When I first brought them from my mother’s garden, they were limp, weedlike. She called them Evening Primrose. She said they would multiply, be lovely in the Spring. I was septical. I waited. Watched. By the end of March, their tall, spindly stalks grew hips. April wrapped the hips in pink skirts. Through the afternoons and into the moonlit evenings, the pink blossoms glow. Waiting at the base of each open blossom is another, still sleeping. It springs open the moment the current blossom wilts. The performance lasts for several weeks. Each fall I give many away. I repeat my mother’s assuring speech as cynical eyes scrutinize those gaunt, bare stalks. To those who guard and weed them through the fall and winter, these early spring performers wait, once more to prove my mother right. (Excerpted from The Color of Grace:Thoughts from a Garden in a Dry Land)
…I am an urn of Adam’s skin, the thickness of a lifetime. When kicked I spill protesting blood. Each year, Spring takes a swing at bringing me around. Spring sings a resurrection song I strain to hear. A woodpecker drums its red head against a cedar pole Cumulus clouds rock in the promising wind. Gold sap pulsates in the boughs of the winter-charred oak. A robin chick sheds its itching egg. I press my ear to the earth: Dry bones, dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Mining With a Feather Contemplative Writing And Spiritual Renewal Retreat – Facilitated by Tonia Colleen Martin And Jessica Campbell May 31-June 1, 2013
I woke up this morning with the image
of a pearl in my mind:
a tiny sphere brought into being by an irritating
grain of sand within the house of a muscle;
a space where competition between a foreign
and resident thought spar to arrive at something
beautiful and kind.
This is an image of instruction for me.
When I find myself in the realm of competition,
I want to lean kindly into that which irritates despite its
essence of otherness. I want to embrace this Other rather
than muscle it out by wit, criticism or ridicule
and wait for the pearl of new understanding
to roll sweetly into view.
In speaking of our desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you – the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in or experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter….The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our past – are good images of what we desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we hve not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am, but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. — From “The Weight of Glory” by C.S. Lewis