Over-Soul, poets, and awkward school dances

It is an overcast morning that reminds me of my year in Pennsylvania some time ago.  I am looking forward to the return of my Florida sunshine.  Just returned from breakfast with a good friend, and I am mindful of the joy of sharing our journey with kindred souls.  I've found such souls in unexpected places.  Three thoughts on this day, as has become customary:


1. I have been mulling over Emerson's short essay on the "Over-Soul."  It is remarkable to re-conceive God (as you may wish to name him or her, or not) and to engage in the process of stripping back and closely inspecting the essence that has historically come with ones own spiritual formation.  Finding of God and of the self again.  That we call the process "formation" in some settings is even in itself remarkable.  The great questions evolve: "who is the vessel, and who and what is the potter?" 


2. Rilke has been a good companion in this season.  I ran across comments of Dietrich Bonhoeffer during his imprisonment that Rilke left him cold at the time.  Acceptance that different voices find us at different moments, but honest surprise.  A certain awareness is required for me to receive Rilke and other poetry right now.  It varies in hours and days.  Also making the acquaintance of Rumi and Blake.  I resonate with Thomas Merton's observation to novitiates that the poet today may fill the role of the monk of old.


3. Constant change as the only true constant.  I'll leave you with a piece of writing from recent months:


old wooden floor


one of the clearest memories
of my boyhood
is of an Indiana gymnasium
as a first grader


where an otherwise unremarkable dance was had
and seemingly everyone
could let go in a way
that I could not


they danced


and I held on tight
did what I could do
walking the perimeter
watching from the edge


and it was only years later
that I could let go and dance
and even then only with the help
of Jack
or Jose
or some other or another


I let go now
with my kids, when I can
usually after dishes
forgetting the serious man
I think I must be


we dance and twist and yell and laugh
if only I'd do it more


I'd like to help that boy let go in that Indiana schoolhouse
grab his hand, pull him out there
make a fool of myself, make him laugh


perhaps he'd say the same of me


but maybe the truth is
he showed up
late
but showed up to dance with all his soul, nonetheless

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