Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Words for Wednesday

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach- waiting for a gift from the sea."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea (1955, pg 17)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Spy Beauty...

A (sometimes) weekly post of beauty seen, heard or discovered

Some Sundays I can easily pinpoint a piece of beauty I wish to share with the world. Other Sundays, like today, I rack my brain trying to think of something valuable.

It is at the end of weeks like this one, when the weight of grief and anger and tiredness and change impede my ability to see, that it becomes even more important to play 'I Spy...'.

Today I am grateful for countless cups of tea in the autumnal Blue Mountains.

Today I am grateful for Skype and the technology that bridges the space and time between me and my dear sister-in-the-journey in Miami.

Today I am grateful for the chance to share Sunday morning breakfast with dear friends who I have shared life and home with, but have had to move away from this week.

Today I am grateful for mentors who cry with me and make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts.

Today I am grateful for the afternoon sun on the back stairs where I can read a good book.

Speaking of which, I am very grateful today for this quote from Nichole Nordeman's Love Story, reflecting on the creation story:
"Every brushstroke and lyric and clay pot and arabesque and sonnet. Any moment, no matter how small, that seeks to reflect the Creator must travel this lonely predawn road. The Spirit must hover and hover over our deep darkness. That is, if it is to be called good." (Love Story pg. 2)
I have spied beauty. But I so often forget that beauty is found wading through the mess and darkness.

This might be one meaning of the cliched line 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'....

To spy beauty I must have eyes to see.

What are you grateful for today? What beauty have you spied?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Spy Beauty...

Iron Cove, Lilyfield
I found myself here early this morning... and most other mornings this week. There is something magical about sitting on a jetty with your feet dangling over the water. I'm not really a fan of being on boats or in the water that much, but sitting near water is like medicine for the soul. And finding somewhere within walking distance that I can escape to has been an immeasurable blessing the past few weeks.

I don't stop here for long, that would defeat the purpose of the early morning walk to use up the anxiety and adrenaline running rife in my body. But appreciating this sight is important as well. The moment of stillness, taking in the wide expanse of water and the early morning freshness, is as important as the exercise. It calms my soul in the same way getting the blood pumping through my body quietens the overwhelming stress in my body.

Movement and stillness. The two things that have made my week more liveable.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I Spy Beauty...

A (sometimes) weekly post about beauty seen, heard or discovered...

I'm in the mood where I come all untied 
I'm in the mood to say shit that'll change people's minds 
I love you, I swear it, I would never lie 
But I fear for our lives and I fear your closed eyes

What will your legacy be? 
'War Sweater' from the album Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said The Last Time I Saw You...
I've loved this Wakey!Wakey! song for a long time, but I've been listening to it again this weekend especially.

I love the stunning strings and classical piano. I am always a sucker for a song in a minor key. The closet rebel in me loves the attitude of the lyrics and lines like 'I'm in the mood to say shit that'll change peoples lives'. I love the transparency. 

I love that this is a beautiful song calling out the un-beautiful in religion and belief.

I've been thinking about these things lately. The way we blind ourselves with stubbornness. The way our fear of difference alienates and divides. The capacity for all of us (even progressives!) to hold to belief with a fundamentalist fervor and arrogance. I long for the day when we, as Christians, as humans even, can keep our eyes and hearts open. A day when we are willing to question our own certainties and embrace others in their certainties. As Sara Groves says, "I've got layers of lies that I don't even know about yet" (Eyes Wide Open from Firelies and Songs.)

War Sweater reminds me that our legacy as believers (whatever that belief may be) should be that we lived with the humility and grace that knows we haven't figured it all out yet- not one of us! We all have something to learn. There should be no need for truth to be worn like a war sweater. 

P.S. There's also a nice acoustic version here.