Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unfinished Ramblings

I cannot feel the cold against my skin
While fire consumes my every sense
The quiet is gone from my head
Only chaos and chattering prevail
Complacency fills the insatiable void
As darkness settles on the horizon
The night brings sleepless dreams
Day ushers endlessness and longing
O, fickle and hardened heart
Haunt me no more
Rid yourself of me
Who is tormented and weak-willed
Deceit and illusion has crept in
Walling itself in my fibers
Tugging at every thought
I am so easily beaten about
By the storms of this life
Malleable and troubled
But happily so fallen and distraught

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reflection On Lent's Journey

Ever so lacking, yet still trudging onward. This Great Lent has challenged all I know up to this point. Words come from my lips that I ought to heed and still I tarry. We have been weathered in all ways we have struggled up to now, though the mercy is swift.

Nothing quite compares to Great Lent in the Orthodox faith. It is as though my life goes before my eyes yearly. I see how it could be, how it is, and how it might have been. Every twist and turn I am reminded of how my choices effect those around me, my struggle to keep on track with what I ought to be doing, and the byways I take in between. It appears my running theme in life is gratefulness, struggle with loved ones having illness, and becoming the fulness of myself in this entanglement that is life. Oh, that I could be all that I should, but my pitfalls regularly captivate my focus and so little time is truly devoted where it should.

I need to remember what a priest once told me, that I need to remember that caring for my husband and daughter is the work of God, in caring for the sick and being a good mom. I often find that I seek to help others and go outside of myself to fix and work with that which I need to conform in myself, but find that all I need is right here at home, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. My work may not always appear the way I want it to, but my lessons will come the way I will best understand them, no matter how I approach them.

Each year, just before the coming of the Resurrection, I am borne into the faith on forgiveness sunday, as though the preparatory weeks have been my gestation, and I grow bit by bit through this fleshy life, replete with ebbs and flows, trials and triumphs, crests and falls. What a blessing to live ones entire existence in a number of weeks, but also it is like a life crash course.

Life is about our love for one another, our ability to reach out, and the way we are able to realize that each of us is in need of great compassion and understanding. I am still learning, but I truly hope to bring much of this to fruition before God calls me from this life and into Eternity. Please, if I have ever treated anyone with less than Godly love and compassion, forgive me, my humanity is broken and bound to my Pride and numerous shortcomings.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Friendly Flowers

The first flowers of springtime have been blessing us with a cheerful, steady, delicate presence for a few weeks now. The daffodils and all their cousins have been popping out in turn, to shine their bright faces at all who have eyes to see. Such fragrant and lovely flowers have been a little light of beauty in these trudging days of Great Lent. A friend has mentioned that they have been called Lent Lilies, which makes me happy, because they are the flower of my birth month, which my birthday is always in Lent, but also because I really love lilies. Calla lilies, both purple (blue, in flower world, because none are classified purple, only shades of blue) and white, were the main flowers in our wedding and I adore star gazer easter lilies.

We were given some tulip bulbs in autumn and I planted them just outside of the window that is off of our little home sanctuary and they pushed through weeks ago, with their green shoots and sturdy leaves. Luna, the giant baby puppy dog, decided to taste the leaves when they first came up, but we put up a little fence to deter her curiosity and it seems to be helping. Though a few leaves are nipped, the stalked that emerged are so well developed and strong, you would never know anything had happen, but or the chew marks. I have watched the solid blooms form deliberately as they drink in the sun, awaiting just the right moment to fully show their color and shine the glory of their splendor on all creatures. I planted them in groups of five and each group had only one bloom that tested its blossom, before calling all the other flowers to ample foliage in the grey-blue sunlit days.

The pansies are their own set of merry show and delight, with large, happy faces, rich with velvety petals and blooms whose weight draws every passerby closer to their countenance. Though the bouquet is more subdued, they make up in color and vibrance anything they appear to lack in aroma. Always a pleasure to see which face will be shining back as they unravel their petals in swift arrangement and array of color.

I must say it is these simple joys that keep my heart settled as we come out of the cool weather and move toward Pascha. Soon enough we will find ourselves in so many blooms we will be unable to count the magnitude, so for now, it is quite sufficient to have wild and familiar blooms of first-spring blossoms.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Flickering and Fleeting Life

In the brightest of days, the flame of compunction is washed out by the presence of such light and can be lost to the flood of immensity. Alas, when the Sun wanes to give way to the evening of time, we see the flame grow brighter and begin to see that which it illumines. What was once shone in greatness dims into a flickering reverie with but a glimmer and thought of yesterday. The increase of evening brings a quiet calm that offers respite and reproach that calls the spirit home again. Coolness settles upon the hearth of the soul and a stark reflection peers back from the faded glass that rests above it. The constant, glowing, and triumphant flame that has been left unattended, draws the bearer ever near with a longing and devout heart, a weeping soul, and a stout resolve.

In the darkness of the night, our light is our beacon of hope, truth, and the Way we ought to go. Though each of ours may show a different path, they are all kindled from the great, Eternal and Ever-Living Light, in Whom is no change, nor shadow of variation (James 1:17). It is in this darkness that we stand before the Cross, varied flames alit in procession, we draw closer to the tree that bears all Creation as it moans in distress calling out to the Father of Lights. In suffering, there will be gain, but a relief and calming of the pains of suffering is most ardently sought after. Still before the approach of the magnificent and triumphant Dawn, though we cannot feel its warmth and splendor until we have made this journey through the night, we walk with hearts uplifted and eyes downcast, yearning for knowledge, not of Good and Evil, but that of Peace.

It is the fruit of a tree which tempts our fateful Ancestors into unwittingly choosing separation from God, and, likewise, a tree bearing no fruit and has given its own life to hang upon it His only-begotten Son, which reunites us. The fulfillment of all, sprung from the humility of One, generations in the making, though timeless to the Maker. A breath, even a wisp, is this fleeting life we flail about to grasp onto, and then it is gone from us, as our flame is either put out, or rejoined once again in Communion with our great Father of Light, Who illumines our path; the Son, Whose humanity adjoins Heaven and Earth; and the Holy Spirit, Whose omnipresence comforts all who flee to Him for refuge.

May our efforts as we struggle, through prayer, confession, humility, and alms-giving teach us to better tend the flame that we are entrusted. May we strive to keep the flame tended in others, who have grown weakened by the fight, with our prayer, love, and kindness. May our pitfalls be numbered, only to be outdone by our turning in humility to the giver of Life, with a longing to be set free of our self-made bonds and reunified with all Creation. May Peace find us more agreeable and able to accept the Truth of its great Mystery. May this great and Holy lent be fruitful, remembering that all in the orchard, vineyard, and gardens, needs attendance, regardless of ability and strength. Though the laborers be diverse, it is the endurance and steadfastness of the heart which will carry each of us to the harvest and we will reap what we have sown, or lack thereof, for ourselves, as well as others.

Peace be with you always and at this midpoint of the glorious fast wherein we will learn more of our character and secure a bit more of ourselves to our faith, while loosing the bonds we have woven for ourselves in this life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Moment and A Place

Long have I felt like I stand at the edge where dark becomes light and the water meets the sand, or mountains meets the sky. Though the distinction seems there from one into the next, I wonder whether we can discern them truly. We merely see the surface of what we are shown and rarely glimpse the depth and breadth of what surely lies within, and it leads us to ponder at this magnitude. As electricity has both intensity and consistency, so too does the experience of such a place, though not really a place, more a state. Ebb and flow, with perfect peacefulness and calm in the ineffable and diverse simplicity.

This is where I often stand as I wait to take in the next breath of it all.