Reflections on being lost and being where you belong

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
— JRR Tolkien

Here every bird and fish knew its course. Every tree had its own place upon this earth. Only man had lost his way. ― Margaret Craven

We’re not lost. We’re just headed somewhere different.
― Emily X.R. Pan

We all seek for lost things within us. ― Toba Beta

Remember your name. Do not lose hope —what you seek will be found. ― Neil Gaiman

SONGS about BEING LOST and BEING WHERE YOU BELONG:

BLESSING — Jan Richardson

You hardly knew
how hungry you were
to be gathered in,
to receive the welcome
that invited you to enter
entirely…
Tentative steps
became settling in…
You began to breathe again…
You learned to sing.

But the deal with this blessing
is that it will not leave you alone,
will not let you linger…
this blessing
will ask you to leave,
not because it has tired of you
but because it desires for you
to become the sanctuary
that you have found…

I Want to Thank the Wind Blows — Alli Warren 
Sound of the rain so I knowthere’s constraintsound of  the trainso I know commercehas not come to a standstillnow they raise the barriernow they set it back in place What coats the bottomof  the surface of  the soundwhen the swifts come inwhen the clerks come homewho will bathe the childrenwho will bake the bread when the luff is tightwhen the mainsheetstarts the boat underway whatever you do don’tlet the tongue slipfrom its moorings what’s that song?love lift us up where we belong I ate the pilland the pill was real

I Belong Here   Ray Gonzalez 
There is no act of forgiveness,only the redeeming light onthe shoulders dancing intall weeds, cigarettes goneand the girls slapping free. The tortilla cart burns againstthe wall because Jesus calledmy brother who was acquiredby whistling gangs of menunder the hanging arch. There can be no night withoutthe wind on shoulders exhaustedby games and messages my brotherlost between the darkness andthe bridge into Juarez, Mexico, where no crows caw becausethe buildings are torn andflashlights are narrow intheir beaming stumble,my thoughts the last oneson this side of the river, my sudden happiness hiddenin celestial light without beingappalled at what I see, my earsto the ground listening to weedsoverrun by boys who can’t spelland are waiting for me withoutknowing pilgrims are on the border. Whatever kills them spares methe journey to beg for purityamong unspoken Spanisheveryone fears in their greed.The group doesn’t know it iswhat the river stones teach,though I can’t speak of them because faith is prehistoric andmy brother is pursued by duststorms that erase his footprintsacross the back roads where heloses his language of need.

ON BEING LOST

Lost is a lovely place to find yourself. ― Michael Faudet

Maybe family were the people who came looking for you when you were lost. ― Vikki Wakefield

I’m not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I’m not sure that I want to wake up. ― Gayle Forman

In this world, it is too common for people to search for someone to lose themselves in. But I am already lost. I will look for someone to find myself in. ― C. JoyBell C

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong. ― Masaru Emoto

Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. ― Erol Ozan 

Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring. ― Justina Chen Headley

I realise now that I wanted to disappear. To get so lost that nobody ever found me. To go so far away that I’d never be able to make my way home again. ― Jessica Warman

I Think it is lost…..but nothing is ever lost nor can be lost .
The body sluggish, aged, cold, the ember left from earlier fires
shall duly flame again. ― Walt Whitman 

First I lost my heart. Then I lost my mind. ― Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Slowly, with many lost days, I come back to life. ― Suzanne Collins

Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong anywhere, & it’s gonna take so long for me to get to somewhere, Sometimes I feel so heavy hearted, but I can’t explain cuz I’m so guarded. But that’s a lonely road to travel, and a heavy load to bear. And it’s a long, long way to heaven but I gotta get there
Can you send an angel
Can you send me an angel…to guide me?
― Alicia Keys

APPLY WITHIN — Suzy Kassem 

You once told me
You wanted to find
Yourself in the world –
And I told you to
First apply within,
To discover the world
within you.

You once told me
You wanted to save
The world from all its wars –
And I told you to
First save yourself
From the world,
And all the wars
You put yourself
Through.

Meditations: Risks, Rising & Renewal (Holy Week)

Bread by Helena Minton
The dough rises in the sun,
History of the human race inside it
Orgies, famines, Christianity,
Eras when a man could have his arm
Chopped off for stealing  half a loaf.
I punch it down, knead the dark
Flour unto the light, let it bake,
Then set it on the table beside the knife,
Learning the power,
Cooks have over others, the please
Of saying eat.

The Exodus from Egypt occurs in every human being, in every era, in every year, and in every day. — Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

The Seder nights… tie me with the centuries before me. — Ludwig Fran

from A Short History of Israel, Notes and Glosses By Charles Reznikoff
XI
A hundred generations, yes, a hundred and twenty-five,
had the strength each day
not to eat this and that (unclean!)
not to say this and that,
not to do this and that (unjust!),
and with all this and all that
to go about
as men and Jews
among their enemies
(these are the Pharisees you mocked at, Jesus).
Whatever my grandfathers did or said
for all of their brief lives
still was theirs,
as all of it drops at a moment make the fountain
and all of its leaves a palm.
Each word they spoke and every thought
was heard, each step and every gesture seen,
by God;
their past was still the present and the present
a dread future’s.
But I am private as an animal.

I have eaten whatever I liked,
I have slept as long as I wished,
I have left the highway like a dog
to run into every alley;
now I must learn to fast and to watch.
I shall walk better in these heavy boots
than barefoot.
I will fast for you, Judah,
and be silent for you
and wake in the night because of you;
I will speak for you
in psalms,
and feast because of you
on unleavened bread and herbs.
Bread By Richard Levine
Each night, in a space he’d make
between waking and purpose,
my grandfather donned his one
suit, in our still dark house, and drove
through Brooklyn’s deserted streets
following trolley tracks to the bakery.

There he’d change into white
linen work clothes and cap,
and in the absence of women,
his hands were both loving, well
into dawn and throughout the day—
kneading, rolling out, shaping

each astonishing moment
of yeasty predictability
in that windowless world lit
by slightly swaying naked bulbs,
where the shadows staggered, woozy
with the aromatic warmth of the work.

Then, the suit and drive, again.
At our table, graced by a loaf
that steamed when we sliced it,
softened the butter and leavened
the very air we’d breathe,
he’d count us blessed.

The piece of bread is an ambassador of the cosmos offering nourishment and support … In the Christian tradition … The bread is Jesus. Jesus is not someone, something, that is outside the bread, Jesus is the bread. And with mindfulness, and concentration, you get in touch with Jesus. In Buddhism, we don’t say that, but we say the piece of bread in your hand is the body of the Cosmos. And when you see the sunshine, the cloud, the rain, the earth, everything in the piece of bread, you have seen the bread … A few seconds of mindfulness help you to see the bread as it is, as it is, the body of the Cosmos. Everything is in there. And with that, you put it into your mouth, and you get in touch with the whole Cosmos. You don’t have to think … there’s awareness … there’s getting in touch … there’s a feeling that’s inside. But there is no thinking. — Thich Nhat Hanh

The spiritual task of life is to feed hope. Hope is not something to be found outside of us. It lies in the spiritual life we cultivate within. The whole purpose of wrestling with life is to be transformed into the self we are meant to become, to step out of the confines of our false securities and allow our creating God to go on creating. In us. — Sr. Joan Chittister

Easter By Jill Alexander Essbaum

is my season
of defeat.

Though all
is green

and death
is done,

I feel alone.
As if the stone

rolled off
from the head

of the tomb
is lodged

in the doorframe
of my room,

and everyone
I’ve ever loved

lives happily
just past

my able reach.
And each time

Jesus rises
I’m reminded

of this marble
fact:

they are not
coming back.

Meditations: Sweetness at a cost: syrup from sap, dates from palms, peace from spiritual & political leaders

Date Palm Trinity (excerpt)
— Khaled Mattawa
… Those were my brothers who cowered beneath
the date palm to gather handfuls of fruit,
rubbing each date clean on their sleeves,
chewing softly to savor the taste
as though it were a good omen, and rising
to resume their lives, on their faces
the smiles of those who once were blessed.

 “Anniversaries of War” (excerpt)
— Yehuda Amichai (Translation by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav)

Remember: even the departure to terrible battles
passes by gardens and windows
and children playing, a dog barking.

Remind the fallen fruit
of its leaves and branches,
remind the sharp thorns
how soft and green they were in springtime,
and do not forget,
even a fist
was once an open palm and fingers.

Revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. — Che Guevara

A nonviolent revolution is not a program of seizure of power. It is a program of transformation of relationships, ending in a peaceful transfer of power. — Mahatma Gandhi

They asked Gluskabe “where has our sweet drink gone?” … Gluskabe told them that if they wanted the syrup again that they would have to work hard to get it. — Excerpted from www.firstpeople.us

We must keep these waters for wild rice, these trees for maple syrup, our lakes for fish, and our land and aquifers for all of our relatives – whether they have fins, roots, wings, or paws. — Winona LaDuke

As preacher and teacher, he inverted the quotidian cross, always extolling the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, and the poor. He pointed out how the everyday was holy. Jesus wore the regular fabric of humanity and by wearing it, he redeemed it. — Diana Butler Bass

You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. – Nelson Mandela

Hope wasn’t a cottage industry; it was neither a product that she could manufacture like needlepoint samplers nor a substance she could secrete, in her cautious solitude, like a maple tree producing the essence of syrup. It had to be found in other people, by reaching out, by opening her fortress heart. — Dean Koontz

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. — Winston Churchill

My call for a spiritual revolution is thus not a call for a religious revolution. Nor is it a reference to a way of life that is somehow other-worldly, still less to something magical or mysterious. Rather, it is a call for a radical re-orientation away from our habitual preoccupation with self towards concern for the wider community of beings with whom we are connected, and for conduct which recognizes others’ interests alongside our own. — Dalai Lama

Today, Passover is used as an opportunity to reflect on the things that plague our world, to seek justice for the still-oppressed and even to bring together multi-faiths family and friends under the common banner of universal freedom. — “Passover 2011: The Unleavened Basics,” Huffington Post

The demoralisation born of their servitude was at an end; the ransomed people went forth to a sane and wholesome life, to a life of brave and large ideals. — Morris Joseph, “Passover,” Judaism as Creed and Life

A candle in a glass (excerpt)
— Marge Piercy from Available Light
Grandmother Hannah comes to me at Pesach
and when I am lighting the sabbath candles.
The sweet wine in the cup has her breath….
a little winter no spring can melt.

Abruptly All the Palm Trees
— William Jay Smith
Abruptly all the palm trees rose like parasols,
And sunlight danced, and green to greenness gave.
Birds flew forth and cast like waterfalls
Shadow upon shade.

… We stood, our blood as bright and fringed as shawls
Before the beautiful, progressing leaf.

Abruptly all the palm trees rose like parasols,
And green was the green which green to greenness gave.
Dimension crumbled, Time lay down its walls.
And all the world went wading towards the wave.

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