Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Five Things on My Mind

I don't, really, spend a lot of time on the way past.  But I do find myself, as October 5 approaches, musing about who that little girl of fifty years ago was, and who she was about to be turned into.  


I'm going on retreat in a couple of weeks.  Off to the silence at Wernersville.   I had to conclude earlier this summer that I couldn't do what I had planned in the way of a retreat in June, but a confluence of factors has made this new time and place irresistible.  


Abraham Joshua Heschel quotes have been popping up all over the place lately.  HT to Inward/Outward for this one:

To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living. It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live.

Sort of a personal challenge for me this October. 


As are the words and art entitled Flare Up Like a Flame, from the Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe.  The whole post is too long to steal, but it's incredible.  I'll try to entice you with this bit:

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

I've had some correspondence lately ~ some of it answered, some not yet ~  which caused me to look up the definition of the word "courage" today.  Many of the definitions contain two parts: "doing something difficult" and "fearlessly." I don't know anyone who manages both, but I am finding that the opportunities for the former are as varied as there are human circumstances.  They usually being with "getting out of bed at some point during the day" as opposed to "fearlessness."


I suppose that these are all fodder for individual posts.

Maybe later in October.


  1. See, the only definition of courage that I can get my mind around says, "courage is doing what you have to do, no matter how scared you are." The spouseman flew combat helicopters in Vietnam and he was the one who taught me that definition.

    Thinking of you as October 5 comes closer, and glad for you that Wernersville is also there...And now am going to check out Flare up Like a Flame.

  2. ... Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living. It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live...

    As you know, I am not a praying person, but this is a truly stunning quote. The "inconceivable surprise of living." Very nice...

  3. There is a quote in "Rachel's Lament" about prayer. I cannot find it on this computer or my jump drive...but I'll look further and post it if I find it. It is quite profound.

  4. Thank you for the link to Flame Up Like a Flame. So beautiful. The quote 'No feeling is final' reminded me of words my spiritual director told me Tuesday (she had learned from her spiritual director years ago) -- feelings are deaf, dumb and blind.

    I'm still mulling that.

    Thank you, Rosa, for the definition of courage.

    Robin, thank you again for your writings. Holding you in prayer.