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Looming

Looming

Quiet, serene…timeless.
Below, the darkness—
looming.

On top, soft flakes,
white like flour
ready for baking.

In between,
what is not visible,
is the blossoming
already
begun.

 

Book of Hours/ 3:00a.m.

BOOK OF HOURS/ 3:00a.m.

 “You are not a human being in search of a
spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual
being immersed in a human experience.”

 ~~~Teilhard de Chardin

3:00a.m. Hour

 Although you are whole…in this hour,
half of you revealed.  My lens captured you.  I cannot begin to
count the images photographed.  Even if someone were to step-in
stealing what fills the page, I know you are there.
Perhaps, my prayer is a million photos without words.
Click, Click, Click, I hear the night…this night.  I’m often
asked, “What is it you do out in this hour, and why?”  How can
I give a rational reply to a call that nudges so
intimately I cannot help but reach and touch the echoed
refrain.  In this time, I hear the soft cry of the morning’s
first bird lifting its feathers unleashing its song.  I hear
the engine of a car starting…soon the world will awake
to busy-ness as usual.  I hear my steps.

I stop long enough to hold the silence.  Half-hearted,
I turn my whole-heart in each direction.  Clouds
cover you for a time being.  I know you’re there.
You are never gone.  I immerse myself until
the clouds cover me…still, I’m here with you,
and the ‘other’ touching the shutter button, zooming in
and out…more ‘shots’ fired.  I’m still standing,
and only the simplicity of sweet “nothing-ness” heard.

Pray with me in this hour…
4:00a.m. will arrive next Monday—

Promise you will stay…invite another!  No worry if
you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

 

Dwelling

Dwelling

A dwelling,
a place to nest,
free from the elements,
yet open to take
them in.

A sacred place you
invite others to
enter…

A place called home.
Here, is where the
heart lies.

Book of Hours/ 2:00 a.m.

Book of Hours/ 2:00 a.m.

 “ I come into the peace of wild things who
do not tax their lives with forethought of
grief…for a time I rest in the grace
of the world, and am free.”

 ~~~Wendell Berry



2:00a.m. Hour

 Nodding off…
Only seconds…
The black veil pushes itself upon you and you seem only
to Light the sky with unlimiting wonder.  I attempt to erase
the shadow, attempt to assist the light…silly human, I
am!  Who am I to think I might help you shine?  Then,
I hear, or believe I heard you laughing aloud.  You said,
“You are who I am…you shine, yes, you ignite the world
with your unique ability to illuminate what lies in you.

It is I who dwell in the inner cavern of your being.”
The stalactites, hanging from your unseen cave,
 grow from the top down and from the bottom up.  Your
creative self growing…you no longer wait for the
right time to birth what is fashioned from you.
It matters not who receives your work, how it branches out
into the world, or even it be lasting.  If what is born
in you holds only this hour, it has been
 gifted this hour to be. 
Humbled again by a stirring minute,
all the seconds that have existed in this final hour never
to be as it is now.  Who are you?  Who am I?
Living the moment, you soon clearly see.

Pray with me in this hour…
3:00 a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!  No worry if
you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

Powdery Dream

Powdery Dream
Please don’t wake me 
from this
‘powdery’ dream.

Book of Hours/ 1:00 a.m.

Book of Hours/ 1:00a.m.

A finger pointing at the moon is not,
the moon.  The finger is needed to know where to
look for the moon, but if you mistake the
finger for the moon itself, you will never know
the real moon.  The teaching is like a raft that
carries you to the other shore.

 ~~~Thich Nhat Hanh

1:00a.m. Hour

 An hour passed…what is my prayer?  Drizzle upon drizzle of
star dust paints the lashes keeping watch over my eyes…
WIDE OPEN.  I stare wondrously, and observe how
You have folded back light’s cover only a smidgen.
I see a glimmer in your shadow.  How can a shadow
glimmer?  I ask questions uncertain of a need for
an answer.  Bathed in mystery, I remain fixed to
this hour.  Again, the presence, without revealing
itself enters the space.  Where?  How?  No words
can adequately express this stirring I feel.

Like the soft sheet folded back, it is my soul
uncovering.  Hid-den yet exposed—searching, holding.
With my fingers grasping for the very edge, I
will not, cannot let-go of this moment.  So real,
and yet, it vanishes…lost, but alas found.
My fingers uncurl, hands no longer folded.  A new
prayer posture…each finger lifted, reaching,
extending…the ‘deep’ reaching back…no space between us. 
Amen.

Pray with me in this hour…
2:00am will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!  No worry if
you pass.  I hold you in all the hours remaining.

Winter

Winter
Winter, too, is an
Author writing
on a blank
sheet of
powdered white
snowflakes.

Book of Hours/ Mid-Night

Book Of Hours

Introduction

Time—a gift given to each of us at the moment
of birth to walk along the path our creator
has invited us to and to use each moment
to honor our humanity and to stay faithful
to the journey.

The Book of Hours is one woman’s journey
over the course of a lifetime sketched out
in a twenty-four-hour period as she embraces life
and celebrates the God within her.
The meditations are not brick and mortar reflections of life,
but rather as gentle raindrops falling to earth.

Through glorious pictures and deeply
penetrating stories, the path embraced is
splashed in splendor and exudes a sense of
peace, hope, and love.

You, the reader, are invited to walk the
journey.  Standing quietly at the outset, you
are being nudged gently to accept the invitation. 
Gaze upon a solitary path
and, as the hushed moments unfold into
hours, take the time to envision a juncture
where the solitary path diverges—where
you are invited to pursue your personal
journey—sometimes lonely, but an honest
journey through your life’s experiences.  Each
will silently and gently allow you to see
yourself in the MIRROR as life unfolds before
you and challenges you to look deeply within
and listen to the beat of your heart.

Time~~~ a gift given.
What now?

Listen…the Hours speak.

Be not afraid—
trust…follow me.

The Book of Hours is written for you—for me.
Let each penned word touch your heart.
Immerse yourself in the story’s message.
Follow Your Heart.

                                                     ~~~Alberta Surowiec

BOOK OF HOURS/ Mid-Night

“I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
  I may not complete this last one
                               but I give myself to it.
                                

   I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
  I’ve been circling for thousands of years
 and still I do not know: am I a falcon
             a storm, or a great song?”

~~~Rainer Maria Rilke

Mid-Night Hour

The mid-night hour holds the moon’s fullness.
The only shadows, the deep sea of night’s
darkness, pulling themselves back.  The light revolves
around a world given permission to slumber.
Resting, yet awake, my pupils, black as licorice.  They swirl
around meeting the circular lemon drop outside my windowpane.

We gaze, long, effortlessly, hoping to discover what?  What unknown
visitor wishes to share in this moment?  A third presence
fills what only now I recognize as some distinct void.

Hovering, it holds the light, and the dilation of my pupils
grows wider and wider reaching for the glowing ember
beholden to the night.  I hear my breath, but is it my breath
that speaks?  I hear the sound of a name that need not
be spoken.  It can be heard on the inhale… ‘YAH,’ and as I
exhale, ‘WEH’ again, ‘YAH’-‘WEH.’  A wind seems to
push the moon, and that same breeze unsettles me to follow.
I rise, drape my blanket around my shoulders.  I shiver, not
because I am cold, but what it is calling. This visitor, how
many times we have met.  You continuously expand my curiosity.
I’m never at a loss to seek you and I pray I never truly
find you.  If I did, I believe I would have to begin as if
a first time.

Pray with me in this hour…
1:00a.m. will arrive next Monday—
Promise you will stay…invite another!  No worry if you pass.
I hold you in all the hours remaining.

 

Drops of Color/ Scapegoat

Drops of Color

Scapegoat

Atop a lofty crag
—you skipped
—you trounced
—you grazed.

Out of nowhere, they came.

In their eyes, you saw
an irrational intent,
but, it was too late.

They held you, they bound
you, no matter which way
you moved attempting to 
flee, tighter and 
tighter became their restraint.

You let out a shallow
cry, and then another.

They ‘weighted’ you down
all the more thinking they
would pile all their burdens
upon you setting themselves
free.

You watched your kin from
a distance, the smoke of
the fire waffled in the 
air.

Sacrificed—and, now you
let go.

After being scourged,
they set you out in a wasteland—
your very being laid down.

They celebrated back in 
their villages—lifting their voices
in song.

They were feeling the
release of their sins, placing
on you all their
demons.

They missed the sound of 
your lasting breath,
“Forgive them, they know
not what they do.’

A New Year upon us…
Let us pick up our back packs and not saddle its contents upon another.
Let us carry who we are consciously giving thanks for our created self,
holding all the realties that make us who we are, yes our joys and our sorrows.
Let us OPEN our eyes seeing life anew and step forward into a collective Oneness with all creation.

Reeds

Reeds

I sat along the bank
of a river.

The reeds gathered themselves
around me until my 
body submerged itself in
an unexpected baptism.

Enraptured was I,
becoming each drop of water.

I stretched my body, a 
chalice, in each direction.

Pouring myself like droplets
of rain,

I fell pelting the pristine
landscape.

I rose from the water.
Now, sitting on the bank,
I began again as reeds
wrapped themselves around me.

Drops of Color/ Let it be done…

Drops of Color

Let it be done…

You cannot
see
but,  there is a 
small child
behind this instrument.

The ensemble kept calling to her.
She was told, “NO,
you’re a girl.”

She took out
‘all’ the pots & pans.
Grabbed hold of spatulas
and wooden spoons.

Oh, she played the drums.
Yes, she did,
 even more so because
she was a girl.

Two sticks in her hands
were like branches on a tree.

The first ‘tap’— a leaf blossomed.
The second ‘tap’— the tree magically
draped itself in a green coat of notes.
The third and forth ‘tap’— burst
through the forest.

The beating of the sticks
loosened the ground
calling the animals to come out of
their dens.

They, creation’s creatures, thumped
the ground joining the beat.

The sun flickered
and clouds beat
together creating a 
rain shower soaking
the dance floor.

The child
came out from
behind the set.

She looked out
at all that was
before her—
The stage enveloped her.

She heard creation
‘groaning,’
laboring for another song,

and because 
she was a girl,

She said,
“Let it be done
through me!”

Night Divine

Night Divine
(Excerpt from a Journal/ Camino St Francis September 2019/ La Verna, Italy)

Night Divine

Sometimes
the moon is like a 
white page…words
splashed in ink
become the black sky.

The more numerous the words become…
SOMETIMES
they fill the page, they
merge together so
nothing can be read
or understood
except the light
of the silent moon
crossing the sky.

Oh, Divine Night
held in infinite splendor.
Who is it that splashed your canopy with a
bouquet of dazzling stars?

One after another popped like kernels of corn~~~
a few shot through and across your pallet
re-creating a pattern ever changing, 
groaning, aching with delight, as if being 
born anew.  The Milky Way split itself
upon the scene…Oh Holy Night.

I wish you never end. I  laid me down
in the curl of the moon’s crest…sleep overcame
me and my lashes, upon waking, covered in
starry dew.  Again, I wish this night
never cease from being.  The majestic trees,
from my window pane, stand like a line of
shadows, stately shepherds, keeping watch on
this night.  One tiny bird rises to sing.
Its voice stretches into a vastness beyond
reach, yet, I hold out my hand like a cup
and you fill  my palm with a breath of
wonder that I hold and then set free.
NO-thing is mine.  EVERY-thing made,
including this me, asks, Who am I? Who 
are You?  

Oh, that I AM One of your stars,
THIS night, that as you look, you might speak to
yourself, “Ah, Yes, I SEE thyself in thee.”

Oh, Night Divine.