17 November 2012

WESTERN Boulder Colo.

It’s been awhile and I’d kept it a long time and it still feels like it used to; the steel holds its edge and it’s still easy in my hand; it always was; thanks for restoring it, Scott.
It's the smaller of two sheaf knives. Tom got the bigger. I was younger and smaller, number two son, as my father used to say, and I got the smaller later on and I felt it unfair. I’ve got Tom's knife and I've never really used it and it’ll never be mine, and he’s dead, so….
I was given mine when I was twelve. I was thrilled and I felt worthy and maybe I felt grown up. I used to try to throw it into a tree and that didn't work out to well. I used it to teach myself outdoor cooking and later on indoor kitchen cooking. I've done fifty years, off and on, of that. Tom married and never learned to cook or hunt outdoors. I feel a part of me is restored and I like that and I’m reminded I felt worthy for a first time and it’s been awhile and nothing else is as satisfying. Thanks for restoring it to me.

09 November 2012

Cultivating Sacred Life

 The Word ‘Christian’ is a Poor Adjective got me thinking about my sacred life. I try. I often miss the mark. I often need help. I’ve been blessed for living with motivation and inspiration by cultivating and pondering sacred texts; for example I've a B.A. in the History & Literature of Religion.
And I cultivate my sacred life. I recently hijacked an elder priest (he reminds me of Gandalf; I’ve teased him about this; his hair is snow white and he carries his infirmities with a shillelagh.
“Have you lived a sacred life?”
Hesitating, looking down, then squaring up to me and looking into me, he said,
“Yes. I think I have.”
I believe there's a spiritual life and there'ss a sacred life and no one person, or group of people, may say, claim, or determine who, what, when, where, why, or how a human being’s spiritual and sacred life is formed except the person who's seeking and living it and responding to God’s call.

Well some time later my Gandalf mailed me our BaptismalCovenant (BCP: pg. 304) rewritten in the first-person. He wrote,
A big part of what helps me remain faithful is frequent use of the Baptismal Covenant.
  • I will cultivate a sacred life.
  • I will study spiritual texts, especially Old and New Testament literatures, practice, pray, attend religious services and receive communion as the Christ’s apostles are portrayed as having done.
  • I will resist evil where I find it.
  • When I fall into sin I will turn back to God.
  • I will claim my limitations and I will ask for forgiveness.
  • I will seek and serve the Christ in all persons.
  • I will love and forgive my neighbor as I love and forgive myself.
  • I will proclaim the unseen spiritual world and that the Christ is my sacred window into it.
  • I will seek and strive for justice, peace, and kindness.
  • I will respect the dignity of every person. I will cultivate a sacred life.
I will cultivate a sacred community, a campus-dei, which uses and reflects on our Baptismal Covenant. I will find my help there.

06 November 2012

Taoist Tai Chi - 5

Effortless Action
I don’t think I ever felt more self-conscious, embarrassed really, than when I started set-leading. I’m the leader and the group, large or small, it makes no difference, is taught to watch and follow my action. I was invited and I agreed to feel and carry my embarrassment and to be seen in a manner to which I’m not accustomed. The group intuitively looks to the set leader for modeling and pace and orientation; they do not know my feelings. When my first set-leader experience was complete I felt foolish and depressed. And I felt stronger and refreshed. It was effortless action carrying my embarrassment even though I'm a novice.
I compare it to crew, i.e. rowing, over long distance for a long time. I, we, go along, counting strokes, feeling my breathing to manage it, my oar in the water as I place it in, pull it and move it out, hearing water and seeing it move by and feeling the shell move forward and the motion of my seat moving back with my legs and pulling forward with my oar, then out, my, our, motion in synchronicity, and suddenly I blank out and lose track of all of it and me. I’m being in effortless motion I’m powering.
This I don’t recognize until the afterwards from some variance. I awake. I’m amidst the set or movement or imbalance. Or some rare moment I’m in precious harmony and balance and sound. Or I the set-leader calls, “Single whip.” Wake up! I start again and continue and after a bit of time and motion I’m Being again in effortless action. And again, after a moment, for a time I’m somewhere else. I am my body and I am out of my body. I exist and I do not exist. The phenomena of effortless action is miraculous. I return and I feel foolish and depressed and I feel refreshed and stronger -- every -- time.