Thursday, January 19, 2023

January 19: "Drifting," 'Sup?, Holiness

Mary Oliver drifts . . . 


by:  Mary Oliver

I was enjoying everything:  the rain, the path
     wherever it was taking me, the earth roots
     beginning to stir.
I didn't intend to start thinking about God,
     it just happened.
How God. or the gods, are invisible,
     quite understandable.
But holiness is visible, entirely.
It's wonderful to walk along like that,
     thought not the usual intention to reach an answer
     but merely drifting.
Like clouds that only seem weightless
     but of course are not.
Are really important.
I mean, terribly important.
Not decoration by any means.
By next week the violets will be blooming.
Anyway, this was my delicious walk in the rain.
What was it actually about?

Think about what it is that music is trying to say.
It was something like that.

I have said this before in a blog post:  life would be so much easier if God wasn't invisible.  You could get up in the morning, take out your iPhone, and send God a message:  "'Sup, God?"  And then God would reply, "'Sup, Saint Marty?  Here's what you should do today . . . "  And God would send an itemized list of tasks.  

Of course, it doesn't work like that.  The days of God making personal appearances ended a long time ago.  Instead, you have to watch for holiness, as Oliver says, which is completely visible if you pay attention.  Today, I saw holiness in a text exchange with a friend who is facing some serious health struggles.  Yet, this person maintains a servant's heart, full of empathy, concern, common sense, and humor.  I said in my opening paragraph that God doesn't send text messages.  Well, this morning, God did.

That's what holiness is about these days--God appearing in many forms and shapes.  I didn't really think I was going to meditating on God tonight, but I am.  Like Oliver, I drifted.  Oliver compares such drifting to clouds, which seem weightless and without purpose but really aren't.  You may be surprised to know that an average cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds.  Like clouds, drifting thought is often weighty.  Terribly important.

Pretty soon, I will be leading an Open Mic on Zoom.  It's a monthly tradition started by my friend Helen.  Every third Thursday, she would gather with artist and writer friends and spin stories, read poems, share paintings, and sometimes sing songs.  It was a holy moment every time.  Connections were made, and the veil between the daily and the divine vanished.

Saint Marty's job tonight is very simple:  still his heart, step aside, and let something holy happen.  And when it does, it will be as Oliver describes:  like listening to what music is trying to say.

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