March 22, 2014

Aquavit

So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

- John 4:5-15

From Wikipedia:
 The word aquavit is derived from Latin aqua vitae, "water of life." The word whisky is derived from uisge beatha, the Goidelic equivalent of this phrase. Likewise, clear fruit brandy is called "eau de vie" (French for "water of life"). Aquavit is an important part of Scandinavian drinking culture, where it is often drunk during festive gatherings, such as Christmas dinners and weddings. After distillation, it is flavoured with herbs, spices, or fruit oil. Commonly seen flavours are caraway, cardamom, cumin, anise, fennel, and lemon or orange peel.[5] Dill and "grains of paradise" are also used.




If it’s true as you say, O abstruse teacher
That you are the pale straw aquavit that we pour
At Christmas and Easter and all the great feasts

Then you infuse us like caraway and cardamom
Warm us like neat whiskey in November
Tipsy our imaginations to see you even now

Then how crazy was she at the well to dip and draw
When you stood there like a ribbon wrapped bottle
All gift and wonder, no tax or debit required

How crazy are we like grumpy teetotalers
Not to pour a glass and sip with you when
We keep dropping our buckets in empty wells

March 13, 2014

Airstream



Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God." Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?" 
- John 3:1-9


Be born of wind and water said the Teacher in the night
be new and swim and soar in the mystery of God now

so Nick polished his Airstream, took it out on the road
from Palo Duro Canyon to Big Bend and beyond

he deleted entries in his Google calendar, went offline
checked off incomplete tasks on his lists driving free

stopping where ever it seemed the flow was flowing
encountering strangers with deep pools of eyes

from time to time someone on the roadside
needed a tire change or a gallon of gas so he stopped

occasionally he met someone at a Waffle House
who sat alone, struck up a conversation, paid the tab

once he met a woman with a thin three-year old and
gave her a year’s worth of grocery money just like that

then he stopped and stayed a while in Death Valley heat
drank mango iced tea, absorbed desert wisdom like the sun

when he realized the tires were shot, trip was done, he gave
thanks for that day when he listened, trusted, and acted

gave thanks for letting go and for following the invisible wind
for spirit moving him fluid through life like wild water streams

March 7, 2014

Adam and Eve Again


We could gather at that coffee shop you love
and after a currant scone and a second cup
I could say to you: I’ll be Adam, and you can be Eve
and we’ll run naked through the orchard free

We could relish our innocence fresh and unaware
as we plucked berries and sat sunlit, grass on skin
discovering again what our bodies were made for
and why we loved being just ourselves so

I could follow a slick snake down the unbeaten path
and you could stop and listen to his cues and queries
we could follow him to the tree of knowing
and eat and slurp the juice from our lips and chins

Then we would know and know that we know
and we would cover up and blush and hide ourselves
from our true selves, from the holy within and without
we tumble and fall and lose the gate key and walk on

Later, when grace appears and envelops us as love
we give thanks that we failed and know we failed
we celebrate the necessary falling, the loss of naiveté,
the maturity of becoming, the letting go of became

Next morning we rise and walk out fully dressed
we gather at the café, smiling at our hidden nude selves
and I say to you: I’ll be Adam, and you can be Eve
and you nod and sip and off we go again into the day

March 4, 2014

Gracious Ritual of Ashes



Mark me as one who will not outlast the earth
or the melting icebergs or even the Brooklyn Bridge

Mark me as one who will have a short skip and hop
and reach the end of the sidewalk before too long now

Mark me as one who knows well his nanometric life
and sees in this ephemeral existence a hidden holy gift

Mark me as one who sees you with the same gentle eye
and wonders when you will welcome your marking, too

Mark us as ash and dust scattered about by artistic wind
landing on a timeless canvas painting we know not what