I am emailing you as someone with whom I connect in Quiet Days or spiritual direction and conversation. Over the years, we have joined in reflective community. Now, when many regular gatherings are dissolving, I wondered whether an offering online, of a reflection or a practice each week, could assist in filling the gap, and possibly even creating a new type of community.
We live in troubling times, when each day the news brings more unsettling figures and further change to life the way we have known it. My hope would be to offer some anchoring in this storm.
This poem by Lynn Ungar seems appropriate – read it slowly and quietly:
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
This is one attempt to reach out with my heart – an invitation which may or may not interest you: please let me know either way. Feel free to forward or give me names to add to the list, if you know others who may wish to receive such input.
Blessings and prayers to you and yours in these times