Whisper Hope

music
something magical
in the combination
of melody and words
draws me back
time and again
faith I have known
since childhood
whispered unwillingly
back into life

the theology and
version of community
I once longed for
now leave me
at best, discomforted
and apathetic
at worst, hurt, angry
and once again broken

but in the silence
filled with more than
notes and lines on a page
I am drawn back
to the possibility of belief
to the remembrance
of comfort found
in dark places
of the savage beast
of despair and unworthiness
soothed into contentment
and acceptance

perhaps somewhere
a new understanding
of community is forming
within a theology
of love lived out loud
embracing queerness
and diversity
as expressions of wholeness
not brokenness
in need of rescue

someday may I find it
and learn to sing again
for now, may I allow
the song to whisper hope

Not Crying on Sundays

——-

Begun at a Steve Bell concert in December 2013.

Artwork inspired by Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert.

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Visit to The Grotto

Grotto - St JudeSaint Jude,
Patron saint of lost causes
Seems fitting I would find you here

Beloved
Let me meet you here
In shadow and in sunlight
In sorrow and in peace

Tears on the verge of escaping
And yet a sense of peace overwhelms
Perhaps that is exactly what brings
The aching sorrow I’ve held
So close to the surface

In this place
I catch a glimmer of belief

I stumble upon
What I came to find
Unexpectedly

The Grotto Labyrinth
Grotto - Pondering the PathLaid out before me
I sit for a moment
And breathe
Wondering
If I have the temerity
To walk its path
What lies at its center?

At my center?

A chance to walk its path
drew me here today
And yet I feel a strange reluctance
To set my feet on its circuitous path

The mosquitos drive my forward
Movement is better than stagnation.

Each step felt carefully
My balance faltering
As I tread the narrow
Winding road

I pause at each turning
I breathe and I look up
The height of the trees around
Grotto - Standing TallGives strength and seems
To point the way forward

I breathe deeper
The silence fills me
Nourishes my soul
The only sounds
Those of nature
The twittering songs of unseen birds
The flowing water in a nearby pond
the surprisingly clear sound of a single leaf
Falling softly from great height
Slowly to the ground

Another woman begins to walk
My first thought is to wish her away
To keep this place for myself

Her steps are crisp and confident
So unlike how mine feel

But then
I discover comfort in her presence
Our journeys are different
But without names or even
An awareness of each other’s face
Grotto - Path to the CentreWe are not on this journey alone

As I draw closer to my destination
I notice love drawing me in
Two hearts mark the entrance
At the centre of the labyrinth

I continue, step by careful step
One foot then the other
Stepping around the maple leaves
Lying dry on the ground

Another woman joins the journey
This time, my heart swells with welcome
I have learned
Grotto - Beckoned in by LoveSacred space is meant to be shared

I reach my goal
I pause before taking the final step
I feel the Beloved
Welcoming me home
Two hearts opening
The way ahead
I enter
I breathe deeply
I stand looking at the centre
At the heart

At my heart

A thought enters my mind
It feels foolish
and holy
I follow through
Grotto - Holy GroundThis is sacred ground
I slide my feet out of my shoes
And stand bare footed
On the labyrinth’s heart

I make my mountain
Feeling myself become
Grounded in that moment
I stand
I breathe
I am home

I begin my journey outwards
My steps feel more secure
More in sync with who I am
I choose not to rush the return
Grotto - Labyrinth WelcomeI savour the moments

I gather my belongings
Left waiting while I walked

I sit, I write
I breathe out my frustration
At the group who see
The labyrinth as a game
A maze to be conquered
They’re missing the sacred
In their midst

I choose to stay present
I choose to write my story
Of this moment

My steps feel different
Calmer, more at peace
Grotto - View from the MountainJoyful, content

I could stay on this mountain
All day

Strange, the mosquitos haven’t bothered me
Since I chose to begin
The inward journey

 

——-

Written during a visit to The Grotto in Portland, OR in October 2013.