebrew Scripture)

RUTH…(Hebrew Scripture)

Who formed ‘you’ from within
the womb?
Your first ‘teachers’
NOT from the understood ‘TRUE FOLD.’

They laid a foundation
in your soul of selflessness,
tenderness, and abounding love.

You were a Moabite—
Married ‘into’ an Israelite family.
You heard about ‘their God’ and
you immediately recognized
this God was the ‘same’ as the
‘ONE’ you were brought up understanding.

You did not need to shout this message out…
You ‘lived’ it by example.

Your husband,
your father-in-law, and brother-in-law
dead.

Your mother-in-law, Naomi
released you and your sister-in-law, Orpah.
She freed you to go back
so that your future would not come to an end.

You, Ruth,
you stayed.
Your heart, overflowed with love.
You would not leave
Naomi alone when her needs were the greatest.

Grief, loss consumed her.
She loved you enough to say, ‘go’
but, you loved Naomi by staying.
Not seeing ahead,
you stood firmly in the moment of truth.

You trusted, staying and caring
for ‘someone’ you loved—
putting aside your happiness for a future.
Oh, but this was your greatest joy!

Your story, like a classic fairy tale—
your roots established in your early years
and the vine of your soul grafted into
the Oneness of the Creator who dwells in
and through all.

From your seed…Obed, your son
David’s Grandfather…a link to the Messianic birth of the Christ.
WE are all a Chosen race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“All progress is inevitably accompanied by strife and shock…
Evolution never happens without work and suffering.  It is not enough
to let oneself be borne passively along by it; man(woman) must
collaborate in the event.”
                                                                            —Teilhard de Chardin

SAMPSON

 

Sampson…(Hebrew Scripture)

Rapunzel, Rapunzel…let down your hair!
A fairy tale—
Your story, Sampson, anything BUT…

Your parents birthed you
in their old age~~~
You a gift, a Nazarite…promised never to cut
the locks of your strength.

Strand upon strand of flowing hair
delicately woven from your brow
was the charm, the magic
that allowed you to take on
the wild animal, the lion.
‘You’ captured before it swallowed you.

BUT…it was love that defeated you.
Not a pure love—
She, Only a lure of
their envy.
They enticed her
and she sold her soul to fill her
ego’s every want and desire.

Helpless you lay
stripped of all the strength you once
took for granted.

They paraded you into the center
before the people you loved
to mock you—
to belittle you.

And once more
you knew the cost.
You knew a spring still dwelt within you.
AND
YOU burst like a dam.

The temple walls towered down
upon you and upon all
who sought your ruin.

The cost…your life.
Your spirit
lives on in the ‘locks’ of time.

“Life breaks everyone…
        but some grow stronger at the broken part.”           

                                                                                                 —Ernest Hemingway

A Diamond

A Diamond

The precious diamond
knows its deepest value
is in its ‘sparkle’…

And, for the Artisan, EVERY ‘cut’
a mark of precision.
The ONLY desire—
to reveal the stone’s hidden essence.
“Lord, who can be trusted with power, and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice, who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth, AND their kindness endures forever.”

                                                                                        Psalms 15
                                                     (A Book of Psalms, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Deborah…(Hebrew Scriptures)

DEBORAH…(Hebrew Scriptures)

What say you?
A woman…
A Prophetess…
A leader in the time of the Judges.

A time of great conflict.
Enormous tensions.
You spoke and the people listened.
BUT, they would not go into ‘battle’
without you.

Your heart wrenched—
you knew the strains of battle.
NO victories!

It was not about winning or losing.
It was about surviving, protecting…sustaining~~~but what?

You had to lead.
You, a woman, and no one
speaks of your bravery, your courage, your risks.
Your consciousness stretched,
wounded~~~betraying what you knew.
But, you had to act.

What if you were here today, Deborah?
Would you help us to see beyond
boundaries, beyond divisions?
YOU would lead us to the Source
that lived in you.

Your song~~~they called it a victory hymn,
but, the tent peg and the hammer
killing the enemy
shadowed your life.
AND
you lived
with the knowledge of
that heavy weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Wakefulness is a state of non-illusion where you see things
not as you are but as they are.”                                                    

                                                                      —Anthony DeMello

Oh, GREAT Pumpkin…

Oh, GREAT Pumpkin…

Rushing into a ‘patch’ of
tapered orange gourds…
I picked not one or two
but an entire wheel barrel full.

What faces shall be carved?
What images cast this night
from a single flame
held inside these jack-o-lanterns?

Trick or Treat
PEN SKETCHES and Shaker 2016 034

RAHAB (Hebrew Scriptures)

 

RAHAB

The walls of Jericho—
‘You’ knew the mighty fortress…
each tunnel, each corner,
every nook and cranny.

You, Rahab, they called a Prostitute.
Is it really who you were?
Or were you so much more?

You worked the tavern…’translation’ Inn Keeper?
All the men ‘confided’ in you.
You earned their trust
and they shared with you because
You ‘listened’…
a depth within you
unspoken—
unacknowledged.

Two strangers
of the Chosen people came to ‘your’ door.
What did that mean?  Aren’t we all
Chosen?  You knew this…
How?  Prostitute!
That is why you helped them escape…you helped them.
First, hiding them from the king and his men seeking only to destroy.

A rope out the window..
You helped them escape in a bucket.
Yes a bucket…which holds water.
YOU Rahab, let the story flow—
Down, down, down into the depths still not perceived.
All you asked in return
You, and your family be spared.

A scarlet cloth dangled from your
window so that when they returned they
would come for you.

Yes…
They did come for you.
They kept you outside the camp…
after all, you practiced pagan acts.

Whose acts more out of line?
Yours filled only with ‘love,’ Rahab.

Silently you moved…
A spirit within you
whispered.

Rahab…Prostitute?
I think not
Rahab…Wisdom’s Daughter.

The walls came tumbling down
but the river inside you moved on.

 

“We save the world by being alive ourselves…”    —Joseph Campbell

Leaf(ing)

Leaf(ing)

It’s time—

I’ve held from a branch
that birthed me.
I unfolded to wonders
unexplained.
BUT…it’s time.

Time to let go.

I’ve been dazzled while dangling—
the most inclement weathers
enveloped me.

Rainstorms—
lightning illuminated the veins
of my being…
claps of thunder
shivered through me as the
winds pulled and tugged…

But—I held.

I’ve viewed many sunrises
and sunsets—

during the day I was
often scorched
but, then came the night—
shadows of light.

I was in the moon’s glow
while a quilt of stars
became a blanket—night’s sky.

It gave me something I
cannot capture in mere words.
I hope you understand this
one day.

Now—it’s time for Leaf(ing).

I’ve been a beautiful green
only to become orange and
now I’m browning in the most
elegant of ways.

I’m no longer soft and limber.
Instead, I’m crisp.

I hear the wind
approaching—it’s coming…

Off I gooooooooooooo—

It’s time for leaving.

Fall Blessings

MOSES (Hebrew Scriptures)

 

Moses

Take off your sandals—
the place you stand, “Holy.”
Holy ground…let the soles of your feet
sink deeply ‘into’ creation…
into the soils of our time, past and present
yet, beginning before any
beginning even began
or ever thought.

Spill into me, Moses—
So long you have lived in this desert
away from a life where ‘all’ was yours.
Then, ‘they’ discovered your truth
casting you out.

I AM sending you back—
back to lead the people who live in slavery.
Out into this desert.

“BUT, but, but
I, I cannot ‘lead’ this, this people.
Why, why I cannot even speak”—
(No one’s ever spoken of your speech impediment)

Hush…
I have chosen you…
can ‘you’ hear me?
I dwell within you
and will forever be at your side.
The flame you see in front of you
is within you
The bush ignited by my very being
engulfs you.

You are to be a blaze
for the people.
Help them—
Reveal to them—
they each contain a spark.

I AM…
so that all may
dwell in a ‘Promised Land.’

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do”…         —Eleanor Roosevelt

From THIS Altar

From THIS Altar

I awaken—a blessing, born again.

Eyes lifting
their lids—
tiny pieces of sleep dust
fall upon the pillow.

Rising—limbs moving
like branches on a tree
swayed by wind.
HELD—THIS altar…
I breathe in reverence
I breathe out gratitude.

Pausing—
I smell the morning dew.
I hear a chorus of song birds—
the liturgy already begun.
I taste small sips of java
brewed by a stranger
who shares it with a blessing.

I’m ‘touched’—
allowing myself
‘THIS’ tabernacle
filled with blessings
to join in
creation’s ‘creative’ dawning.

Photography by Lynn Chesser/Taken at Pumpkin Hollow, Craryville, New York

 

MIRIAM & her MOTHER (Hebrew Scriptures)

Miriam & her Mother

You were young.
Who’d listen to your voice?
Child, you are also a girl—
but, no ordinary girl.
You, wise prophetess.

You, announced from your mother’s womb,
would come the one who
would free those
held in slavery.
You were the orchestrator of the plan.
Your mother swaddled him in Hebrew cloth.
You carefully wove a basket of reeds.
A womb filled with life
flowed on the Nile
and into the arms of Pharaoh’s daughter.

She knew—
They knew—
Women, without speaking.
Ambassadors for life(the three of them).

She loved him like her own
and secretly gave him back to you
so you could bring him to feed on
your mother’s breasts.

Miriam…if only they knew
your part in this grand ‘plan.’

You, prophetess,
led the women with timbrel
and they followed joining in dance
when the split in the waters were reunited.

You, prophetess, dared to question
the Source of your existence.
Yes, you were a leader~~~woman.
And, because you spoke,
it is said you were stricken with leprosy
and cast out of the community for seven days.

Those seven days were your change in consciousness.
You were ever more mindful of who you were.
You re-entered in silence…this spoke
more than words.

You died in a parched land.
The mystery of your death
brought ‘waters’ to the people.

Oh, Miriam.
For those who have ears,
may they hear you in the sounds of water
like an endless timbrel and slowly begin
to dance.

 

“Once you have chosen what you cannot complete alone, you are no longer alone.”
                                                                                                     —A Course in Miracles

TRUE SELF

TRUE SELF

And so
I tried…

tried to ‘paint’ a
picture of my TRUE SELF.

I set the pallet—
squeezed enough paint…
a dab of every color
waiting, waiting
for the brush
whispering, “hmmmmm,
which color shall I dip
into first?”

Suddenly—
all the colors
began to say,
“pick me first,
oh, pleeeease pick me first.”

I stared at the
blank canvas.
How would I begin?
Where would I start?
Who am I?

Just then the pallet of colors
fell.

Oh, yes—
AND upside down.

I cried out, “NO,”
but
it was too late…

or was it?

Maybe it was the
most ‘imperfect’ time

and it echoed, “YES.”

I picked the pallet
from the ground.

ALL the colors
seeped into ‘ONE’
another.

I put the brush
down.

Here was my TRUE SELF—
a splendid array
of color.