Tuesday, December 29, 2009

fossil

...and in other news:
"excavation continues
at what some
archaeologists
are describing as
a soul-cave.
researchers say a
fossil found at the site
suggests some type
of creative activity
took place there."






Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the fountain

an aquifer of tears

feeds this fountain

the first time i drank here

i did not know its source,

i only knew my thirst



Friday, November 13, 2009

soul tending

i tend my soul
as i would a fire
prodding, poking
banking, stoking
adding what is needed
at any given time
then gazing deep
into the flames
i listen to the
song she sings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ecdysis

if i were an arthropod
i'd most likely molt
rainbow exoskeletons
if i were a snake i'd shed
kaleidoscopic skins
but my blood is warm
and my ecdysis
takes a different form

Sunday, November 8, 2009

dreaming woman

o honey-sweet
dreaming woman
you with the
ample breasts
and rounded belly
i love the way
your soft fleshy arm
makes a fine pillow
for your head
and the way your
generous hip curves high
as you lay on your side
calling to mind
all of the mountains
i have yet to climb

Thursday, November 5, 2009

sanctuary

my heart is
heavy today
there is
so much pain
in the world,
so much pain
my prayer:
may all who are
in need of it
find sanctuary

Monday, October 26, 2009

today's sacred task

today
the
sacred
task
has
been
to
work
my
knotted
chain
of
thought
into
one
smooth
strand
of
contemplation

Friday, October 23, 2009

spider watch

round and round
i watch her traverse
the circuit of guy-wires
like an aerial acrobat,
she moves gracefully
from one radial line to the next
a slender leg stretches out
creating tension on the thread
as her abdomen deftly tucks under
lightly touching spinneret to web
another sticky strand successfully attached
and on she goes,
round and round
each movement made with
careful, rhythmic precision
her morning work is almost done now
she slows down
making her way back to center
weaving the final milky puffs of silk
that come from her body
into the tell-tale zig-zag
of a garden spider

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

verdigris

resist the temptation
to shine things up
the beauty is in life's patina

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

between two worlds

every night a portal opens
between two worlds
a curtain rises
but which side of it
i'm on remains unclear
until morning light
claims me for the waking one
yet how real and dear the other

Monday, October 12, 2009

inner light

in silence,
i wait for
inner light
that i might
see god
in the face
of foe and
neighbor






Wednesday, September 16, 2009

crowning glory

like a newborn's skin
the sky at dawn
pinks up slowly at first
before giving way
to the full flush of morning light
and on earth,
golden doulas bathe creation
tenderly washing away
the vernix of night
until only the glory remains

Monday, September 7, 2009

pay attention to your dreams

accept your dreams
as the gifts they are
cherish them as
you would letters
from your oldest
and dearest friend
honor them and
your dreams will tell you
all you need to know

Saturday, September 5, 2009

corn moon mandala

when you wrap
your arms around
a full corn moon and
give a little squeeze
be prepared to get drenched
in melted butter dreams

Sunday, August 23, 2009

adoration

when i hear your music
my heart opens and
my spirit soars
i am a bird in flight
riding unseen currents
of praise and adoration

Saturday, August 15, 2009

deciphering

the hot coal of a dream

burned all the way through me

searing my memory

with indelible images

waiting to be deciphered

Monday, July 27, 2009

ordinary time

we gather on the porch at dusk
ready to shell the peas we picked
settling into creaking rockers and
scooping handfuls of slender goodness into piles
on the newspaper-covered table before us
we set about our sacred task
with four heads bowed low
over white enamel bowls trimmed in red
the gentle murmur of pleasant conversation
mingles with the steady thrum of the oscillating fan
creating a sound
like prayers at evensong
and we instinctively begin to slowly roll
each tiny green orb
through experienced fingers

Sunday, July 12, 2009

masquerade

what is it
about the stroke
of midnight
what magical power
does it possess
that allows us
to take off
our masks
and how is it
that by a certain hour
we've put them on again



Monday, June 22, 2009

lectio divina: hebrews 13:1-3

continue loving everyone you know
as brothers and sisters
and as for strangers,
they, too, are family
show them kindness
and treat them well
in doing this
you just may find yourself
entertaining angels
and holding sacred space
for a divine encounter
remember those who are suffering
put yourself in their place
recognizing in their faces
something of your own

Monday, June 8, 2009

on the wings of the morning

"...where can i go from your spirit
or where can i flee from your presence
if i ascend to heaven, you are there;
if i make my bed in sheol, you are there
if i take the wings of the morning and
settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me
and your right hand shall hold me fast..."

psalm 139:7-10

Thursday, June 4, 2009

via negativa

recently, i have been thinking a lot about what is known in art as "negative space" and the way it can become transformed simply by shifting one's focus. we go from being able to see only the obvious to seeing objects or patterns emerge that previously had been hidden to us. life is like that sometimes...we can and do learn a great deal from what is being said. however, we often learn more when we listen for and pay attention to the "negative space" and hear what is not being said. i'm reminded of a line from my favorite prayer by george appleton that says: "...show me the hidden things..." to be shown the hidden things is to be given a unique gift - namely - the opportunity for our lives (and the lives of others) to be transformed in ways previously thought impossible. a "negative space" can thus become a creative womb of sorts, giving rise to new ways of being, healing and wholeness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a day at the beach

i remember
we took the tarnished silver spoons
with us to the beach
and dug sandcastle moats with them
until they gleamed and our arms ached
i remember
bodysurfing til we were limp as rag dolls
and collapsed on to the soft worn blankets
i remember
the musky sweet smell of coppertone
and the way we laughed as we
rubbed it on each other's backs
listening to WSAV play top 40 tunes
on my transistor radio
and waiting to hear the "tan tone zap" that
reminded us to turn over every 15 minutes
i remember
stopping by the sugar shack on
the way home for the best soft serve
ice cream cone EVER!
and being amazed at how much sand
can collect in one's bathing suit
after a day at the beach
and i remember
how good it felt to slip between
crisp clean sheets and go to bed early
because i was so worn out
from having fun

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

this is what it feels like

she stood there on the threshold
holding open the screen door
contemplating the consequences should she
defy her mother's edict to
"put your shoes on before you go outside!"
the sensation of bare feet on
weathered porch boards warmed by the sun
sealed her fate
this is what it feels like
to know my own mind, she thought
as the screen door slammed behind her

Monday, April 27, 2009

through a child's eyes

when i was a little girl
i assembled a congregation
of stuffed animals and dolls
then to my makeshift altar
i brought a humble offering
of the prettiest leaves i could find
and sang the only hymn i knew
in praise of god's creation
no sweeter communion
no better psalter
have i experienced since then

Friday, April 24, 2009

fly away home

as i sat by the fire
charting the night sky and
watching the sparks fly
heavenward
i could not help
but envy their freedom a little
wishing that i, too,
could fly away home

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the sacramental instinct

there lives in me
the sacramental instinct
to find the holy in all things
and to cherish what is
threatened with extinction

Saturday, April 11, 2009

resurrection

typically, i do not like to explicitly interpret my mandalas, but several people had asked me to write an explanation about this one, so i obliged.

Starting at the center..."in the beginning"....

"Let there be light..." Genesis 1: 3
"The light shines in the darkness..." John 1: 5

The radiating rings of red, orange, green and blue symbolize creation.

The jagged purple and yellow rings are symbolic of "the fall." "Cursed is the ground because of you...it will produce thorns and thistles..." Genesis 3:17-18

They also are representative of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus prior to the crucifixion. "Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus...they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head..." Matthew 27: 27-29

The intertwining cords of scarlet and lavender are reminiscent of the robes the soldiers dressed him in. "They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail King of the Jews!"....When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!"

On top of and overshadowing all of this the cross. In each quadrant there is a larger cross flanked by two smaller ones. "Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left..." Luke 23: 32-33 "I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me..." Galatians 2: 20

The black backdrop speaks of the darkness that fell over creation at the time of the crucifixion. "It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining..." Luke 23: 44-45

The egg shape represents both the tomb and new life. As you can see it is breaking open, and the colors of creation are coming forth - death doesn't have the final word. "Death has been swallowed up in victory." I Corinthians 15:54

The whole of creation has been reborn - made new - in the resurrection of Christ. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." I Peter 1: 3

To the right of the egg is a circle which symbolizes the stone that was rolled away from in front of Jesus' tomb. The women coming to the tomb that morning to anoint Jesus' body did not know how they were going to remove it. "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices...they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll away the stone..." But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away." Mark 16:1-3

The design on the circle is evocative of a few things: the day of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Spirit, the beginnings of the early church, as well as the irrepressible nature of Life...with a capital "L." "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people." Acts 2: 17

In between the egg and the circle is a flame which represents the Holy Spirit, who hovers "over the waters" (depicted in the mandala by the color aqua) of creation and of baptism. (Genesis 1: 2, Matthew 3:16)

If you will notice, the pink and purple (colors used during both Advent and Lent) of the cross are repeated on the egg, as well as on the foundation pedestal undergirding the circle. This speaks of how far reaching the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus is. His life affects not only all of humanity, but all of creation as well.

The inspiration to create this mandala came to me as I was reflecting on my own spiritual journey, so it has a great deal of personal significance for me. My name, Stacy, comes from the Greek word Anastasia, which means "of the resurrection."

Monday, April 6, 2009

under the microscope

if i could, i would show you
a cross-section of my soul
then you would see
that like the pomegranate
i, too, am filled with seeds
rainbow seeds

Monday, March 30, 2009

the strength of memory

i wondered what would remain
when it seemed that
so much was being lost...forgotten
sitting with you in silence
you reached for my hand
and held it for a very long time
i hardly dared to breathe
not wanting to break the spell
when the tears came
i let them fall
you were leaving
and your struggle
was so hard to witness
for i could see
that in the last days of your life
you remembered
everything

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

push-me-pull-you

what was that you said?
"don't come."
but i came anyway
and you were happy
i didn't listen
then you said
"don't leave."
but we both knew
i had to go
you came to admire
my strength
not realizing that
like dr. doolittle's
push-me-pull-you
we shared
the same backbone

Sunday, March 22, 2009

savannah

how can i explain savannah
her beauty transcends words
still, i search for them
knowing that you, too,
have such places of the heart
that place where
once you pass into her
your first impulse
is to weep for joy
imagine yourself there
and you will know
my city
my home


Friday, March 13, 2009

asana

sit down
there's something
you need to hear
pay attention to the wound
the thin red line is speaking



Tuesday, March 10, 2009

i come to the garden

gentle lady, mother of nine
widowed too young
no time to grieve, life had to go on
times were hard
in later years,
when you could take some ease
you planted the whole front yard
on clemson street with flowers
a little outpost of eden
you were already white-haired
and worn
when i came to know you
i loved the way you poured coffee
into the saucer for me
laced with sugar and lots of cream
you would pat my hand and say
"come sit near granny"
and i would snuggle up beside you
my head on your bosom
i did not know then
what i know now
how age and
the cares of this world
catch up with us in the end
how i wish i could roll back time
and join you in the garden
once again

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

morning glory

beautiful brief flower
born for morning
you fill me with longing
for the land of eternal day

Monday, February 23, 2009

lenten meditation

as i kneel to receive the ashes
i think of all the times
like dust from my feet
i tried to shake you
tried to make a break from you
and how you’ve clung
with ferocious tenacity
unwilling to let me go
til you’ve blessed me
with a reminder
of my mortality
and i leave the rail
with a limp

Thursday, February 19, 2009

safely home

sometimes i feel as though
i've lost
my way
and i don't know
in which direction i should go
the next step to take
the right move to make
but if i'm still
my heart remembers
the way
and leads me
safely home

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

divine love

wrapped up in a warm embrace
held in such a tender way
and smiled upon with loving grace
that's how i see the world today
some might say i'm quite naive
and wonder how i can believe
such nonsense
call me crazy if you must
for there are days i would agree
with such a diagnosis
but today...today...my mind and eyes are clear
and i see evidence of
divine love everywhere

Friday, February 13, 2009

be mine

it was love at first sight
for me, at least
the day we met
in a third floor kitchen
on huntington street
you held out your hand
and said, "hi, i'm dan"
i knew in an instant
that you were the one
i wanted to spend my life with

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

rainbow quilt

as i lay beneath my rainbow quilt
my fingers trace its seams
in quiet reverie
each scrap i touch
holds a precious memory
and i marvel at how well
unseen loving hands
have stitched together
with silver threads of mystery
all my fondest hopes and dreams

Sunday, February 8, 2009

resilience

i love being taken by surprise
by the resilience of certain things
like daffodils blooming in february
that refuse to wait for spring

Thursday, February 5, 2009

a woman with issues

i was desperate for a cure
all my money had been tendered
"leave well enough alone" they said
but i had come undone
and sought to be re-member-ed




Tuesday, February 3, 2009

fernwood

her soul feels so thirsty
her spirit is parched and dry
she comes to the fountain in fernwood
and drinks a mystery there
the ancient seed within her
she waters with her tears
and though it still is winter
a tiny bud appears



Sunday, February 1, 2009

taste of india

this morning, i am still feeling the effects of seeing the movie, slumdog millionaire, which my teenaged son declared, "the best movie, EVER!." although my praise and appreciation for it is a bit more reserved, i'd highly recommend it. the tempo of the film is a relentless assault on the senses and the psyche...much the way i imagine india herself would impact me should i ever have the privilege to visit there. the redeeming factor of the movie for me was its underlying sweetness, for slumdog millionaire, at its core, is a love story...an "against all odds" kind of love story that i find irresistable.

Friday, January 30, 2009

the turning point

on my journey
into wholeness
i bought a compass
and never looked back

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

building stonehenge

we can only guess
why some things exist
no one takes notes
when things are obvious
and why leave blueprints
when you can leave monuments
only pilgrims keep searching
for footprints

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

spring of the eternal

i was walking down the driveway when i noticed water pooling under the house. i asked the clergywoman, one of three living there, if they had a leak. she said, "no, the water has always been there. don't worry."

the water has always been there. she seemed so confident...so sure...playful even. but water makes me nervous. especially when i find it in places where i think it ought not be.

her certainty had a calming effect, and i wondered...how does she know that? and...what is it like to live in a house with a spring beneath it? and not just any spring mind you...an eternal spring...one that has always been there.

why do the waters trouble me?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

candy swirl

what does one voice sound like
when it rises in the sea
of a crashing crushing
thronging wave
of frail humanity
all the hopes and fears
and dreams
are bursting straining
at the seams
who can contain
such a cosmic candy swirl

Friday, January 16, 2009

communion

i am a child
not yet confirmed
sitting - well...
fidgeting in my sunday best
next to my mother
on the left side of the sanctuary
where an hour
seems longer than eternity
at communion time
she takes a few extra elements
from the plate as it passes
and presses them surreptitiously
into my small palm
and as she sips the welches
from the tiny glass cup
she makes sure to leave a few drops
the sacrifices she made for me
i'm only now beginning
to understand