1. The first school events for the year are happening today. First is a computer system training, and I always feel like I can use more training on the computer details. And it will be delightful to see colleagues again. In the evening is the New Student Orientation. I’ll be sorry to miss my own children’s back-to-school night, but I’m really excited to get the room looking welcoming and friendly, and then to start meeting some of my new students and their parents.
2. Richard Rohr’s Mystics series. I have always been drawing to the writings of the mystics, to their poetry, to the stories of their lives, but it’s only recently, in this series, that I feel as though I am beginning to understand a little of what a contemplative life might look like.
3. The Village that is helping us to raise our children: grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, friends, farm community, and teachers. Tonight they will meet the teachers who will be with them through this year. I am trying to get in touch with the anxiety I feel on behalf of my children: Will the teachers like them? Will they be kind? Will they understand my kids’ quirks? Will they laugh with them? This is one of those turn-around moments: So often, I think in terms of being the teacher that my students need; today, I commit to considering how I can be the teacher that mu students’ parents need me to be for their beloved young people.
4. Old friends and new ones. I love you all.
5. The hunger, the ache, the longing for Beauty.
May we walk in Beauty!
Here is the second of the Psalms that I am writing for this series at my church. One of my favorite ways to write poetry is to have an idea that burns in me, and then to suggest to that idea that it has a particular pathway to follow in order to come outside to play, and this project has three. The parameters of this project are that the poems are: 1) They’re to be Psalms (I am free to interpret that as I choose–I am trying to make the language Psalm-like), 2) They each have a theme (desire, laments, praise, thanksgiving. . .), 3) They fit the Confessional moment in the church service. Last August I was writing a short poem a day for a postcard project. I didn’t do that one this year, but I am really grateful for this one: I am discovering that even when life is really busy, having a specific poetic task in the back of my head helps to frame the contemplative work of a season.
10 August 2015
Yours is the music that enters our hearts.
Delight of you enlivens our voices to join in the song.
We are born to worship our Maker.
The world is awash in color and music;
your works are enkindled in sparkle and dazzle.
Every bright bird, each flashing star,
the chirp of the cricket and drone of cicada,
roaring waterfall, quivering leaf–
all of creation sings your glory.
We have only to look up and outward,
and wonder will fill our mouths with praise.
Yet daily our hands reach out
for wealth and power and fame,
instead of rising to praise you.
Our eyes are set on the glitter and shine
of all the distractions that we have made,
and not on your grace and your beauty.
Our voices turn to bitter complaint,
to quarrels and bluster and grumbling,
instead of joining creation’s constant hymn
of praise to the Creator.
O God of wonder and beauty and grace,
open the eyes of our hearts,
awaken our senses to all you have made,
that our spirits may rise in wonder,
that our voices may open in song,
that our days may be filled with praise.