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I was telling my son, who works as a potter, how sad I would feel if a favorite mug of mine broke. He shared how that would excite him because it would create a space to replace the broken item with another piece of useful art and a benchmark for his craftsmanship. It would provide an invitation for creation.

That metaphor translates well into my life. Brokenness is an indication that things aren’t working as well they have before. It signals a need for something more useful. Acknowledging brokenness in my life can create space for creation. As I concede my brokenness, I am free to let go of things that at one time were useful but have been outgrown.

Admitting brokenness is uncomfortable for me. I don’t like having to face the loss that accompanies that admission. It is frightening and painful. Yet, the sooner I embrace my loss, and let go of the broken fragments, the sooner it frees me up to be able to create something new.

Creation never sleeps. It is always occurring. Looking for brokenness in myself could be a full time job. For today, however, I will sip coffee out of my favorite mug, feel the warmth seep into my palms and revel in the pleasure it gives me. I will acknowledge its fragility by not clinging too tight and embrace the creative space when the cup cracks.

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Bike riding last night took on spiritual dimensions, a meditation to be specific. I pressed shuffle on my iPod and headed along familiar paths. The air was chilly, nippy rather than nasty. The wind was at my back, which made the pedaling feel effortless. I turned on to the path by the creek and picked up speed on the downhill. Fallen leaves crackled under my tires and the stream was my companion as it tumbled along beside me.

Shuffle.

I don’t remember what song came before, but the call to meditation came from Brother Marc (Knoffler) with “Calling Elvis”. The triteness of the words made them easy to ignore. It was Brother Marc’s guitar. The riffs called me to let go of the burdens I was carrying, a call to shake off the worries and sadness. As I pedaled to the beat and the guitar notes penetrated my soul, the weight fell away and I felt light and free.

Shuffle.

Brother Marc again, this time joined by Sister Emmylou (Harris). “This is us” , a celebrating and reminiscent look at a couple’s memories of their life together. It made me think of those who have enriched my life. I thought of my wife and the grace she has infused into my life. I gave thanks for the relationships that keep me connected and grounded.

Shuffle

Sister Joni (Mitchell)’s simple piano and voice heralded the song “For Free”. It tells the story of seeing a street musician playing for free on a corner sidewalk. Sister Joni examines her own life and sees how she had moved from purity to payment, and that the trade-off hasn’t fed her soul. She reminded me that the focus of life is to make music, not necessarily to sell it. It stripped my soul down to focus on expressing joy more than seeking external reward.

Shuffle

The meditation concluded with Sister Sarah (Groves) singing “Just showed up for my own life”.  “There are so many ways to hide. There are so many ways not to feel. There are so many ways to deny what is real.  And I just showed up for my own life. I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright!”

The words bloomed in my soul. “The glory of God is man fully alive”.

Getting home it was dark. As I pulled up the drive I felt revitalized and alive. I gave thanks for the random group of musicians who led the meditation to this culmination. The sun had set in the sky, but there was sunrise in my soul.

I can let go of the burdens I carry. I can value the relationships that strengthen me. I can create for the simple joy it brings. I can drop the hindrances that keep me from embracing my life.

The glory of god is man fully alive!

I’m coming alive!