Water as part of our origin story, as element of chaos, danger, and destruction, and places of crossing and transition

Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere. — Hakim Sinai, Sufi poet

They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming. ― Hermann Hesse

All water is holy water. ― Rajiv Joseph

No water, no life. No blue, no green. – Sylvia Earle 

… again and again a new land edge emerges a new people emerges where race and class and death and life and water and tears and loss and life and death destruction and life and tears compassion and loss and a fire stolen bus rumbles toward you all directions wherever you are alive still
— Juan Felipe Herrera

  “The Water said to the dirty one, “Come here.” The dirty one said, “I am too ashamed.” The water replied, “How will your shame be washed away without me?”
— attributed to Rumi

SONGS about WATER:

Water Resources:


Water Themes in Scripture:


Mythology of Water:

Water —  Ralph Waldo Emerson
The water understands Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.


The Water Diviner— Dannie Abse  
Late, I have come to a parched land
doubting my gift, if gift I have,
the inspiration of water spilt,
swallowed in the sand.  
To hear once more water trickle,
to stand in a stretch of silence
the divining pen twisting in the hand:
sign of depths alluvial.  
Water owns no permanent shape,
sags, is most itself descending;
now, under the shadow of the idol,
dry mouth and dry landscape.  
No rain falls with a refreshing sound
to settle tubular in a well, elliptical in a bowl.
No grape lusciously moulds it round.  
Clouds have no constant resemblance to anything,
blown by a hot wind, flying mirages;
the blue background, light constructions of chance.  
To hold back chaos
I transformed amorphous mass—and fire and cloud—
so that the agèd gods
might dance and golden structures form.  
I should have built, plain brick on brick, a water tower.
The sun flies on arid wastes, barren hells
too warm and me with a hazel stick!  
Rivulets vanished in the dust long ago,
great compositions vaporized,
salt on the tongue so thick that drinking, still I thirst.  
Repeated desert, recurring drought,
sometimes hearing water trickle, sometimes not,
I, by doubting first, believe; believing, doubt.  

WATER REFLECTIONS

Water is the driving force of all nature. — Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. — Lao Tzu 

We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one. — Jacques Yves Cousteau

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans. — Kahlil Gibran

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. – Heraclitus

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. — Isak Dinesen

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. — W. H. Auden 

A drop of water, if it could write out its own history, would explain the universe to us. – Lucy Larcom

Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. – Luna Leopold

Water is the mother of the vine, the nurse and fountain of fecundity, the adorner and refresher of the world. – Charles Mackay

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Water is the most perfect traveller because when it travels it becomes the path itself! ― Mehmet Murat ildan

I believe that water is the closest thing to a god we have here on Earth. We are in awe of its power and majestic beauty. We are drawn to it as if it’s a magical, healing force. We gestate in water, are made of water, and need to drink water to live. We are living in water.― Alex Z. Moores

Water sustains all.– Thales of Miletus

To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together. —Barry Lopez

Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong. – Lau Tzu

Water Water Water Wind Water
Juan Felipe Herrera

for New Orleans and the people of the Gulf Coast

water water water wind water
across the land shape of a torn heart
new orleans waves come louisiana the waves come
alabama wind calls alabama
and the roofs blow across red clouds
inside the divine spiral there is a voice
inside the voice there is light water wind fire smoke
the bodies float and rise  
kind flames bow down and
move across the skies
never seen blackish red bluish bruised
water rises houses fall
the child the elders the mothers underwater
who will live who will rise
the windows fill with the howling
where is the transfusion
where is the lamp
who who in the wet night jagged in the oil  
waves come the lakes loosen their sultry shape
it is the shape of a lost hand a wing
broken casinos in biloxi
become carnations across the sands
and the woman in the wheelchair
descends her last breath
a rose in the razor rain uptown on mansion hill
even the million dollar house bows
in the negative shade
someone is afloat
a family dissolves the nation disappears
neighborhoods fade across lost streets
the police dressed in newspapers flutter
toward nothingness moons who goes there  
under our floors filtered wooden stars
towels and glass gasoline coffins
the skin of trees and jalopy tires
fish bebop dead from the zoo
the dogs half drag
ward number nine
miss Symphony Spikes and mrs. Hardy Johnson
the new plankton new algae
of the nameless stroll in the dark
ask the next question about kindness
then there is a bus a taxi a hearse a helicopter a rescue team
a tiny tribe of nine year olds
separating the waters the oils and ashes
hear the song of splinters and blood
tree sap machine oil and old jazz trumpeters z’s and x’s
raffia skirts and jujube hats and
a father man holds the hand of his lover
saying take care of the children
let me go now let me stumble
stumble nowhere
drink this earth liquor
going in petals  
stadiums and looters celebrities cameras cases more water cases
again and again a new land edge emerges
a new people emerges where race and class
and death and life and water and tears and loss and life
and death destruction and life and tears
compassion and loss and a fire stolen bus rumbles
toward you all directions
wherever you are alive still

Reflections, music, poems & prayers about the work of peace in observance of MLK Weekend & pending 2021 presidential inauguration.

PRAYER of MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

God grant that we wage the struggle with dignity and discipline. May all who suffer oppression in this world reject the self-defeating method of retaliatory violence and choose the method that seeks to redeem. Amen.

Music about peace & advocacy:


Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love.
— Leonard Cohen

Prayer — Black Elk

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.
All things belong to you — the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other.
You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy.
Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.
Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice.
At the center of the sacred hoop
You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
With running eyes I must say
The tree has never bloomed
Here I stand, and the tree is withered.
Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives.
Nourish it then
That it may leaf
And bloom
And fill with singing birds!
Hear me, that the people may once again
Find the good road
And the shielding tree.

DOVE as SYMBOL of PEACE

We must combine the toughness of the serpent and the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart. ― Martin Luther King, Jr.

When angels visit us, we do not hear the rustle of wings, nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts. — Mary Baker Eddy
 
  
Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished, by millions of solitary individuals whose … works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. — Albert Camus

The more bombers the less room for doves of peace. — Nikita Khrushchev

I had a dove and the sweet dove died; And I have thought it died of grieving: O, what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied, With a silken thread of my own hands’ weaving. — John Keats

I say love, and the world populates itself with doves. — Pablo Neruda

A Brave and Startling Truth
— Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

GANDHI’S PRAYER FOR PEACE
I offer you peace
I offer you love
I offer you friendship
I see your beauty
I hear your need
I feel your feelings
My wisdom flows from the highest source
I salute that source in you
Let us work together
For unity and peace.

MORE PRAYERS by MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Dearest Jesus, come and sit with us today. Show us the lies that are still embedded in the soul of America’s consciousness. Unmask the untruths we have made our best friends. For they seek our destruction. And we are being destroyed, Lord. Reveal the ways the lies have distorted and destroyed our relationships. They break your shalom . . . daily. Jesus, give us courage to embrace the truth about ourselves and you and our world. Truth: We are all made in your image. Truth: You are God; we are not. You are God; money is not. You are God; jails, bombs and bullets are not. And Jesus, give us faith to believe: Redemption of people, relationships, communities and whole nations is possible! Give us faith enough to renounce the lies and tear down the walls that separate us with our hands, with our feet, and with our votes! Amen.

Oh God, we thank Thee for the creative insights in the universe. We thank Thee for the lives of great saints and prophets in the past, who have revealed to us that we can stand up amid the problems and difficulties and trials of life and not give in. We thank Thee for our forebears, who’ve given us something in the midst of the darkness of exploitation and oppression to keep going. And grant that we will go on with the proper faith and the proper determination of will, so that we will be able to make a creative contribution to this world and in our lives. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.

WORK of PEACE

Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways. — Dalai Lama XIV

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

If you want to end the war then Instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers. — Malala Yousafzai

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. — Victor Frankl

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
—  John F. Kennedy

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. —Albert Einstein

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. — Nelson Mandela

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. — Robert F. Kennedy

We aren’t passengers on Spaceship Earth. We’re the crew. We aren’t residents on this planet. We’re citizens. The difference in both cases is responsibility. — Apollo Astronaut Rusty Schweickart

… I am fully committed to the oneness of humanity. If we share these common feelings, then we will have no ground for violence or war. It’s difficult but possible to achieve, through education, not through prayer. I met someone who asked me, please pray. I said, I am a Buddhist, I have a daily practice of prayer but I do not believe prayer brings a peaceful world. We can keep praying for a thousand years and nothing will happen. We should be realistic. If you have the opportunity to meet the Buddha or Jesus Christ, ask them to bring peace to this world and they will certainly ask you, who creates violence? If god created violence, then yes, it’s relevant to appeal to god. I am certain that Buddha and Jesus Christ would tell us, you have created the problem, so it’s your responsibility to solve it. Work for peace, the easy thing to do is pray. — Dalai Lama

Daily Advent Devotional: Day 19 – Thurs, Dec 17

Joy may find release in the way you express yourself. Creative outlets permit you to liberate a wellspring of joy.        
Singing and music, for instance, light up many parts of the brain. They allow a person to access deeply-embedded emotional states, memories, and experiences. Other expressive arts also create paths toward joy. Almost every mention of joy within scripture is connected to the act of singing, dancing, or otherwise expressing joy dynamically. — Rev Gail

Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. — Psalm 47:1

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair… — Susan Polis Schutz

The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it. ― Jaggi Vasudev

Scatter joy! ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. — Albert Einstein

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. —Helen Keller

Just follow your joy. Always. I think that if you do that, life will take you on the course that it’s meant to take you. —Jonathan Groff

Sun, Dec 6: Peace (Advent Day 8)

WEEK of PEACE

Sun, Dec 6 – DAY 8

Peace becomes the focus of this week. Peace has many dimensions.

We cultivate an inner peace that is rooted in calm and self-awareness. It grows from contemplative practices, from giving time and attention to the spiritual, emotional, and psychological wellbeing of oneself plus caring for the body.

Peace also has a presence in home settings and intimate relationships. How do we care for each other, communicate and foster connection that are sustainable and equitable for everyone involved? Do we listen to each other? Do we recognize each other’s needs and desires? Honor each other’s intrinsic value and dignity?

Finally, peace has tangible shape in our community. It occurs in civic, cultural, economic, political and social strata. What does societal peace look like? Actually, peace isn’t the lack of conflict and engagement. Rather it promotes an environment that permits creative engagement to grow and change so that resources, rights, and privileges become available to all constituent members.

Peace permeates — or reveals its absence — in all of those places: heart, soul, mind and body of individuals, within our relationships, and externally in our larger local and global context. — Rev Gail

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. — Isaiah 26:3

Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ — Luke 10:5

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job. —Wayne Dyer

Sun, Nov 22 Gratitude Reflection

Give thanks for what is old. Appreciate what has matured and seasoned. Take notice of lives and perspectives made venerable through insight and experience.

Focus on an object, an artifact, whose purpose has become obscure or obsolete, but which is beautiful for its own sake, as a work of engineering and art. Appreciate an antique for its vintage status, for its rarity, for its implicit value. Get to know the history of what is old. Tell that story. Learn from it.

After all, what is old has endured. Shown persistent and resilience. Staying power. Has existed or lived for long periods of time.

On the other hand, be willing to part with what is old, and must be completed or set aside. Sometimes a belonging, an object or unstrument, a place or institution, no longer has function or relevance, and becomes an emotional, psychological, or physical burden. In the letting go, give thanks for what this item, location or relationship formerly contributed to your life. Acknowledge its significance, and honor it, and then lay it to rest. Say goodbye.

Aging has its own grace. It comes with changes, but also forms of liberation. The cares and concerns of youth, driven by the desire to create and generate, to accomplish and achieve, have transformed. With age comes curiosity. As we become ‘old’ we also embrace our capacity to adapt and learn.

The second half of human life requires a sense of purpose and passion, just like the first half. People continue to make meaning, but may do so in different ways.

Give thanks for what is old. — Rev Gail

You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord. — Leviticus 19:32

I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. 10 You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. 11 I will place my dwelling in your midst … — Leviticus 26:9-11

He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age … — Ruth 4:15a

Thus says the Lord:
I am going to restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob,
    and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city shall be rebuilt upon its mound,
    and the citadel set on its rightful site.
Out of them shall come thanksgiving,
    and the sound of merrymakers.
I will make them many, and they shall not be few;
    I will make them honored,
and they shall not be disdained.
 Their children shall be as of old,
    their congregation shall be established before me…
—    Jeremiah 30:18-20

Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought. — Matsuo Basho

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. — Ralph Waldo Emerson


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