Monday, April 27, 2009

The Edge of the World

I told a friend yesterday that I enjoy going to the edge of the abyss and looking out, not knowing what’s next. I said that’s how I learned to fly. It’s true. Leaping from that abyss is the way I learned that I could fly. It’s not that there isn’t fear in standing and leaning over the edge, there’s fear enough to go around, but the beauty of what I’ve learned in leaping outweighs the fear. The joy of learning to fly surpasses the terror of falling. The knowing now that I can indeed soar rather than plummet guides me back to that edge over and over.

That is the place of learning, of expression, of living, of being, the edge of what I know and what remains to be seen. When I do leap and see from that new height the picture changes drastically. Sometimes the view from the edge is distorted by the limits of my earth bound vision. What looked like one thing quickly becomes another from the bird’s eye view, seen clearly with eagle eyes. I wouldn’t have known that, had I never leapt.

Fear may still delay my take off from time to time, but I won’t use fear to rob myself of the freedom of flight again.

There’s a song that reminds me of the thrill of that leap. It’s called Mr. Columbus by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Check it out sometime and have fun flying!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Memory

I wrote the following poem a couple days after the shootings at Virginia Tech, two years ago this week. I post it here in honor of all who died that day.

Thirty-two Stories
by Lynda Allen

One heart on the surface grown cold.
Thirty-two stories being told.

One heart alone and lost.
Thirty-two stories the cost.

One heart buried beneath rage.
Thirty-two stories fill the page.

One heart who we could not reach.
Thirty-two stories left behind to teach.

One heart alone among us all.
Thirty-two stories a mourning call.

One heart with anger as its cell.
Thirty-two stories of those who fell.

One heart that would not heal
Thirty-two stories read as we kneel.

One heart in the soul’s darkest night.
Thirty-two stories shared and hearts unite.

One heart to learn to forgive.
Thirty-two stories to remind us how to live.

One love unites all souls.
Thirty-three times the bell tolls.

In memory of all who died at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007

Original Self

In honor of the season I am posting a writing I did a couple years ago about the Original Self. I didn't get it up here last week because as it turned out I was really working at understanding this writing in my own life last week, reconnecting with my original self.

I was raised Catholic. These days I find many teachers in many different traditions. I have to say that one thing that never made sense to me in the Christian tradition was the idea of original sin. So one day I was sitting at the river and this writing came to me about the Original Self. It made much more sense to me!

Jesus did not die for original sin, Jesus died for original self. He did not die to cleanse us of some imagined sin that we are born into, but died for the original self that we are born into and quickly forget. He died for a remembering. He died to show us what the original self looks like. It is risen, and glorious and eternal. It is faith and light and truth. We are not born into darkness but into light. Not into sin but into self. Our divine God self. That was Jesus’ greatest lesson. He taught of our original God self, our inherent connection to the divine. We are made of the same thing that God is made of, we are divine, we are divinity, just as Jesus was. He hung there on the cross in demonstration of self not in cleansing of sin. Hate and fear could have no power over him in his original form; they could not touch his divine heart. He revealed to us the divine heart. One that is of light and love, one that guides to truth and is eternal. There is no other lesson. The divine lies within each heart. That divinity is who you are, your true original self. That is who you were born to be. That is who can emerge from the human self if you allow it. Then the Divine Heart brings the human heart with it on the journey. They work in unison for joy. Joy is the celebration of the Divine and the Divine within. Let the Divine Heart lead you as it led Jesus, with joy always in his eye and the eternal Divine always in his heart. Live your original self.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Redbud Tree

I love the Redbud tree in my front yard. As I sat looking at it this morning I wondered if I can love everyone as I love that tree. I don’t put conditions on my love for the tree. It doesn’t have to flower for me to love it; I love it equally in the winter when it’s bare and in the spring when it flowers. There are parts of it that don’t flower anymore at all; it got some sort of disease that killed off part of it. I don’t hate those parts that don’t produce leaves; I don’t love it less for its flaws. I did prune it some so the disease wouldn’t spread and to help it grow.

I love that tree and all it provides. It provides shade and some privacy for my porch in the summer. It provides the beauty of its fuchsia flowers in the spring. It provides a reminder of change in the autumn as the leaves transform and fall. And in winter it reminds me of the stillness.

It provides a place for my children to play, building fairy houses in its limbs or hanging their pots of flower soup from its branches. It provides challenges for me every time I cut the grass and have to duck under it along the way. It reminds me of time and the potential for growth. We planted that tree when it was just a sapling and now it is a glorious, full grown tree.

Yet, if the Redbud stopped doing any or all of these things, would I love it less? No. There is nothing that tree can do to stop me from loving it. Looking at it simply makes me feel the love in my heart, the love that I am. What an amazing gift that tree gives to me. It provides me with a reminder of the love that I am, an opportunity to feel the love that I am.

My goal today then, is to love everyone and everything the way I love that tree. When I look at someone or something today I will remember the love that I am. Maybe that’s what love is, something that reminds you of or reawakens in you the love that you are.