Wild Geese (excerpt) — Mary Oliver
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Questions to consider about I Am and I Am Bread:
- Who are you in relationship to YWWH or the I Am Who I Am, I Will Be Who I Will Be?
- Who are you when you’re on a journey?
- Who do you want to be?
- Who have you been?
- Who are you right now?
- What are you metaphorically, spiritually, socially, existentially hungry for?
- What are you physically and mentally and emotionally hungry for?
- What hungers or passions keep you balanced? How might they become too extreme or imbalanced?
- And what hungers and passions need to change in your life?
Songs about I Am
- All I Am by Jess Glynne (pop rock)
- I Am by Mary J Blige (pop rock)
- Who I Am by Awolnation (alt rock)
- So Am I by Ava Max (pop)
- I Am by Crowder (Christian ballad)
- The Way I Am by Eminem (rap, note: some cursing)
who are you really?
you are not a name
or a height, or a weight
or a gender
you are not an age
and you are not where you are from
you are your favorite books
and the songs stuck in your head
you are your thoughts
and what you eat for breakfast
on Saturday mornings
you are a thousand things
but everyone chooses
to see the million things
you are not
you are not
where you are from
where you are going
and i’d like
to go there
— Attributed to MK (Mary Kate?)
I Am Meditations
I am all the ages I’ve ever been. ― Anne Lamott
The first question she was asked was What do you do? as if that were enough to define you. Nobody ever asked you who you really were, because that changed. You might be a judge or a mother or a dreamer. You might be a loner or a visionary or a pessimist. You might be the victim, and you might be the bully. You could be the parent, and also the child. You might wound one day and heal the next. ― Jodi Picoult
Feelings are something you have; not something you are. ― Shannon L. Alder
You are not born with beauty, your beauty is created by who you are. Your inner beauty is more important than how people see you on the outside. ― Emily Coussons
I am what I am. A fighter. — Gordon Ramsay
I know that I am what I am. But I am not sure what I am. — Mason Cooley
I am what I am, I’m doing very well in my life, and I’m thankful to God for that. — LL Cool J Only when we face the impossible, and experience the unbearable, do we find out who we truly are. ― Vironika Tugaleva
If you don’t know who you truly are, you’ll never know what you really want. ― Roy T. Bennett
We have this weird thing in the world where you don’t get insulted for what you do, you get insulted for who you are. ― John Green
People are who they are and, try as you might, you cannot make them be what you want them to be. ― Leila Sales
Anne Lamott on Lent
Well, it’s the most profound holiday in the Christian tradition. And I think two things really come to mind. One is something that the great writer Barbara Johnson said, which is that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. And I think that every year the world seems more of a Good Friday world. And it’s excruciating, whether it’s Japan, or Libya, or whether its your own best friends and their children who are sick, which is something that makes no sense when you think about a loving God. But it’s a time when we get to remember that all the stuff that we think makes us of such value, all the time we spend burnishing our surfaces, is really not what God sees. God, he or she, loves us absolutely unconditionally, as is. It’s a come as you are party.
… we come from ashes and return to ashes, and yet there is something, as the poets have often said, that remains standing when we’re gone.
… So in Easter — and Passover too — something that happens is that we stop. This is the ‘dark night of the soul’ stuff that John the Divine writes about; that in that stopping we may fall into an abyss that we have been trying to outrun since we were little children … and the American way, I think, is to trick out the abyss so it’s a little bit nicer. Maybe go to Ikea and get a more festive throw rug. But in Lent, if you are a person of committed spiritual growth, you do stop.
… When I was 38, my best friend, Pammy, died, and we went shopping about two weeks before she died, and she was in a wig and a wheelchair. I was buying a dress for this boyfriend I was trying to impress, and I bought a tighter, shorter dress than I was used to. And I said to her, ‘Do you think this makes my hips look big?’ and she said to me, so calmly, ‘Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.’ … the resonance of that simple statement; when I stop, when I go into contemplation and meditation, when I breathe again and do the sacred action of plopping and hanging my head and being done with my own agenda, I hear that, ‘You don’t have that kind of time,’ you have time only to cultivate presence and authenticity and service, praying against all odds to get your sense of humor back.
— Anne Lamott
Who Am I?
What is to be done, O Moslems? For I do not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling heavens.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsín;
I am not of the kingdom of Irãqain, nor of the country of Khorãsãn.
I am not of this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell;
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwãn.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless;
‘Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I know none other except ‘Yã Hú’ and ‘Yã man Hú.’
I am intoxicated with Love’s cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for ever.
O Shamsi Tabríz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to tell.
Blessing the Body (excerpt) — Jan Richardson
This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is
Holy even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.
Holy in delight.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down
at the hour of our death …
Being a body is a spiritual discipline … living fully and gratefully as a body. — Rowan Williams
Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer, not the cloak. — Rumi