Integer of Creation

I.Moon

The moon hung, a bittersweet glow
cupped against midnight blue behind
boney arms of our grande dame maple,
whose leaves never turn red in fall,
only yellow then brown on fallow grass.

As I watched,
just past a new day’s first hour,
I could almost see her luminous
crescent rock back and forth drawing
my eye upward, higher, a need to tilt
my head back and forth to discern
Your gift through lacy silhouette
branches standing guard between
me and Eternity.

But she pointed me to it,
to a god always present,
maybe in a conflicting place
from one night to the next,
but always there, Jupiter,
a thunderbolt-bright comfort
knowing once and again
he would meet me.

I am created no more
or less perfect than these.
I hold within myself the same
wonder of stars and moon
and trees rooted deeply into earth.
I grow and change, not staying
in one place, although I have lived
in this same place all my life.

II.

When the world groans
under sorrow made
by hands of stone…

Not stone that changes
the course of rivers.
Not stone that greets
a wanderer along her craggy pass.
These stones are as Spirit filled
as every heart that beats…

But when the world groans
from counterfeit hands
made of false stone that cannot see
within themselves the utter sweetness
of the Beloved, nor the Beloved’s
consummate sweetness in souls
they stone, I feel pieces explode until
all that is left is blackness, a dark hole
so profound not even Jupiter
could spark a flame.

From where I stand
I must be what I am first made,
gentle light, devoted lover,
precious consecration of You.

My hands, made of Your passion,
must open
to each integer of Creation.

I cry out like thunder in the desert,
groan and writhe,
but know You will hear my prayer
and open our eyes
to our manmade
stone hands of annihilation.

May our prayers transfigure
our false hands
back into cupped hands
ready to receive Your timber.

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If you would like more on this poem, please join my weekly reflection at Journey/lex. It is a weekly newsletter that arrives in your e-mail in-box usually on Saturdays.

Thank you,
Lexanne

Rules

I watch snow begin its fall,bunnyprintsinsnow
lay down this day of chill
on crisp golden locust leaves,
it clutters my path. I know
the price I will pay if
I don’t follow the rules.

I surely must move those
leaves to their proper rest
before flakes, surely not allow
them to stay where footsteps
will grind together snow and
leaves to become a musty cake
making an impossible run.

There are rules I must follow
to keep my path clear, ready
for its pilgrim to walk safe
and true.

Yet, I ask if rules are a good
matter to seek my attention,
give over my time. Rules beget
more rules until rules are all
that cover what was once a
simple way, now made less clear.

Instead I listen, start inside
with a whisper, learn who I am
from the Source. And I see a path,
simple and true, still covered with
leaves and snow. Only then
can my hand stretch to yours.
Together we will divine our way.

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Author’s note:

If you would like more on this poem, please visit my page Journey/lex.

 

This week I thank Ryan Taylor of Access Denver for his reflection, in Street Psalms’ Word From Below, on the reading from The Revised Common Lectionary. And a sincere thanks to Fr. Scott Jenkins from a Church of the Holy Family for his prayers and the Beatitudes that will be read in the Celtic Celebration of All Saints this coming Saturday. All are welcome to join us in our celebration.

 

Sealed From The Light

I sealed my eyes, clasped your hand with sinew so resolute
I would not keel.

I couldn’t see, didn’t believe I could find my own way
in the blinding light.

My grip tired. My eyes craved dawn. I let loose the ligature,
unlatched my eyes.

My urgency was not to see, not trail beyond where I stood,
but unravel in my own Being.

I stand as myself next to you, equal, warmed and gentled
from Within, well equipped for the free fall.

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Author’s Note:

I marvel at my ridiculous dependence, over a half-century, upon a carefully constructed lectionary to tell me the Story. A Story offered that is only a piece of a very large and luscious meal.

Yes, it is my own undoing, or laziness, or fear. I didn’t push myself early enough to overcome it, to be brave in, or to free myself to look back and forward, to question. Somehow I needed to learn to trust the Voice Inside.

I learned the hard way, or maybe it was just a longer route. I was growing my wings stronger. I didn’t understand that they could be built during the free fall.

Even so, I need to release the guilt, the shame, the self-condemnation. There is no time for that.

Moving on.

On Friday I started my day with Street Psalms‘ reflection of Sunday’s gospel reading in their Word From Below weekly reflection, Brigand’s of the Lord. It is always good stuff. Oh, the thieves on both sides of the cross – “gang members.” I encourage you to read it. But I wasn’t seeing clearly enough yet.

Nadia Bolz-Weber‘s quote from a review of her new book about the meaning of the Cross and sinners, fell right into my lap. It was another way to understand Fr. Scott’s Celtic Conversation asking us what it means to be blessed and how that works with the crucified Christ. And still, I wasn’t satisfied.

So, I began again. I reread the 1st and 2nd readings and the Psalm responses. Then I read all of Psalm 33 in the ESV and then in the Message. I usually don’t use the Message for the Psalms, but yesterday wouldn’t let me rest until I did.

In a last attempt I went back to the Gospel of Mark in the Message, but this time I didn’t stop at the end of the chosen lectionary verse 45 where I was told to STOP. I read to the end of the chapter. Then I went back and read what came before.

I am learning to let go of finding the “right” or “only” way. I realize that I can use experience, wisdom, and knowledge of others to help me see. But in the end, I must stand alone on my own feet, open my eyes and ears, and let the free fall continue to build my wings even greater.

How does this relate to the readings?

Simply, it is not my place to put myself in or request a seat of judgment. I must see that Jesus is not about judgment.

I must see our Holy One from within, seeing the Light in what I can do, am called to do, been given the gifts to do. Do you see?

And remember the root command – love one another.

There is no room for judges here, only lovers.

Lady Wisdom

Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748The fog is anxious

but the clearing,

slow may it be,

much patience required,

the opening ravishes.

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Author’s Note:

The first time I visited San Francisco, we walked the city. We didn’t rent a car but used public transportation. Our first morning out, we took the bus to the bridge.

It was foggy. Just fog and the roar of traffic.

At the visitor center, we asked where the bridge was. From behind the counter came a point to the picture window, “It’s right there.”

My husband and I looked at one another and shrugged.

“Just take the steps up.” The finger returned to the newspaper on the counter turning to the next page.

And an afterthought, “Watch out for traffic. And just keep walking.”

So we walked up the steps and the traffic noise grew, surged through the fog without showing itself.

As we continued, we began to see ghost cars melting into grey. There was one lone figure ahead of us on the wide sidewalk with just enough clarity to make out his form. As we approached, he stopped. The three of us saw only the faintest outline of the bridge, a picture frame flat and almost nondescript.

When we reached him, he turned and handed us his camera. We obliged. He reclaimed it, bowed slightly, and began to walk back to the steps. We shared what we were told: just keep walking. He hesitated and without a reply disappeared down the steps into the soup.

We looked at one another and just continued walking.

It wasn’t long. Rather quickly, as a matter of fact, that as we passed under the first arch we could see the fog clearing. We kept walking. Cars became sharper to match the bluster. I could now see across the traffic to the opposite side of the bridge opening to the ocean and began to distinguish waves roaring in harmony with the rush hour madness.

My husband tapped me on the shoulder in our pause. He whispered, “Turn around.”

There it was, the city of San Francisco, the bay, and the bridge with the fog falling away, candy-colored in the bright morning sun.

Wisdom is there, always.

She waits for me to simply listen, press on in the present moment. There I will meet her.

If I release my worry, my need for control, my fear. If I sit with my choices and understand they are past done, I see her opening the door for me to make new choices to live the life I’ve been given.

I can choose to continue on, or turn back.

I choose Lady Wisdom.
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And More:

Thank you, Scott Jenkins, for Celtic Conversations this past year at a Church of the Holy Family, ECC. I have grown and changed and learned to release. You’ve given us time to rest and question in a place of safety filled with compassion. Thank you, Padre.

A bit of synchronicity for this week. Our Celtic Conversations and the Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 11, 2015, from the USCCB.org:

Reading 1 WIS 7:7-11

Reading 2 HEB 4:12-13

San Francisco Bay Bridge Photo courtesy of: Bridge-Bond-Monuments-Places-Fog-Golden-Gate-Pacif-7748

Unfolding, An Advent Meditation

Announcing the publication of my new book of poetry and prayers.BookCoverImage

I know it is a bit early to announce. But if you would like to share this with your community, below is a sample page.

 

Tuesday
For Our Earth
Luke 21: 25-28


Breathe

Unfolding
The earth declares your Wonder,
winds roaring over plains,
snows laden heavy on our land,
waters in contempt of their barriers.

It is in your delicate disclosure
I still myself to hear
the bleat of the infant voice,
the One who will bear us home to you.

Selah
Nature moves with force, but also in whispers. Can you make time today to slow down and notice the world around you to allow yourself to enjoy a bit of nature?

Mantram
Immerse me in your promise.            

Blessing
In praise of sleeping roots wintering
underground, may I take time to rest.
In praise of darkened nights,
may I find peace enough to slumber.
In praise of water icebound,
may I make time for transformation.                                          


Breathe

Unfolding is a daily devotional for the season of Advent. Beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, Lexanne Leonard brings a gentleness to the days through her offering of scripture, poetry, and prayer, ending on Christmas morning. It is a breath and pause to reconnect with the Divine in these busy days of Advent.

Each meditation was written through lectio divina from the lectionary readings for each Sunday of Advent, Cycle C. Every day a piece of the Sunday scripture is expressed through poetry, prayer, and reflection. Also, each day of the week is dedicated to bringing to the forefront compassionate concerns for our world.

Through Lexanne’s own practice of Passage Meditation, she presents a “mantram,” a short phrase, for each week. It can be said throughout the day to bring one back to the present and to draw strength from the scripture passages, poems, and prayers offered in the daily meditation.

“Here, within her words is the rhythm we all may be seeking. Instead of clamor, there is quiet. Rather than over spending in order to give, there is the offering of gift which no money can buy. We will not faint under the pressure to get things checked off a list, but instead simplicity is called upon with bible, candle, silence, and reflection.” – Scott Jenkins, Director, Celtic Way

It is now available at Amazon.com or your local independent bookseller.

 

Random Acts of Poetry Day, Showing the Love

 

Sharing the love from yesterday’s Random Acts of Poetry Day. Random-Acts-of-Poetry-Day-Hairpin

Thank you, Tweetspeak Poetry for inspiring us to share the love of poetry randomly around the world. Let’s do it again next year!

My first grade class at Independence Elementary in Colorado spent the day randomly visiting classrooms to share their favorite poems. We wrote our morning and evening chants on colorful sentence strips and placed them on the walls all over the building. Our principal asked us to keep them up because on Friday principals 12115975_10206529840036695_4543547717059554816_nfrom all over the Cherry Creek School District will be visiting us and she wants them to see our love of poetry. So our random acts will continue to spread through the week and, hopefully, other schools.

I also gave a copy of Tania Runyan’s How to Write a Poem to one of our teachers. Ms. Hearne in third grade won the drawing and says she will use it with her class. Yay!12112477_10206528920493707_1837883931268855796_n

And…yesterday, I was presented a copy of the Psalms, the poetry of the bible, by my new “family.” I was named the first Artist-In-Residence at A Church of the Holy Family, ECC in Aurora, CO. I am so grateful to know how Fr. Scott Jenkins, Kelsey, and Jennifer and all in my church community in their passion for Celtic Christianity honor the role of the bard.

My heart is full.

I love poetry. I hope you do, too!

Filters, Poems by Lexanne Leonard

It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the publication of my first book of poetry at Amazon. com.

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I discovered my love of writing in 2009 at the Colorado Writing Project. For two weeks teachers of elementary school students gathered to expand our skills in the teaching of writing. What we didn’t know was that we were going to be asked to become writers ourselves. The mornings were filled with research and lesson plans and the sharing of ideas. In the afternoons, we wrote. There I discovered I am a writer.

Fast forward a few years and another milestone in my life came as I stepped away from the Roman Catholic Church and found Fr. Scott Jenkins at A Church of the Holy Family. It is a Catholic, but not Roman, church of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. The ECC truly welcomes all.

Here I found a love for the arts – poetry, theatre, music, visual. I also found a place that creates space for Passage Meditation and numerous ways to pray and learn to live a Christ-centered life through a Celtic lens.

Soon I was writing and acting in plays, designing liturgy and liturgical space, composing prayers, and most important to my journey, writing lots of poetry. Filters is an encapsulated account of my faith journey.

During this time my monologues were published in two editions of Audition Monologues for Young Women compiled by Gerald Lee Ratliff. My poetry is included in How To Write A Poem by Tania Runyan, published by T.S. Poetry Press. Two of my poems will be seen in Casual next April 2016 in Tweetspeak Poetry‘s e-book for National Poetry Month.

Finally, my Advent devotional commissioned by A Church of the Holy Family will be available on Amazon.com this coming Advent season.

I thank all of my family at Holy Family, as well as my husband, Leroy Leonard, Fr. Scott Jenkins, and Kathleen Gorman for their unwavering faith me. They gave me the encouragement, the hard-ass-stick-to-it-lady-you-can-d0-its, and led me to discover in myself where the Divine resides. I now realize that I actually do have a ministry – sharing the Word though poetry and theatre.

I am deeply grateful for the harvest of this season.

 

 

Little by Little

If I don’t still myself I can’t welcome the birds. It is
against the backdrop of silence I hear them. Little by

little their being unfurls. First the loudest, closet to
my ear. When I release into you, relax in your arms,

beauty erupts. Flap of wing, flash and whirr, a trill
between two lovers. I hear. I don’t need to see. But

I must welcome silence first. Little by little
I become One with your Incarnation.

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Author’s Note:

Sorry, but this note is a bit long.

I go to a retreat house several times a year. Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House is a silent house, unless there is a group retreat where the participants are encouraged to share in their workshop. However, they are still required to keep silent in the rest of the house, as well as on the grounds outside. Being that this is new for most, whispered conversations, stolen giggles or phone calls home can ring through the house without the suspects suspecting anything. One does not realize how expertly silence carries sound. I don’t mind. I understand.

But this weekend there are no groups. There are only ten of us and the silence is luscious.

Except for the birds. Oh, the birds.

I have never heard such a choir in my life. It has continued through day, except for an occasional pause allowing them to listen, along with us, to the thunderstorms.

My poem came from my wide reading so far this weekend.

Nadia Bolz Weber‘s homily at the 2015 Festival of Homiletics regarding Jesus instructing his disciples to become-child like is refreshing. Also, I so welcome her choice of referring to God as God, not Him or even Her. Thank you.

Also, informing this poem is a group that is new to me. Street Psalms makes a home in Denver and my pastor, Scott Jenkins, works with them. This quote from their e-mail scripture lesson spoke volumes to me. It is adapted from their book, Geography of Grace: Doing Theology from Below, Chapter 4, by Kris Rocke and Joel Van Dyke

“The Apostle Paul uses another metaphor to unpack the incarnation in  Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared in advance for us to do.” The Greek word here for workmanship is poiema. For Paul, the incarnation means that “we are God’s poetry” to the world. God is speaking poetry to us and through us to the world.

It is our distinct privilege to be in community with people in hard places who live as God’s poetry in this world enfleshed in human form. Raising up poets to incarnate God’s gospel song to lost, disenfranchised, and marginalized people is a vital enterprise.”

I cannot live my spiritual life without my home base. This weekend I am reading Eknath Eswaran‘s A More Ardent Fire, bringing me back to the basics of passage meditation and discovering the path to the Way of Love and the Way of Knowing. Thanks to my meditation partner, Kathleen Gorman, for this brilliant suggestion.

Finally, I am memorizing a new passage for mediation. Who would think that this would tie everything together – even using some of the same terminology spread throughout my reading – as it was chosen first before the other readings came to me.

Ah, yes. Synchronicity.

St. Teresa of Avila:

Her heart if full of joy in love
for in the Lord her mind is still
She has renounced all selfish attachments
and draws abiding joy and strength
from the One Within.
She lives not for herself, but lives
to serve the Lord of Love in all,
and swims the sea of life
breasting its rough waves joyfully.

Here are some photos of birdies I snapped on my walks.

I don't know birds, but this one was lovely.

I don’t know birds, but this one was lovely.

Look closely. Little green hummingbird walking with me.

Look closely. Little green hummingbird walking with me.

This tiny little one was so precious, not bold in color But the song was glorious.

This tiny little one was so precious, not bold in color. But the song was glorious.

 

At first I thought he was imagining himself a bird. Then I noticed he was just looking t himself in the clouds.

At first I thought he was imagining himself a bird. Then I noticed he was just looking at himself in the clouds. His little paw is balancing himself on the tree limb. 

 

Night Owl

Cara turned left into the back entrance of the subdivision. Her usual route home after meditation class allowed her to slip almost unnoticed among the neighbors who didn’t understand the need for silence.

It was late March and the sun was setting just a bit later, leaving the sky draped in a deep violet gauze that didn’t allow for clean outlines or crystal colors. Just muted hues and suggestions of shapes filled her vision.

The full moon would rise later in the evening and would clear everything up. She would lay in her bed bathed in the glow through the clear arch above her curtained bedroom windows. It was yet still too cold to crack them open welcoming the sounds of the night circus. Cara would have to be satisfied with only Luna setting her halo first on her face. Then moving down her arms and over her husband’s hips, finally slipping over the edge of the bed and onto the floor.

But that was for later. Cara took a deep breath. She did crack open the window of her car on her way home. After meditation it seemed as though she couldn’t breathe deeply enough to fill her lungs. It was as if her body relaxed and opened so wide there was enough room to inhale all the air ever allowed for all living beings.

It caught her eye immediately, but as quickly as her brain asked why a bird with such a large wingspan would be flying so late into the evening, it answered immediately, “Owl, silly.”

Cara watch the wings blur across her windshield then swoop down to the sidewalk almost landing. Almost. Then immediately arching up and away from her.

Drawing her eyes back to the road in front of her, she made a cursory stop at the sign. A right turn would take her home to the mouth of her suburban castle. Gliding inside safely, the portal door would roll down to protect her from unknown beasts of the night. But she didn’t turn right.

She turned left. Moving away from the streetlight, her eyes adjusted to the hazy browns and tans of the late winter. A small tree, leafless, guarded the shape. Cara smiled. The shape bloomed as she moved past. With it’s back turned towards her, the image took its form.

Two pointy ears topped a body perched on the edge of a wooden fence. The great horned ignored the lights of Cara’s car. She understood his pretense. He ignored her demanding even more attention from her.

Cara continued down the street until there was room for a u-turn. Pickup trucks and SUVs lined both sides of the road. It always surprised her how many vehicles were needed for each family in her neighborhood. Every teen demanded his or her own. Mom needed one and Dad, too. Then weekend projects called for something big enough for hauling. And soon, with the summer exodus, the boats and RVs would make their appearances. Revving motors and country music blaring from open car doors was the neighborhood concert series to which Cara never bought tickets.

The neighbors shook their heads at her hybrid when they saw her passing. It made her feel good that they never heard her coming.

Just as Cara returned to the scene, the owl lifted off the fence and made a graceful but accelerated curve directly towards her. Again, a swoop down to the ground and then up over her car and into the now blackened night.

Cara smiled, again. She had once been advised by an owl during a difficult situation in a forested area to leave those woods, and the people, and never return. She took its presage and left. It was a good thing.

As she readied for bed later in the evening, she examined her past days. It was a suggestion made in a quick text message from her friend. C.J., a wise woman who lived in Bellingham, WA and prescribed herbs and totems for cures, said silence was the key. The wisdom of the owl was to sit and to discover the dishonesty of someone near. Many in the south see death in the calling of the owl. Others take it a step further and say an owl is a sign of rebirth.

Cara pulled on her satin pjs. She loved that she could slide and turn over without a fuss under the covers. She relaxed in the softness and silky wrapping around her body and waited.

Luna peeked above the arch. A thin veil of clouds moved across the face of the moon as if a hag racing home had dropped her shawl swirling it across the sky. Within minutes the clouds fell away and Cara closed her eyes to the glare. Her husband once burned his iris looking too long through his telescope at a new moon. She heeded that warning, too. She could still see the bright light through her eyelids. Soon it moved from her face, just like she knew it would. Down her arms making the satin shimmer. Aware of Jake’s rhythmic breathing, she held her breath.

Would she hear them, too, this night? It would be perfect.

Cara grew up in the city. The suburban life called when her father became too old to care for himself and the need to be close to work and home demanded a move. In the old city house, and even in her childhood home, Cara could lay awake at night and hear the trains. It was a soothing sound. As a child she was close enough to hear the clicking on the tracks. Later, when she and Jake slept in the basement of the tiny 1920’s bungalow with the rich soil and three sister’s garden, she could hear the drone of the coal cars. It would lull her to sleep.

But here in the burbs she never found the night sounds as satisfying. They lessened as the cars returned from the movies or basketball games. The late night skateboarder rolling and clicking down the middle of the street and the pick up roaring to a stop blocks away punctuated the night as lights clicked off and bedroom windows closed their eyes.

Cara listened. The first time she heard them, she was alone in the bedroom, Jake being away at a rehearsal. The windows were wide open, so it must have been summer. Dogs were barking and she could hear muted laughter coming from a backyard party somewhere close.

When the first sound came it was solitary. She thought it was a young child crying, or maybe a cat in heat. But the dogs stopped barking. Soon she heard it again. One. Then two. And a chorus. She would later describe it to Jake as a sort of a chortle. “Coyotes,” was his reply.

The coyotes visited all summer long that year. Many times she heard a screeching of a cat and wondered if they could be that close and that hungry. Cara would wait in bed with the windows wide open, again holding her breath, when she heard them. It made her sad to think of the bunnies, and maybe the cats, that would be the evening’s repast. But there was a wildness in Cara that longed to join the coyotes.

Cara’s eyes closed as Luna rose and curved out of view. The room darkened and she couldn’t stay awake any longer. If the coyotes did come, they would be silent visitors to Cara. But she knew they would. Someday. Just not tonight.

As her mantram floated into her head, she pushed the image of the owl out. It was time for the deep night to pass. Cara knew that before her alarm would call out a new day’s business, even with the widows closed, she would soon be gently nudged by the first birdsong of the day as the sun glowed apricot and creamsicle kissing the horizon.

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Author’s Note:

It was almost a year ago to the day I wrote this. I’m not sure why I never posted it.

This month I am taking part in a project on Facebook. It is called
Earth Magic – Creativity Challenges 2015- The Owl. I collect owls.

The group uses Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way and delves into one chapter each month. This is my first month with the group and the chapter title is Recovering A Sense of Identity.

Again, as my recent journey has shown me, I find myself being handed exactly what I need. My sense of creativity and who I am is exploding this year. With my chosen word of “release” for the year, I am finding a richness and passionate creativity in myself I have never known. Or, rather should I say, have never acknowledged in myself.

I am preparing a monologue called The Magdalene to perform at the end of April based on work I’ve done studying the Gospels of John and Mary. I am learning to create prayer collages through a course taught by Joanna Powell Colbert. I am beginning to take piano lessons. I continue my Passage Meditation practice. I am collaborating with my pastor, Fr. Scott Jenkins from A Church of the Holy Family ECC, in designing space and writing liturgy for our monthly Celtic Mass celebrations. Even though I’ve never considered myself a singer, I recently recorded with Stefan Andre Waligur and Marcy Baruch a new CD of Celtic Kirtan chants that will be available very soon.  And I hope to have my first book of poetry out at the end of this year.

Did I mention I will be turning 59 in May? My ninety-five year old father just passed through the veil a month ago. He lived with us these last nine years. I am an only child and am finding a new freedom and joy and passion in living. Sometimes it takes longer for some of us to land here.

And the shift began with an owl on my way home from my mediation class almost a year ago.

It Is Native

The fall began when noise roiled hot
leaving no space to catch its notice

Drop by drop the fallen exploded
meshing itself within turbulence

I didn’t feel, just empty pocks
within, abandoned tiny voids

To hear Your call I had to learn
it is native, there my ear must rest

Still myself, sink into your hush,
overpass the cry of caterwaul

And like a snowflake first in storm,
no two alike, just me, listen

You called my name and filled the
blanks, Samuel touched the same

Not one of his words fell to the ground
so cherished are You, so devoted

I hear and see your gifts native to
my soul, entrusted only to me

I hold words, safe from slight
I relinquish who I am from Within

My foodstuff is word, my provender
a voice to carry vision of those

long gone, I stand with the fool
and the actor, the poet who

nourish native ground, deep
within where only You and I

are One. I beat a pondering
to pull all in to see. This is my

appointment, my named called,
as Samuel, I too, am the Divine’s servant.

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Author’s Note:

Today at Mass I came once more, face-to-face with my life-long struggle. Our first reading was from 1 Samuel 3, God calling Samuel. The final line read was, “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.”

None of Samuel’s words fell to the ground.

Of course, they were not Samuel’s words. He was only the vehicle. Samuel’s job was to carry His words. I heard my call again.

As always, Fr. Scott challenges us in his homilies. His own work with the homeless in downtown Denver, our new space that will serve our families in Aurora, and all those amazing people who are in the trenches, cut deep into me.

Here I sit with “drama” and word.

I’ve struggled all my life, growing up with Roman Catholic guilt, wanting to help people.

I heard my call, His call, all of my life. I’ve acted since I could walk. In high school, college, and years of running a traveling theatre for children, that was where I thrived. And just a few years ago, I learned that I have a passion for writing.

But I wasn’t helping people.

And I needed health insurance and some kind of retirement. So I became a teacher leaving my other life behind, covering up the call, trying to ignore it. Fast-forward about thirteen years.

I found a new church, an amazing place, where a dear soul who somehow heard my call brought it back to my attention after years of neglect. He offered a safe place to try it out once more, this time with purpose. Not only have I been given the opportunity to act, but also to write.

I am learning to understand what I do does feed people. Not food for their bellies, but deeper. Most people don’t get this. “Drama” is not really seen as much more than entertainment.

I will continue on my path – writing, of course – but more important, bringing women from the bible to life through my vision and learning.

I will continue writing new liturgy with dramatic elements that challenge because it is an alternate way, not securely tucked into the box of traditional ritual.

Most importantly, I will continue to listen to the Voice from my native ground who grows my soul.

And as I grow up, listen to and believe what I hear, my words will not fall.