in the grace of being free

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If a person were to stop all his outer and inner movements at a given moment in order to see what is acting in him, he would nearly always feel a tendency which has about it something narrow, something heavy, something with a negative aspect that tends to be against, to be egoistic. All that is usually going on unseen. But if he tries to awaken to what is going on in himself, to be sincere, he will be able to witness, in addition to what could be called the “coarse” life in him, another life of another quality–much subtler, much higher, lighter–that is also part of himself. The contact with this other quality of life helps him to have a quieter presence, as deeper vision. And he feels an urge at that moment to be open to a quality of this sort that would have a force that would be a center of gravity. He begins to search for a way to serve what he feels would be his real being. Then he begins to really know that if he lets his attention, his interest, be taken by his automatic tendencies, it deprives him of contact with that other source of life he is searching for. It could be said that there is a continual tendency to sin, in that sense. When these sins are spoken of as deadly, it means that these tendencies–if they are allowed to rule–at every moment deprive the human being of the possibility of turning towards this real life…….Pauline de Dampierre

we have been sweeping through under a big blue umbrella…..may it’s time to see clouds, let in the rain, and dare to seek wonderment……

Time is the measure of things that come to an end, but where time itself ends, eternity begins . . . . In the end, there is no end. The ends of time are near the roots of eternity, and the ends of the Earth touch on the other world or the world behind the world…….Michael Meade

wind under fire

This is not a poem

but a rain-soaked day keeping me inside

with you and you loving me like a storm.

This is not a poem but a record of a hundred mornings

when the sun lifted above the stone hills outside my window.

This is time for boiling water poured into the chipped cup

holding elderflower, hawthorn, mugwort.

This is not a poem but me standing perfectly still on the edge of the lake

in autumn, watching a hundred starlings like prayer flags fluttering.

This is my face buried in May’s first pink peony,

petals just now parting, eyes closed, inhaling.

This is not a poem but the field beyond thought and judgment

and the ways I tear myself apart on too many fine days.

This is the place where clocks no longer matter unless

it is the dusty gold watch which belonged to my grandfather.

This is not a poem but me standing desolate in a parade

of white gravestones, when a single bluebird lands and sings.

This is the bunch of Gerbera daisies you handed to me one foggy

February afternoon, pale yellow like the long-forgotten sun.

This is the first bite of bread after too many hungry days,

this is my grandmother whispering her secrets to me after dusk.

This is not a poem, but me taking off my clothes

and stepping eagerly into the cold mid-December sea.

This is the silence between breaths and in that stillness

this is me saying yes and yes and yes.

…..Christine Valters Paintner

6 thoughts on “in the grace of being free

  1. We speak of narrow mindedness, but isn’t that just the same as the mind held captive by time, creating limits on mindfulness makes time an oxymoron… when we are free from time, we lose the perception of separateness, is mindfulness then purposeful unknowing?

    • ….and when we see it from this perspective, we are less judgmental….bringing our compassion to the minute discretion of our capacity for time’s discernment….interbeingness seeping in…..I’ve been studying embodied mindfulness, and from that perspective, it is indeed, purposeful unknowing….

  2. this is not a poem, but me standing desolate in a parade of white gravestones when a single bluebird lands and sings…….perfect!! reminds me of standing in tears in the field of white crosses above the beach at Normandy….then feeling a breeze lift my hair carrying the smell of the sea, the wave washed sand and peace purchased at great price.

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