I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away–
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing–
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Burnt Norton (Refrain)
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
Musical Background ~
The Essential Yo-Yo Ma ~ Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake). Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman & Yo-Yo Ma
Music From Jewish Life: I. Prayer - Sol Gabetta & Helene Grimaud - Duo
The Four Quartets ~ Little Gidding ~ V Movement
Faith is nought else but a right understanding, with true belief and sure trust, of our Being: that we are in God, and God is in us: Whom we see not. ~ The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love - Julian of Norwich
Written in the 14th century, Revelations of Divine Love is a powerful work of English mysticism. After falling deathly ill, St. Julian received sixteen different mystical revelations; in this splendid work, she describes and reflects upon those revelations.
Julian of Norwich (c. 8 November 1342 ‚Äì c. 1416) was an English anchoress who is regarded as an important Christian mystic. She is venerated in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. Written around 1395, her work, Revelations of Divine Love, is the first book in the English language known to have been written by a woman.
Grace Warrack's 1901 version of the book, with its "sympathetic informed introduction" and modernised language introduced most early 20th century readers to Julian's writings.
T.S. Eliot ~ The Four Quartets ~ Little Gidding
What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.
SONNET VXIII in honor of our eighteenth wedding anniversary, happy anniversary Joanne.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
SONNET VXIII in honor of our eighteenth wedding anniversary,
happy anniversary Joanne. The other lady in this photo is Hannah
Atkins, one of Joanne‚Äôs best friends, mine too.
W I N D W A R D ~ Poetic Mythos
1 Corinthians 15 (NRSV) ~ The Resurrection of Christ
"LISTEN, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
When my own father died from acute myeloid leukemia in the spring of 2013, we grieved as a family and community. And before then in the fall of 2012 when a premature newborn great nephew struggled for several weeks in his young life, finally being taken up by God in a life that was far too short. In the midst of death, in the fragile frailty of life, we come together as a people of God to celebrate life, a life well lived.
This is what families and communities do, they come together to comfort one another in such trying times. It happens time and again within any community, any family; we grieve for those whom we have lost. In our common humanity, across all families and all communities, all cultures, in the midst of death, we come together as a people to celebrate life.
This past Friday, the Greater Harris County–Houston community mourned the loss of Peace Officer and Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth. Deputy Goforth’s death was a tragic senseless murder of someone who served the greater good, someone who helped to keep the peace. He was a Peacekeeper, a Conservator of the Peace, as are all Peace Officers.
There is an extraordinary honor to be found in serving your country and community and in being a Peace Officer, in keeping the peace. It is a sacrifice for the greater good and from what I have seen and know it is a sacred calling that is answered by many good men and women. People whom, at their very best; unselfishly protect the weak and the innocent, and the sacredness of life.
AS a Peacekeeper, as a son, as a husband and father, Deputy Darren Goforth was such a man; he answered the call. As are all the keepers of God’s peace, who like him, have likewise heard the call and chosen to serve in a spirit of humility. Overwhelmingly, they are people who deserve our respect and support. Because they care, because it requires of them tremendous sacrifice, courage and a compassionate vision to make such a commitment to hearth and home, to their own families, to the community in which they, and we live together.
I am thankful for such caring commitment and compassion. I am thankful for the care given by all those who answer this call, in serving God and country and community. I am thankful for all who serve; I am thankful for people like Deputy Darren Goforth. In this Spirit of Thanksgiving allow me please to offer this humble prayer and blessing from the Book of Common Prayer.
Prayer for Social Service (BCP)
O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to
be ministered unto but to minister: Bless, we beseech thee, all
who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of
others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may
minister in his name to the suffering, the friendless, and the
needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, the
same thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth
with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Saint Julian Press, Inc.
Father: The Rev. Robert Paul Starbuck, M.Div., PhD, Methodist Clergy, Marriage and Family Counselor/Psychotherapist.
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian. with certain Buddhist leanings who values comparative literature and literary dialogues in many forms.
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