Time to Pause

This is my first post for maybe five months.

It has been a wonderful time to pause, centre and immerse into contemplative practice, private discourse and growth.

Please find below a celebration of a shared experience of pausing last week.

Pausing together.

I sit next to James’ glassy eyed breath

slurring in grief and quiet disconnect to

witness stressed footfalls pass swift his lament

brown staining duvet and cardboard cement

changeless frayed fingering in woollen damp thread

cap churning suchness through fear fuelling dread.

To follow, I swallow guilt filled regret

bus fares, fast food and dead father non-sleep

sick discharge of mother and sore bloated feet

crazings on paving, stunned cracks in shared ground

oozed out un-sparing, unseen yet, profound

re-rememberings of something beyond

so still to relax I sit side by side

still breathing with James, still leaning, we Three

for grace-filled unknowings to let this time be.

 

Camino 2: New daze dawning

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Waking  I have become one of the thirty-two who gather belongings in the dark and move into this new day. I have become a breathing, watching part of The Way, this emerging disparate collective of 10,000 hero’s and shero’s who every month journey towards Santiago and St James.

gloom follows darkness while

memories encroach upon

un-stretched footfalls of this repeating now.

emergent sinews warm within an unfamiliar

familiar sunrise. heart rates beat through

dust tracks of sweat to trickle back and traipse to trail

before these mountainous beauties.

Moved to become, step by step, we move towards that distant place

where Love lays bare its beckoning

where futures burn the residues of mindlessness

where soft blues circulate and commune

to toe and heal past pavement cracks

to haze and soothe in mindfulness

this earth bound cling to far off family bliss

and the half remembered vagrancies

of city centre urbane stress.

‘….so too He fashioned the hero, the poet or orator. The poet cannot do what that the other does, he can only admire, love and rejoice in the hero….for the poet is as it were the hero’s better nature, powerless it may be as a memory is, but also transfigured as a memory is.’ S. Kierkegaard, from preview to ‘Fear and Trembling.’

 

 

Astorga to Rabanal: Camino day one

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Julian Campo (Chelin) of  Rabanal Del Camino

was a rich and successful businessman who became deeply changed by his walk along The Camino de Compostella.

At the age of 50 he left Burgos with seven horses and journeyed to Calcutta where he spent his time, money and energy tending to the sick and the poor alongside Mother Theresa.

When he returned home to Galicia he’d lost so much weight that friends and family didn’t recognise him. This statue sits quietly within the little village of Rabanal de Compostella.

At the age of 54, with 20 kms under my belt and 252 more to go,  I slump slightly beside the granite rock of Julian. I touch his cool forehead  and hope that he may transmit some radical change in me.

Picking up my sticks, I decide to stop shaving and through the slow blink of this first noon day sun, Julian continues to look blankly ahead.

This shadow skinned in the noon day sun

Jan Van Ruusbroec

 

from your 14th century Espousals, please

oh please, plentifully Arouse all my senses

‘In each and every new filled now,’

as this brow of mine re-touches

Mother Earths starry dust

somehow, let me believe that,

‘God Divine,’ is indeed,

‘born again within the very dark and deep of us.’

 

And when I’m done with all now’s

active nothingness

When I lift the navel of contemplation to resit

re-read, re-phrase, to extrapolate upon

more of your Praise onwards

ever onwards from Paragraph 1528

I wonder what it actually means

‘To annihilate all my free will,’ right now, to

‘Re-ignite my burning love, unfurl

this Heart’ to taste the ‘Spirit Storms’ that press above

and beyond my simple rational consciousness. Breathe

 

Oh,

 

words of Word please Breathe in me.

 

Oh,

 

Holy Spirit, Dharmakaya, Living Buddha, Cosmic Christ

Whoever you are, rise higher and as One,

return the call to gently empty this shell-like Body

this shadow skinned in the noon day sun

and then, if Your will is genuine, hear this

humble mumbled soft request to, begin again,

refill, renew Your ever-present interest in all that

moves this anatomically bereft blood and bone

and void filled chest.