The heart and hearth of things

For MWG

a writing retreat

Fourteen quietly beating hearts – each possessed of a lifetime’s strength and quiet perseverance. How can we not love the courage that mines and ferries the marvellous and extraordinary giftedness that gathers around the reaching, scented, aspiring tree of life?

Ours is to honour and to cherish the spirit that illuminates kind eyes, the interested, generous leaning inwards to charism-in-otherness. Ours is to marvel – and long to reflect – upon the always-surprised joy of finding one’s own heart amongst these fourteen life-sustaining pilgrims.

Acer unfolding in the poet’s garden above the lake. The learned and earthy experience of our guide visibly quickening response in all of us up there on the Mount. Open air glory, up and down and down and up and on to encounter with intimacy inside. Robert Burns meets again the hearth of Wordsworth, and Nepalese earthquake features in poetry beneath his study. Precisely. And as David would have it – serendipitously …

Essence

Yesterday I posted part of Ernesto Cardenal’s translation of Psalm 19 – a hymn to Creation on the grand scale. Today I’ve been reading his 1970 book Love. With what Thomas Merton’s appreciative Preface describes as his ‘lucid and “Franciscan” simplicity’ Cardenal sees Love at the heart of, literally, everything – even when it doesn’t recognise itself. And such a proposition gives rise to pause and contemplation. Really? Love at the heart of everything? Which led me to thoughts about essence – that which Jesus said ought not to be kept hidden beneath a bushel – which led me back to Danna Faulds:

Who you are

Who you are is so much more than what you do. The essence, shining through the heart, soul, and center, the bare and bold truth of you does not lie in your to-do list. You are not just at the surface of your skin, not just the impulse to arrange the muscles of your face into a smile or a frown, not just boundless energy, or bone wearying fatigue. Delve deeper. You are divinity; the vast and open sky of spirit. It’s the light of God, the ember at your core, the passion and the presence, the timeless, deathless essence of you that reaches out and touches me. Who you are transcends fear and turns suffering into liberation. Who you are is love.

Danna Faulds
Go In and In

Essence and remembrance. Keywords – and key people – I’ll be returning to here.