Listen to the Music March 26, 2020
Woyaya. Art Garfunkel
Click on the link, to listen to the music….
I am naturally introspective and an introvert.
Working from home is not overly difficult for me.
My thoughts move more toward those reliant on the world to hear them and care for them and be present to ongoing needs and concerns.
The range is vast.
A multiplex of needs.
My inbox fills with not-for-profits continuing daily to care for and address the most vulnerable.
Such work, especially in the midst of uncertainty, is humbling.
I am proud of our world.
I believe we are all doing the best we can. Trying to navigate with little direction.
Does anyone know where we are going?
I do not know why and I cannot explain it, but I have faith in our world.
Faith in the oneness that has fashioned us with a multitude of colour and texture and fabric.
Faith that this tapestry of green and blue, wildness and order coexist in a trinitarian dance of completeness and imagination.
Completeness that greets us in a new dawn. In a mended heart.
In the vulnerability of our own lives.
Imagination that is always an invitation to the unknown, creative and possible.
All founded in respectful unity.
This story lives inside us. The dance that created this story is our story.
Do we need to know where we are going?
I don’t think so. At any time.
We are learning to be different together. In an inescapable way.
When we come out from this time of isolation, introspection, growth and uncertainty, things will be different. Still we will seek the familiar and many patterns will continue. But there will still be significant change. Possibly quiet at first and then gradually growing into something that takes hold and evolves us further into our personal and communal awareness.
Where consciousness moves with honesty and compassion.
I see that vision in my grandchild’s eyes.
It has been there since he was born.
Hope and possibility are everywhere.
Remember it is often in the silent places and smallest of things that this is revealed.
Listen to the Music – March 25, 2020
I’ll get by. Avi Kaplan.
Click on the link, to listen to the music….
I love the forest. It has always felt like home to me. In every forest I have lived near or in, there has been a rock that I would sit on and I would listen and feel free.
In this place, through many seasons I heard wind and bird song. Trees speaking in hushed tones, scurrying creatures and the heart song of Mother Earth.
The invitation the natural world offers is ancient.
We hear and experience things that speak deeply to us.
It is both ephemeral and timeless.
An energy of livingness that resonates into our depth.
A place to lay burdens and pick up insight.
Can this time of both quiet and desperation take us into unknown places that reveal truths of liberation and affirmation?
As life around changes daily and we seek comfort, answers, a new dawn for humanity, will we be led to the liberating and affirming love that is always seeking us?
In the forest there is no judgement or expectation.
Can we offer this out to neighbours and family?
To those who have hurt us and turned away from us?
Can we forgive our world for the enormity of suffering we as a collective are responsible for?
Of course we can. Because the forest is life and all life is God and God is everything. Forgiveness is natural. Acceptance, unquestioning.
When we lay down our burdens God scoops them up and carries them with us until we are ready to release them. And then, insight.
This can happen to each of us.
It is astounding.
Difficult and often challenging, but well worth the struggle.
Embrace your aloneness.
Release old burdens.
Let this time change you.
Trust you are becoming everything you were meant to be.
And forgive yourself, for everything.
Listen to the Music – March 24, 2020
Yo-Yo Ma plays Songs of Comfort. Dvorak. “Going Home”
Click on the link, to listen to the music….
Hope at All Times
It is central in the biblical tradition that God’s love for his people should not be forgotten. It should remain with us in the present. When everything is dark, when we are surrounded by despairing voices,when we do not see any exits, then we can find salvation in a remembered love, a love that is not simply a wistful recollection of a bygone past, but a living force that sustains us in the present.Through memory, love transcends the limits of time and offers hope at any moment of our lives.
Henri’s words, Yo-Yo’s cello.
Are we being called here?
Is here the home of all homes?
The one place waiting for our arrival?
The space where God is waiting?
I think so. And I believe that is what we are being called into now.
The invitation to go home. It is where we inherently live.
But we have forgotten. Perhaps not always, but often.
Something feels deeply resonating in the cello as it plays.
As if poetry and music and soul combined, and this was its sound.
I am always looking for the way home. The place I was before I was here
and where I will be when I leave.
This is a way station. Temporary. A place in between.
Alive and real, painfully tender and deeply creative. But still, temporary.
When I feel one with God, I know I am in my true home.
The sense of all life present and departed swirls around inside me and I feel complete.
I ache for it when it goes. But I know now, it will always return.
Let’s realize that now we have an opportunity to shed the miasma of materialism that has consumed so much of our world. Let’s go home.
I have listened to this piece of music over and over again.
Each time is an invitation.
Each time I hear holiness and the chance once again to go home.
March 23, 2020
Playing for change. Listen to the music.
It is everywhere –
Police serenading in the streets of Majorca.
Songs pouring from the balconies of Italy.
A choir of Sofa singers in the UK.
Bands and artists live steaming.
People on their porches playing songs for one another.
Love through music.
Healing through music.
Community through music.
Music is bringing us more together than anything else.
Flowing from a deep place where music is Experienced, Created, Formed.
Everything responds to music.
It is the language of the Universe!
Music is woven into us through Spirit, Connection and DNA.
And here we are, embracing it when most of us are
frightened, alone and confused.
I guess that’s the point.
Music goes past everything tangible and lands in our symbiosis.
Our dance with the Sacred. A place where the mystery of the eternal rivers.
Music through love.
Every day, connect to music.
Something different, something familiar.
Something that resonates.
Listen to the music.
It is our conversation with Great-spirit God.
Click on the link, to listen to the music….
March 20, 2020
Evening in the Spring Equinox
The late evening is so quiet. Everyone has slipped inside their lives. I walk with dogs, Meera and Puck and we see small lights burst through the darkness. People are home. Waiting, hoping, playing, worrying. The energy has changed. But it is not one of despair, it is something different.
A moment of quiet.
A time of thoughtfulness.
Yes, there is fear and uncertainty.
But we are together in all of that.
This is different.
The world has come into its time of finding its true self, and so have we.
I believe most of us will.
Thank-you great creating spirit God for walking with us into this uncertainty.
We may be isolated and scared and unsure of what tomorrow brings, but we feel, somewhere inside us, that you have prepared us for this and are at our side. No matter what.
We can be, will be, better.
Compassion and kindness are already taking hold, even in the darkest places.
Anxiety is high, but to be expected when life changes so drastically so quickly.
It is not something to run or hide from. It is a part of us. God knows this and holds us here.
We certainly are an unusual species.
Sometimes I just throw my hands up in the air and shake my head.
But what I have watched unveil over the past few weeks is astounding.
People really do care for one another. Friends and strangers alike.
Distance does not separate us.
Yes, there are pockets of hate and ignorance, that has always been.
But I believe truth and love and mercy and deep sweet kindness will clear the way, even in the most cluttered places.
All my beautiful animals sleep now.
The soft fire light from our little plug-in stove comforts.
As hard as it is, I choose to feel everything and sometimes this overwhelms me, but it is my truth and I want to live from this place.
Because it is in that place I know and feel all of you.
March 19, 2020
Body, Mind & Spirit
Ways to be centered in Creating God.
- Take intentional chunks of time away from news and communication devices
- Go outside if you can and breathe in the coming spring air
- Listen to your body. Rest and sleep as needed
- Practice/learn: Body stretching. Yoga. Dancing. (Use whatever parts of your body are able. This can be done standing, sitting and lying down)
- Listen to music
- Laugh whenever you can
- Contemplative prayer: being quiet in mind and listening
- Sharing and preparing food: Table fellowship with yourself or others
- Share communion with someone or yourself
- Painting. Writing/journaling. Drawing. Colouring. Sculpting.
- Spending time with animals/nature
While participating in any of these activities or in whatever you are doing, be mindful of the moment and engage.
God is always waiting to join us.
Share with me and others ways you are centering yourself in God.
March 18, 2020
Jason Mraz – Love Is Still The Answer (Official Video)
Grow in love.
This is a daily meditation I read and resonate with.
Sign up to receive it if you feel called too.
March 17, 2020
We are waiting and watching for a new dawn.
To see what will come to our world in the midst of the unknown.
Desperate. Hopeful. Connected. Distanced. Together.
And still, birds and little furry creatures continue at feeders.
Snow melts and small green things make their way through cold and snow and softening earth.
Our Spring is almost here.
Creation is groaning and so are we.
Yet I watch and listen and hear so much kindness and hope and possibility arising through voices from balconies and homes, through phones, FaceTime, YouTube and all manner of communication.
We are a crisis people.
Stepping up when things are at their darkest and need is acute.
Still, we long for mindful presence and the ability to simply breathe into the moment and feel the calm of the holy move through us.
There must be a balance here for we are also a seeking people.
Not yet arrived, but steadfast on the journey.
I know it does not always appear like we have gotten very far, but we have.
We are closer, to everything. More connected.
Seeing each other in new light with greater acceptance and a will toward inclusion.
There is tenderness in our world. I have seen it and experienced it. Even in darkness.
We are becoming more like the trees and birds and sky and rivers, because we have to.
Because it is our inherent truth. Our holy truth. We, all life, has been formed in God’s image.
We are becoming because we already are.
This is our sacred talk. Body, heart and mind as one.
There is no real separation, just a time of evolving into this deep truth.
In this time of so much fear and anxiety, the world is growing closer.
Unity is at our door step and we will be changed.
I listen to our Prime Minister close our borders and encourage us to stay home.
I swell with concern, but I am also proud of how so many of us are, without thought or reason, caring deeply for each other.
And then I pause…watching my dog Meera play with her red Kong.
Know the birds outside my window just want seed and a place to begin new life and that green shoots simply want sun and rain and the chance to offer fragrance and food to whatever passes their way.
There is beauty here and there is beauty in us.
If you remember anything, remember this, we, like all life have been created in God’s image.
Think deeply on this.
Let’s all try and listen for this. Listen to the still, ever so quiet voice inside. Listen to each other.
This is a new journey for us as a Community of Faith.
We have just met.
You do not know me, but we are connected now, perhaps differently than imagined.
Let your heart go deep when you,
And then, new friends breathe and carry on with whatever your work is, whatever you feel called to and whoever needs your care.
And remember, please, care for and be extra gentle on yourself.
Invitation to Prayer – March 17, 2020
I invite you to join me with a daily time of prayer.
I will be entering into this at 12 noon.
Our hearts and minds joined together sends out an energy which impacts the whole world community and definitely impacts us personally.
There is no distance or time or space in the realm of God’s creating spirit.
Breath prayer is one way we can be present to the holy.
Simply find a word or sentence which has meaning for you.
Breathe it in, then out.
Love in, love out.
God with us.
Spirit of life.
If you have children, invite them into this.
Let them have fun and play with words and their quiet self.
Also, if you have animals, gather them close. They love this! (most of them…)
Whatever calls you into quiet and connects you to your deeper self.
Experiment with it.
It helps to have one special place for prayer, if possible.
The amount of time is less important than the intention.
Just be as comfortable in this as you can and if you cannot be comfortable, that is okay.
Don’t force it or put expectations on yourself.
It is the intention that matters.
That is all the God is waiting for. For you to reach out.
The Holy One is always waiting for us.
We only need to acknowledge.
And if 12 noon does not work, just go with your own schedule.
Because we are doing this, we have engaged together and our now making a difference for ourselves and all life.
I will be setting an alarm on my phone for reminding.
If you have any questions or concerns, let me know.
Rev. Patti Armstrong
Minister, St. Mark’s United Church
email firstname.lastname@example.org or video chat