Memories of chewing the cud

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Pipe in hand

There was once an old man lived on Martyrs
Bay who, pipe in hand, told of a foot tall
soul whose hair was green, and – many a long
year since – skittering about the Old Nunnery
garden, he had seen

quiet as a mouse and quite inoffensive, she
whispered in human ears: ‘I’m come from a
schlemaig just West of the highest mountain on
Mars by way of light years, aeons, suns and moons
and stars

and I whisper a missive from Mother
who sent me: though legend and myth
may sometimes purport otherwise, nothing
in the Universe is ever wholly ruined – for
every atom retains

potential, giftedness and grace, ever cheered
anew by Wisdom’s breeze across its face: so on this
rock though your roof be blown off and you’ve
neither window pane nor door, allow the little
one from a Martian schlemaig a paean to more –

for you came here to learn that not only is She
our family name, but Wisdom, dear taller siblings,
is eternally ours, and Her Source, the Same.’

And I honour the old man on Martyrs Bay sand, who
content with tobacco and pipe in his hand, speaks
gently even now of a skittering he had seen, and of
whispers shared with a delightful pint-sized sprite
with hair of Iona green

SRM

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Words and community

We begin life in community from the time of our earliest awareness of family members and our chosen friends. It’s a special joy to watch grandchildren begin to sense wider belonging, and celebrate it.

For my part, continuing contact with innumerable people I’ve encountered across a lifetime, some of whom I actually meet only rarely, is one of life’s richest gifts. Handwritten letters are treasures. I can still ‘see’ some such letters that passed into history years ago, and often something as simple as a distinctive hand restores huge swathes of detail and story to my mind one might have thought long forgotten.

Always something of a daydreamer in my schooldays (and since!) I wasn’t overly keen on learning penmanship and writing exercises. How glad I am today for those who persevered in teaching me the joys of the written word. I cannot imagine life, or story, without them.

Silence and story

Remember on this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memories. This is how people care for themselves.

Barry López
Crow and Weasel

A prayer I love speaks of echoing the silent music of God’s praise.

I came to love the prayer because I loved silent music first. In the ‘spaces between the notes’ I train my ear to appreciate an entire orchestra of story. Silence teaches me to live as a social being. I am not, we are not, here alone.