Wednesday, February 13, 2008

snapshots of spaciousness (sans camera)

"If you don’t plow the earth, it’s going to get so hard nothing grows in it. You just plow the earth of yourself. You just get moving. And even don’t ask exactly what’s going to happen. You allow yourself to move around, and then you will see the benefit." --Ms. Fatemeh Keshavarz

This season of Lent has called me deeper into the need of spaciousness and movement for myself. The theme of holy vessel continues to stir inside me and around me. I am always amazed at how God manifests when I allow myself to be still enough and listen closely. The last two days have been glorious mid-winter days filled with blue skies and crisp air. It has been a much needed respite from the long overcast Seattle days. Yesterday I literally felt hypnotically pulled to get outside and walk toward the Olympic mountains that are offered in full view about a mile from my home. I took my i phone and was able to catch a few shots of spring breaking and snow-capped brilliance in my time out. My walk was narrated by a podcast discussing the poet Rumi, so spiritual images accompanied the visual ones around me.

Today was a very different experience. Again, I strongly felt the desire to be outside and moving my body; this vessel I have been called to pay especial attention to this season. This time, however, I sensed that no outside apparatus should accompany me. No phone. No camera. No i-pod. Just me and my good strong walking shoes. While walking, however, I had an image of Kirsten Dunst in the movie, Elizabethtown, in the scene where she fashions her fingers to take a mental snapshot. It felt really important today to “record” snapshots in my mind even though I was certain they would be forgotten by the time I returned home. That, however, was not the case. Here are a few of the images that met me along my morning sojourn:

A tiny sign upon a fence that said, “Please do not feed Riley. Doctor’s orders.” The sun gleaming on the steeple of a church I had never before noticed. White fruit of the looms flattened in the street. Lavender bikini undies at another spot along the way. (Had someone lost their wash or had the world stripped off its clothes to dance naked in the moonlight?) A “no trespassing” sign attached to a church door. Blue sky. Glistening sun. Tiny chickadees playing in bare tree branches. Red, freshly painted doors. Children playing at the park. People happy to be out in the sunshine. God’s presence everywhere.

This morning I was reminded that it is good to listen. It is good to look at the world around me. It is good to be present. It is good to be a vessel. Where are you being called to empty yourself this season? Where are you being called to be filled? How would you describe your vessel?


Ted Marshall said...

This is a beautifully thoughtful post. I loved the quote you use to begin it. And yes, your little snapshots are very evocative.
My vessel feels a bit sludgy at the moment - as if there's already a sediment of mud in it, not leaving enough room for clear water. Hmmm.

Karen said...

Such a beautiful and inspiring post (again!)--my vessel is being shaken up. I'm getting constant reminders of the joy of living and the beauty surrounding me. Something's a'brewing--I just know it.

Kayce aka lucy said...

tess--i, too, thought many of those snapshots were quite evocative. "sludgy", huh? it makes me think of a snow globe and how things are dispersed when you shake it up a bit. time to "shake" perhaps? or maybe just let things settle down to the bottom.

karen--thank you! so, you may just be a step ahead of tess (i.e. already shaken up :-) i was thinking much the same as you this morning...things almost feel too joyful and beautiful sometimes. can it last? i guess it depends on how we define joy and beauty, huh? i mean there was even something beautiful about smashed underwear in the streets. go figure :-)

Ted Marshall said...

Thinking of vessels, I saw a poem this evening on the way home (they have poetry on London Underground in among the advertisements). So apt. It is by Elizabeth Cook, and this is the kind of vessel I'd like to be:

Give me a bowl, wide
and shallow. Patient
to light as a landscape open
to the whole weight
of a deepening sky.

Give me a bowl which turns
for ever on a curve
so gentle a child
could bear it and beasts
lap fearless at its low rim.

Kayce aka lucy said...

wonderful, tess. thank you for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

Lucy, I loved the post and the fact that you invited us to enjoy the walk with you!!! After reading it today I read from Meditations for Living in Balance by Anne Wilson Schaef
"Study a flower and know God. Watch a child and know God. Feel love in your chest and know God. Rejoice in your sexuality and know God. Experience the comfort in the coming of each new day and know God. Have a brilliant new idea and know God. Solve a problem and know God. It's all quite simple. Don't think too much." I love that you took and walk and knew God. Pretty AH Mazing!! Love, Pamela

Anonymous said...

beautiful mental snapshot, conveys a world of imagery! thanks too for the link to the Rumi interview, I found it very interesting, especially the part about needing to contextualize him within Islamic tradition.

And Tess, that poem is stunning, thanks for sharing the wisdom to be found underground!

Kayce aka lucy said...

pamela--thank you for sharing the quote. i love the interconnectedness with this post and your readings!! awe mazing!

christine--i really like the "speaking of faith" interviews. i have learned so much about other faiths and practices through krista tippett's "conversations"!

Dianna Woolley said...

Lucy, we're weird or somethin' just right brain or left brain or somethin' connected.

When I was writing the post today about being "fully engaged" on the Mind Sieve site, I decided that I would take careful notice of things I would normally miss while flying down the road in a van or walking through the forest....I have a long list.

I check in here tonight and just guess what you posted today?.....yep, it's a funny feeling to be close kin:)

Yolanda said...

I loved this post. I too have done this and it amazes me what we see when we really look.Thanks so much for reminding me.

Dianna Woolley said...

P.S. Checking in regularly on Mind Sieve these last few days is spotty at best. Our internet connection is fairly good but often kicks me off in the middle of trying to respond or post - frustrating. Lest you think we are not enjoying Maui .... we are! Having a fab trip just loving being conect to all of you through your posts.

Warmest Alohas to all,
Sunrise Sister

His Girl Friday said...

very good, Lucy, thanks...for sharing a moment that encouraged me to pause, and consider...

Kayce aka lucy said...

SS--never underestimate that whacky close kin thing. your response(s) made me smile.

yolanda--nice to see you here. thanks for stopping by.

HGF--always wonderful to know that a little encouragement has been offered!

storyteller said...

Hmmm ... reading this reminds me I need to take a walk without Molly again because with her I miss out on so much. Thanks for sharing and giving me food for thought.
Hugs and blessings,