Pic & Poem of the Week: August 28, 2016

Beside a Road Near Home
Beside a Road Near Home

(Click on picture for larger image)

• • •

The painter Harlan Hubbard said
that he was painting Heaven when
the places he painted merely were
the Campbell or the Trimble County
banks of the Ohio, or farms
and hills where he had worked or roamed:
a house’s gable and roofline
rising from a fold in the hills,
trees bearing snow, two shanty boats
at dawn, immortal light upon
the flowing river in its bends.
And these were Heavenly because
he never saw them clear enough
to satisfy his love, his need
to see them all again, again.

By Wendell Berry
from Leavings: Poems

11 thoughts on “Pic & Poem of the Week: August 28, 2016

  1. beans and corn (soybeans and yellow field corn), you are in the Midwest most likely,; it is almost harvest season!


  2. For all those who follow or explore Richard Rohr’s teachings, in case you missed it, his weekly summary yesterday, Saturday, was followed by a short description of Welcoming Prayer. The concept is not as easily grasped as that of wordless contemplative prayer, but I consider it of great importance. The idea of contemplative prayer as quieting the chattering monkey mind has been around for thousands of years, tho it has been greatly refined in the last fifty or so. But the welcoming prayer as taught by Richard and others, such as Cynthia Bourgeault or David R. Hawkins, is a fairly new concept as far as I know. Whereas contemplative prayer deals with intrusive thoughts, the welcoming prayer deals with intrusive emotions, which I find far more difficult to overcome.

    Richard speaks of grief and anger in particular, but the technique holds for any painful or troublesome emotion such as fear or guilt or inordinate desire or pride, if you can recognize that one. These in the past have often been labeled sins, and the prescription was to fiercely resist them. This sometimes worked on the surface for those with exceptionally strong wills, but welcoming prayer would say that to resist such unwelcome feelings only strengthens them and gives them more power over you. And obviously just giving in to them is not a good idea. Welcoming prayer finds that in first acknowledging the hindrance for what it is, and meeting it in a spirit of love rather than antagonism, it then becomes much easier to release it, let it go, and be rid of it, at least for the time being. Strong emotional wounds and turmoils may require repeated ushering out, but they become weaker with each round, giving a sense of progress and eventual mastery. To resist and repress these feelings can embed them fiercely entrenched for a lifetime, as in post traumatic stress disorder, which does not just affect combat veterans.

    Not exactly connected with today’s poem, but would have been more out of place in yesterday’s ramblings. I mention this for those familiar with Richard Rohr’s teachings in case you missed it. I regard welcoming prayer as a vital tool and technique for today’s growing up church.


  3. It’s not just that we can only know of heavenly things by way of what we know of familiar earthy and earthly things; it’s that heavenly things reside in familiar earthy and earthly things. The kingdom of God is among us, and we are in its midst.

    O, take care!
    What does the deep midnight declare?
    “I was asleep —
    From a deep dream I woke and swear:
    The world is deep,
    Deeper than day had been aware.
    Deep is its woe;
    Joy — deeper yet than agony:
    Woe implores: Go!
    But all joy wants eternity —
    Wants deep, wants deep eternity.”
    Zarathustra’s Roundelay, Friedrich Nietzsche


  4. This has nothing to do with this day’s post, but when I click on “Write to Chaplain Mike” I am directed to a blank page. But if I click on “Donate”…well, you know the result! Is the link broken?


  5. Thanks ChrisS. The picture, poem and your response came together for me while having coffee in the shade on my deck. God’s created beauty in the woods of my own backyard just jumped out at me.


  6. Funny how much spirituality is so physical. I remember a time many years ago when I was loosing my spiritual moorings that I determined in a sense to “fall away” or “backslide” by becoming rooted. I needed to feel my feet firmly attached to the earth. I needed to start from clay and work my up. Noticing what is right in front of my face is a good start.


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