Misericordia is Latin for “mercy,” from misericor, “merciful,” which is in turn derived from misereri, “to pity,” or cor, “heart.” Mercy means compassion, empathy, a heart for someone’s troubles. It’s not something you do- it is something in you, accessed, revealed, or cultivated through use, like a muscle. We find it in the most unlikely places, never where we first look. Something merciful found me over the years, even when I have been mos desperate. Singing is sometimes involved. Singing is breath that is larger than yourself, so it joins you with space, with community, with other realms and our deepest inside places. You are joining your strand to everyone else’s, weaving something with the whole, and this extends the community outward into a force bigger than itself.
Paradoxically, shared silence also creates harmonies. Holy silence is spacious and inviting. You can drink it down. In unfolding, we are enfolded, and there is a melding of spirits, a melding of times, eternal, yesterday morning, the now, the ancient, even as we meet beneath a digital clock on the wall, flipping its numbers, keeping ordinary time in all that timelessness. ~Annie Lamott
did you ever really leave your aching past behind? who is left? who is forgiven?
inquiry for today~ spend a little time considering mercy as the fairy tale ending….the swooping in and fading out to a sweet melody…..
The Sleeping Beauty woke:
The spit began to turn,
The woodmen cleared the brake,
The gardener mowed the lawn.
Woe’s me! And must one kiss
Revoke the silent house, the birdsong wilderness?
As poetry will do, those words took me far beyond themselves, straight through the hedge of thorns, into the secret place. For all its sweet brevity, the question asked in the last two lines is a total revisioning of the story, a subversion of it. The silence, the peace, the magic, gone. Really, it is a grand, deep question the poet asks. I think the story is about that still center: “the silent house, the birdsong wilderness.”
That is the image we retain. The unmoving smoke above the chimney top. The spindle fallen from the motionless hand. The cat asleep near the sleeping mouse. No noise, no bustle, no busyness. Utter peace. It is the secret garden; it is Eden; it is the dream of utter, sunlit safety; it is the changeless kingdom. But at least she had a little while by herself, in the house that was hers, the garden of silence. Too many Beauties never even know there is such a place. ~Ursula K. Le Guin