Point of Departure
July 8, 2019
Deer Isle Retreat July 2019
I am readying myself to embark on my two-week retreat on Deer Isle. Today is a rainy dark Monday. I leave this Friday, thus I am deeply engaged in sorting and picking and choosing what I am bringing with me knowing that what I choose will shape the conversation I am in.
Books, articles, files, writings, journals, art supplies, magnetic poetry, articles to create a puja tray, etc. All of it threads in a larger tapestry. This morning I went upstairs, lit a candle and some incense and sat. I took note of the five things I am grateful for in my Gratitude Journal, which then morphed into seven or eight as there is so much I am grate-full for these days!
I picked up Rilke’s Love Letters to God which I have been slowly savoring for the past few months. What I read today caused me to weep in joyous recognition of the journey that I am on:
She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth-
It’s she who drives out the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration
Where the one guest is you.
In the softness of the evening
it’s you she receives.
You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.
This so speaks to the
co-creative pilgrimage that I am on. ‘With each disclosure you (God) encompass
more and she (I) stretches beyond what
limits her, to hold you (God).’ These
next two weeks will be full of richness and undisclosed surprise. Thus, I am
letting go of outcomes and expectations and keeping my spirit empty and
This brings me to re-engage with the wonderful Walter Brueggemann definition of God: …
“God is the map whereby we locate the setting of our life. That God is the water in which we launch our life raft. That God is the real thing from which and toward which we receive our being and identify ourselves. It follows that the kind of God at work in your life will determine the shape and quality and risk at the center of your existence. It matters who God is.”
And from 365 TAO: page 187 ‘Artist’
…their awareness of Tao is not something they have cleverly formulated, nor is it something they possess. Tao comes to them like a gift….the act of receiving and expressing is the same….those who follow Tao dread not feeling Tao….the only thing that counts is feeling Tao in your life and maintaining that feeling as much of the time as possible….
Page 188… ‘Caring’
…those who follow Tao believe in using sixteen attributes on behalf of others: mercy, gentleness, patience, non-attachment, control, skill, joy, spiritual love, humility, reflection, restfulness, seriousness, effort, controlled emotion, magnanimity, and concentration.
This reminds me of the Bodhisattva vow: the dedication of one’s life to reduce the (unnecessary) suffering of all beings.