Sunday, March 18, 2012

Light52: Week 12

When I'm alone I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
There is no light in a room where there is no sun
and there is no sun if you're not here with me, with me.
From every window unfurls my heart the heart that you have won.
Into me you've poured the light,
the light that you found by the side of the road.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it's time to say goodbye.

When you're far away I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
And of course I know that you're with me, with me.
You, my moon, you are with me.
My sun, you're here with me with me, with me, with me.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I've never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I'll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,

 I'll revive them with you.
I'll go with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
I'll revive them with you.
I'll go with you.

You and me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Light52: Week 11

 Clouds over Lake Michigan

When looking up the sunflower song from my last post, I saw Carey Landry wrote another of my favorite childhood hymns, "I Believe in the Sun."  It always reminds me of Carmen, mom of my good friend Angie, because she has the words in her Tucson kitchen.

Wish I could find a strong source for this, but online I read that the chorus words were found scrawled on a cellar wall where Jews had hidden in Cologne, Germany during WWII. Anyone know a source for that?

I believe in the sun
even when it isn't shining.
I believe in love
even when no one is there.
And I believe in God
even when He is silent.

Light52: Week 10

Like a sunflower
that follows every movement of the sun
So I turn toward You 
to follow You, my God.

In simplicity, fidelity, I follow.
In simplicity, charity, I follow.
In simplicity, honesty, I follow.

Like a sunflower
that follows every movement of the sun
So I turn toward You
to follow You, my God.
First heard on the hills of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at Camp Vista 1984.
Google tells me it was written by Carey Landry & Carol Jean Kinghorn

Light52: Week 9

I'm reading a favorite of mine, Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller, with three friends. Almost all of us have read it before, so we're taking our time and sharing our bit of understanding, like blind men touching an elephant, with each other once a month.

Last time we met, I opened to the chapter on sleep and found these words:

Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness.
Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that light.
Light and darkness are a pair like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.
-Sekito Kisen, "The Identify of Relative and Absolute"

Now I truly feel like a blind man, because I have been using my "one little word" to develop the habit of looking for the light in any situation. When I was a young girl, my favorite hymn at church was "Like a Sunflower" (which will have to be week 10's post) and I loved the image of how a sunflower subtly moves, following the light.

That last line, "the foot before and the foot behind," provides me some understanding, because I know when I start thinking about form while running, suddenly what was so natural a second before becomes awkward. Looking at my feet, thinking about pronation or whether to land on the ball or heel of my foot, can render my feet complete strangers.

For some reason though, a result of genetics or experience, my optimism is hard won. My natural inclination is to see the darkness, to suspect the worst, and I lean toward misanthropy. My favorite old Jesuit at Loyola was Fr. Talkin, who talked about seeing the world not through rose-colored glasses but through Jesus-glasses: seeing the vulnerability in people, their need to be seen/acknowledged/heard/loved, and their desire to do good. [Side memory: one of many ways Brian made me swoon when we were dating was his borrowing of this phrase---he too had taken a scripture class with Talkin, and in a letter he described seeing the world through Deirdre-glasses. What I don't think he realized then was my positive outlook was the result of thick, corrective lenses.]

I imagine Miller's response to this line of thinking. It's the old habit of "trying so hard", and even in my aside above, imagining that my strengths come from without rather than within. Maybe my suspicion wasn't a natural inclination but an overworked muscle. And a story I tell about myself.

Once upon a time this blog was mostly stories about my kids. Light52 is dominating this year. Soon I'll be transitioning to blogging about my photography work. These posts may go private, or perhaps I'll share them since they'll be buried in the archives. Maybe at some point they'll provide some light for another soul.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Light52: Week 8

Source: via Linda on Pinterest

The moon shines brightly above my bed.
Frost glitters the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon.
I lower my head and think of home.

Thoughts on a Still Night
by Li Bai
Tang Dynasty ~ some time around 700 AD

We randomly heard this poem on A Child's Garden of Poetry, which I DVR-ed because it listed Liam Neeson as one of the readers and I'm a bit obsessed with his voice ("Fix that hole in your pocket" is randomly repeated around here, from his reading of The Polar Express and the exquisite why he says "pocket"). He read "When You Are Old" by Yeats, which about did me in.

"But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you
and loved the sorrows of your changing face."

A young girl recited Li Bai's poem in Chinese and English, and it stayed with me. Days later I looked it up and found a yahoo thread asking why it is so famous. Someone named Kevin pointed out how in four short lines so much is communicated.

I feel like I am out in the wilderness a bit myself, surrounded by frost, and a bit homesick, but I want to focus on how bright the moon is.

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