Ordinary Times – Awakenings

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Holding On.

Malcolm Guite recently reflected (actually I re-read recently) his awakening in his sonnet for Colmcille (St Columba) and this lead to my own reflection on mine. Before I get to my story I have to write down today’s deep thoughts forming within my heartstrings.

I am sat here re-listening to Ólafur Arnald’s new project, ‘Island Songs’ and his stirring recording of Icelandic poet Einar Georg reciting his poem about a river from his childhood. To listen to an indigenous language of nature is like listening to his heart whisper. It gives you, the listener, that deepest ache in your heart, a stirring that you cannot explain; your own heart whispers back from it’s source and an internal creation relives and is reborn every moment. Christ whispers to us in this way.

I wondered how Jesus would have sounded, speaking in his own language but I understand and know the Word is eternal and ingrained within our very spark at our core. Christ whispered to me through my deep love of my own human roots, in our fair Isles’ Celtic heritage and ancestry and He set my spark, re-ignited my indigenous eternal voice on the threads of my weaving. He trembled my warp and my weft and set His Golden Thread amongst my raw and rustic whisperings that was once lost and unattached. Christ loves my wildness and He keeps my sett beating to our heartbeat’s whisper. What is beautiful about the introduction to Ólafur’s composition is that he says that, after consideration with his translators, some of Einar’s Icelandic words cannot be translated but merely that we should enjoy the beauty it reflects in its sound. This is so with Christ’s words … they need no explanation as the beauty is in the way it conveys a single thought through a vibration of love for a place, for a moment, for people. Whatever the situation, outcome or action. Love and the knowledge that God hangs on to me whatever the situation, the outcome or the action, He has my thread in His hand.

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In my sketch, GOD has a handful of my wild threads ready to set my warp and weft and highlight His Golden Thread that has always been in me.

Malcolm’s sonnet for Columba can be found here, https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/columba-and-my-calling-4/

Ólafur Arnald’s wonderful composition can be found here,

Malcolm sent me his Weaving Song … this should be part of my life’s soundtrack. Found here.

Weaving One of my shawls, handmade by me, TAW.

An Addendum: my own awakening? Many years ago during the last Millenium, I attended a Church service at my parish church on the spur of the moment. The title caught my eye, “A Celtic Evening Liturgy” (c) Iona Community. I went in and when I heard and read the line, “We believe, O God of all the peoples, that you created our souls and set their warp..” I was finished, in a heap. I spent the rest of the evening service in tears. This was the moment Christ picked up my warp and weft and re-trembled the fibres, setting God’s Golden Thread within mine in all my wildness and yearning. I had something to grasp, to hold on to, to cherish and to love always. Upon looking back on my intermittent diaries and written down dreams, the thread and the warp has been a theme running through the Living Water within me. As poetic or full of nonsense this may sound, this is my truth and I do not need to justify it. It has happened amongst a treasured handful of spiritual moments and encounters that keeps me on His path when times are incredibly tough. I relive this joy in times of need. This is my warp within Christ and it is a strong warp. TAW 2016.

FB_IMG_1449012249739 My own shawl, made by me, that I wear xXx.

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Ordinary Times – Sunday 13th September 2015

IMG_20150913_131555Love.

This week celebrated the birth of our Theotokos, Holy Mother, Mary. After listening to Malcolm Guite’s wonderful sonnets collectively, I wondered how this would affect me. When I walk to work, I pray and on my mind this week has been my son, who is away from home at the moment. In this quiet time, I had focused on Mary and how she felt losing her Son, how she suffered but more importantly, how she loved.

This week has been about love. Love in motherhood, love in and from the Divine through gifts and gestures to help soothe a battling soul.Malcolm had sent me a gift from himself and Steve Bell, a gift of word and music which had uplifted me, someone had been kind enough to think about me and it came unexpectedly at the right moment.

Today, I didn’t go to Church but instead I found myself stumble across a film on Mary Magdalene. I watched, despite the typical youtube comments, because Mary Magdalene reached out to me in the beginning of my journey. We are aligned through suffering and through the forgiveness of Christ. Again, I am back with the three Mary’s – Holy Mother, Magdalene and Mary at Bethany. The one thing today has been about is His Love, this has been rekindled in me, This is why I was held at home today, where I love to be, to see His Love in everything we do. At the foot of the Cross. An alabaster jar, a Chalice and the Cross upon a rock. Anointed with the perfume of tears.

IMG_20150913_131533An alabaster jar, a Chalice and a Cross.

From “Theotokos”, by Malcolm Guite,

“.. Let me share, The prayer that folds the petals of the Rose.

Enfold me too in Love’s last mystery, And bring me to the One you bore for me”. (c) Malcolm Guite.

https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/a-quartet-of-sonnets-for-mary-2/

Malcolm and Steve Malcolm and Steve. View Steve’s website here.

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Ordinary Times – Sunday6th September 2015

IMG_20150906_233739 Floods and tides.

And yet, after all I’ve been through and experienced this year, I find myself on my own spiritually. Having had, and having, so much to look forward to I find no loyalty in or with the church and its occupants. Being a Christian is always in tension with being human and sometimes neither supports the other, neither is in harmony. People use others for their own advantage, no matter the sorrow it may cause and this is something that I have never understood. Why does the ego take precedent over compassion and truth?

This morning I found myself thinking about the cave I always see in my mind, where I am gazing out over the mountainous desert to watch my Morning Star shine. It is a place of great peace and always a place of wonder. If the Bible could represent all that a human is then the great flood could be the depression that sweeps over some and represent the ego filling others. But, still the Cross remains and remains the pivotal place where we all come to our knees and ponder upon life. Washed up upon its shores, the bleakest yet most vulnerable and beautiful of places for the soul to be exposed. In front of Him.

IMG_20150906_233627My drawing tries to represent the tumultuous tide, lifting up the desert sand and churning up its uniformity, throwing it into the chaos of the waves. The waters of the great flood sweeping over the calm and stirring it as if it were in a pot. Nothing is ordered or neat. Chaos is confusing but mostly it is a beautiful sense. Unordered yet connected to every living thing.

Ordinary Times – the Word in Creation

IMG_20150831_201815In our hands. The ending and beginnings of seasons.

Discovering Malcolm’s Seven Whole Days roundels on Creation happened at the right time to conclude this volume of my small and faithful diary notebook. This ‘beginning journal’ has taken me on an incredible journey from the tender and innocent beginnings of Lent, as a newly birthed creature, through the emotion and pain of birth and then loss of another to the awakening dawn of my Morning Star, inspired by Malcolm’s sonnets. And then, to confirm that God sings to us through others in perfect sense, He uses current human events to confirm His Creation to unfold the awe-inspiring sequence that happens every day, every hour and second; that there is a birth and an unfolding, a passing of life and a folding and every incident is blessed in prayer and in Light. Nothing goes unnoticed.

This Summer, through ordinary times, I have discovered this truth in every day and given praise and thanks as life unfolds in the simplest of things and I am ever in awe of life’s simplicity. Treasure things in your heart and ponder on them.

Malcolm writes, “… and on the cross, in darkness on this day, You made us new” (Day VI). Christ’s resurrection happens every day with every event and it is our journey to discover the awakenings in Creation with the dawn chorus, the Sun rising and setting, the birds flying from leaf to hedge and the awakening within ourselves as we honour this life and our place in it.

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  Malcolm’s roundels can be found here.

DSC_0018 Lenten Diary 2015, accompanied by “The Word in the Wilderness” by Malcolm Guite.

http://www.malcolmguite.wordpress.com  

Ordinary Times – Ramblings on a Cosmic Scale …

IMG_20150801_002034 Cosmos and the Moon.

It has been amazing. The past couple of months have been on a celestial scale, quite literally; not only with the scientific achievements but with the feast days celebrated. New Horizons reached the far depths of the Cosmos to Pluto and now beyond, meteor showers are about to start, the alignment of the two planets that could have been the origins of the Star of Bethlehem (worked out to mathematical formulae of its appearances) and the Blue Moon occurrence this week.

This year I have been transfixed with the Aurora Borealis as it’s colours have come into most of my drawings and I sit and ponder upon what it is God wants me to convey. At this moment, it is the vast expanse of His beauty and creation.

Songs have been composed around sounds recorded in space … the Gospels should always be heard as well as read. Somewhere I read that God does not talk to us but sings to us. I was in awe of that single thought. Our whole world is in song from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of our atmosphere, all in tune with one another as ecosystems balance their reliance upon each other.

If I were able to create such beauty, I too would sing for an eternity. God’s song softens our modern and often hardened hearts. His song soothes our battle weariness. His song brings us healing in every whisper and echo that is present within his Creation. We must strive to listen to His song.

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Upon checking Malcolm’s site for a poem, searching for ‘cosmos’, he has indeed written such a sonnet … again God gives me surprises and an affirmation that this is something He perhaps wants us all to focus on – the entirety, the beauty, the expanse and the order of His cosmos (and I love the NT Greek in this). It is so important that we interpret correctly not only the ancient NT codexes but also His message to us and reflect upon this.

Malcolm’s poem sheds a whole new light onto my diary entry.

https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/for-god-so-loved-the-world/

Ordinary Times – Friday 31st July 2015

IMG_20150731_184120 Chasing breadcrumbs.

I find it difficult not to be inspired by Malcolm’s poems and the subject matters always seem to fit in with my anxious thoughts and concerns of the day.

I am preparing to embark on an ambitious, daunting yet exciting chapter of my life, a journey through the Arts and Christian expression in the form of a Masters degree. It was never in my loosely laid plans to do this, another two years of financial struggle, of wondering where the next meal will come from, money for bills and enough for existence; however, I find myself accepting this opportunity with eager and open hands, the opportunity to explore Christ more deeply through a much loved medium of artistic expression. I am overjoyed with the prospect of being able to study in London alongside the multitude of galleries and cathedrals and hidden away parish churches that are ancient and worn. And yet, my hands clutch at breadcrumbs and possible food banks but I know, with rock solid determination holding me firm, that I have to at least give this a go. I need to rest in God and let His plans unfold and trust in Him with this.

Then, amidst the angst, Malcolm pierces my heart with “I Am the Bread of Life” and stops me in my tracks. I trust that God will provide and sustain us whilst we seek His nourishment, not only physical but with spiritual strength. Going from my heart being broken to reveal his love for me to the invitation as poignantly written by Malcolm, “I am the bread of life, break me and eat”.

DSC_0030 My drawing attempts to show empty hands albeit a few crumbs falling, open to accept Christ’s body in bread, broken in the Eucharist and broken in the eating. I have laid Malcolm’s string of pearls broken on the ground because the beauty is in Christ’s offering.

http://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/i-am-the-bread-of-life/

Ordinary Time – Sunday 19th July 2015

IMG_20150719_150258The Wonder of Creation – New Horizons.

With the new, exciting and incredible images coming from New Horizons reaching Pluto, I saw God’s hands sweeping across the Universe against the stars and the midnight blue and rainbow cosmos and say, “this is mine, my doing, this is Me. See this in all its splendour”. God is pleased that we have reached the next part of our journey in the Cosmos, discovering His Creation as if it is still a newborn horizon.

And here on our beautiful Earth amongst the most awe inspiring creation, we gaze upwards into the far depths of the Universe and into the Cosmos looking for the Divine, looking for Christ. Equally, we can lay down in the forest and gaze up the tree from its roots grounded into the soil to the tips of the farthest leaves reaching forever outwards to the very tip of Christ.

I must then put my hands over my heart and breathe in the cosmic air and know that Christ dwells within me. Within me. The Universe sings and whispers to me, “within you”. Christ is the centre and is the Cosmos, He showers us with his starbright love.

This is my New Horizon.

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