a topographical map of our fecund, inner landscape

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I live by a creek, Tinker Creek, in a valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The creeks- Tinker and Carvin’s- are an active mystery, fresh every minute. Theirs is the mystery of the continuous creation and all that providence implies: the uncertainty of vision, the horror of the fixed, the dissolution of the present, the intricacy of beauty, the pressure of fecundity, the elusiveness of the free, and the flawed nature of perfection….Annie Dillard

we are so close to the truth…it lives in us and through the mystery of all things….it is relentless, conscious and cyclical…..full of metaphors, dependent on stories, and branching into humility…it is the heart of soul…..it is who we are…..

What practices help you to experience the fountain flowing within you? What are the ways in which you experience the rise and fall of your creative energies? Do you live in fear that there will not be more inspiration? In this season are you being called to renew yourself or extend your gifts into this world?…………

The 12th century mystic and Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen coined the tern viriditas (literally greenness), by which she meant the greening power of God. Hildegard used the term to refer to the literal reality of the earth’s greening and fecundity, but also to the soul’s greening. The moister and greener a soul is, the more deeply it is connected to its sacred source. Hildegard’s emphasis on greenness symbolizes the inner dynamism of life in all its burgeoning growth, vibrancy, freshness, and fecundity as emanating from the life-creating power of God. It expresses her vision of God as the source, sustainer, and energizer of all life- cosmic, human, angelic, and celestial. The soul knows its health by its own degree of moistness and how it receives this sacred, nourishing water from God……..Christine Valters Paintner

savor the angels moving through

The rain I am in is not like the rain of the cities. It fills the woods with an immense and confused sound. It covers the flat roof of the cabin and porch with insistent and controlled rhythms. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world runs by rhythms. I have not yet learned to recognize, rhythms that are not those of the engineer. I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said Vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows….Thomas Merton

8 thoughts on “a topographical map of our fecund, inner landscape

  1. Merton encapsulates this entire thought in the two words “selling nothing” imagine even as he wrote this he recognized how we are bombarded with the media selling us everything we need and don’t need. It is often too much, I listen to music and audio programs on my iPod whenever I’m in the car.There is very little radio offers to improve our lives. I can hear his rain, I can see it washing away, feel it building new soil that in 10,000 years could be a new layer of shale on the forest floor. He brings back a sense of time, that allows us to understand we are just a photograph in the eons of time … May the rain fill the corners of your day, and the sunshine warm the heart of your soul …

    • I feel compelled to comment here. Even now, we may be the photographs you speak of – but in a thousand years – a photograph of a photograph. A face without name. In that place, might we be a pause to another heart – to one without the imaginings to understand the ways we came?

      • I love the way the iPad chooses my words for me. As I re-read this the word photograph was not what I was typing, but it is what the word suggestion completed the word with. Even reading it now it took a while to recapture the thought; it was something like 100 years is so miniscule in relation to the eons of time, and honestly I cannot recall the intended word … Thank you and blessings for your heart during this holiday pause …

      • the spaciousness you envision here comes through well…..where there is no ordinary and we do not shame ourselves into paying attention….I want that rain, spacious rain….wrap up in eons of time g.f.s….

  2. Love this………. the truth sometimes sits longer than seems reasonable, awaiting us to see. I love the image you chose for this – a reminder of just how close it is – an almost deja’vu, a song we barely hear. It is verse written to our blood, and to the softest folds on the back of our eyelids – a breath we forgot to take. So often, I feel overwhelmed but there are no words to convey the understanding. As I mentioned last week on another post, it is a drowning without fight – a knowing beyond willingness to fear. Sweet the road that runs into our soul, Blue. ~ Love, Bobbie

    • this transcendent and cyclical dissolution or maybe it’s a simple remembrance…..either way it invites us into the beauteous melancholia of our longing….yes, ‘drowning without fight’……these murky waters are best swum together….thanks for being down in the deep Bobbie……

  3. “the greening out of the frozen landscapes in my life.” my version from a poem written years ago.
    Love Hildegarde…….. discovered her in a class on Spirituality at St. Mary’s of the Woods years ago……one of those treasure troves still yielding jewels.

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