Oceans of Love

It often feels impossible to describe the love contained within me. Even when I cannot give it words, it frightens people. They seem to be confused that the course of love would somehow find them beyond their beliefs or behaviors, that they would be missed or their cry for help would be unheard, and that kind of love would just appear, even unbidden.

It courses through every fiber of my being, slips from the pores into the spaces between grains of sand, dances on the wind, drops roots under lake beds, and glides through tears to the waters everywhere. The enormity of it is staggering, even to me, sometimes because I don’t control it. I just am.

It is uncontainable, unstoppable and touchable, visceral, thick power and peace.

It means I feel it all and am given the blessing of knowing the pain and the benediction brought by beauty, the lies beneath the scars, and the truths of the heart.

In moments of deepest despair, it is the buoy and the life raft. For all of us.

For this, I was made.

For you, I was made.

You are so loved.

Be not afraid.

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More than Mournable Bodies

They are more than mournable bodies whether disappeared or reinvented in a pimp’s image, no less an image of God, in case you thought otherwise.

Children of blood and bone, certainly; but beyond the skin they are or were in, they breathe fire and thread sinew. Sometimes, dripping it between the grains of sand they are buried in.

They carry their own heartbeats and that of another generation, they sing unto themselves and sisters far into the beyond that is beyond.

Birthing while chained, birthing while buried in that copse over there. They move into the heart of the root and are blown through the breeze, treed tendrils across the crown.

You thought they were drowned, too. The lake and sea may have accepted their bodies but they’ve thrown back the soul bathed in the clarity of the Mother.

Their blood and bone has sown a different kind of power. It is incorruptible. It is  freedom.

You did not bury them.  You’ve rebirthed them.

And unleashed their fury.

We rise.

May Mercy Rise

May the grief-stricken be touched with the tenderest kiss.

May the hunger for hubris be starved as love is heard.

May mercy rise.

 

May the light of beauty shine in the darkest corners.

May hate give way to forgiving Grace.

May mercy rise.

 

May pain and fear be supplanted by communion.

May pride and prejudice succumb to peace.

May mercy rise.

 

May the voiceless sing and open the way.

May the hardened crack under their flood of love.

May mercy rise.

 

May beauty speak the heart of all, in all.

May mercy rise.

 

How a Non-Deist Dances (or does the dishes) with God

When I was in the sixth grade, I saw an angel. At least, that’s what I called it. It was in the sky, it was alive, and not a bird or a plane or Superman. Not even a super-something else. It just was. And pretty as it just was. I told my mother who commemorated the experience with a poor concrete facsimile that confused me to no end. Because that wasn’t it and it wasn’t quite right in my adolescent mind. I don’t know if I ever thought again of that beautiful being I saw until we were reintroduced to each other in August 2015.

I never did see God, though. As an atheist it made complete sense. Out of mind, out of sight.

Until. Until one day in the spring of 2007 while I was washing dishes, I felt it. IT. The thing that other folks have described as God. This coalescing of something bigger than me but not definable, fully there and not-exactly-finite at the same time. Big, but fitting into the kitchen with me. I put down the salmon pan, walked to my then-husband in the living room, said out loud, “I just met God”, and walked back to the sink. Because, apparently God and other invisibles don’t do dishes. No other word was said. None needed to be. It was neither disturbing nor interesting. I didn’t ask any questions because none needed asking. I didn’t tell anyone else until years later.

I also didn’t tell anyone when God came back. I mean, what or who else could that big, infinite, yet finite beingness at the kitchen sink–again–possibly be?  This time, again while my hands were in the suds, it said one thing: “How will you define yourself?” That’s it. No winning lottery numbers. No “Here, I’ll dry”. Just “How will you define yourself?”

Neither of these experiences were met with a response more than nonplussed curiosity. Nothing more than a measured, ‘huh’. Although at one point in my non-religious evolution I was taught that God was fearsome and to be feared, I didn’t believe he existed at all, especially in that way. In fact, I never believed in him as his existence was explained by anyone. Except when that it-that-can-be-nothing-else arrived, I knew. Just knew.

In that moment, I just knew that fear was unnecessary, that worship was unnecessary, reverence was unnecessary, and there was no room for confusion or revelation. It just was. Not from ‘above’ but not from within. Not from somewhere ‘else’ but certainly something else, something other than my mind’s capacity for imaginings or desire for a holy dishwashing experience. In fact, there was nothing particularly holy in the whole thing. The clouds didn’t part, angels didn’t sing and I didn’t zing with the energies I often feel while with things of the ecstatic nature. I didn’t drop to my knees as I’ve done in grief and gratitude; I just heard him. There was no reassurance, demand for obedience or plea for belief; just one simple question.

While I was as unconfused and unawed as the first encounter, the second annoyed me. I knew the who of it and the what of if but, A) I still had to dry the dishes and, B) I’ve got other shit going on so what the hell kind of question is that for God to ask someone like me?

I had no idea then that the me I was would shortly no longer be. I had no context for the question and no understanding that there was anything beyond a definition of “I’m just Ingrid.”

Ten years into thisness, I’m well into not-just-Ingrid and I still don’t know how to define myself. And, I still don’t define that God-thing the way others do.  I thought if I’d define myself in my own way or the way I’ve been asked to the last year by those ones of Creation that got me into this mess, I’d know how to be this whatever-I-am. Notsomuch. God hasn’t come back to ‘splain all that, either. Or help with the dishes.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Merci on Me

 

Mercy.

noun
1.
compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

or: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

We most often associate Mercy with someone else. I suggest that we show ourselves a little mercy. And give ourselves a little Merci.

Mercy and thanks for not having it all figured out; for feeling ungraceful and ungrace-filled; for floundering; for all the goodness that we know is there but can’t feel it in the funk; for our beauty within and the beauty that surrounds.

Mercy and thanks for the capacities that have brought us this far; the capacities for others to help us grow farther; for the calamities that remind us of our strength and courage, our gentleness and compassion, how we bring Grace to others.

May the mercy and thanks we give to ourselves be given unto others as we are reminded there is no Other.

Mercy.

Merci.

Gnarly Dance

 

When the stars get

tangled up in the hair

and roots get twisted across

the toes,

grace just

isn’t there

 

There is a fine

line between

a twist and shout

and

a pirouette.

 

Grace and ungraceful

go hand-in-hand.