Kenosis

There are as many galaxies as there are stars
in the Milky Way
Millions upon millions upon millions
Points of light
Beautiful chaos
Emanating heat,
Burning
Sprinkling organic molecules like fairy dust throughout the universe
And giving us oxygen and hydrogen to breathe
Nitrogen to build
Carbon to move
And in all this glorious energy
In all the unbelievable scale of cosmic happenings
There are more empty spaces than solid
More blank than written
Dark matter

Here, a mysterious fabric
A mysterious emptiness
Here, is where Love spills
Like water and light
Breaks like waves—as waves
Here is where we find nothing and everything

We know form is only temporary
Time fabricated
But Love, Love, the impetus of creation
Asking nothing,
Giving everything,
Making room

The space large enough for a billion galaxies
to create, live, die,
And be
reborn
Never losing or gaining matter
Here Love ignites the universe and earth,
earth is the audible expression of that same
all empty, all-encompassing love
Fragile, delicate, part of the magnificent whole
We find our relationship to the universe and each other
For Love surrounds and moves us all

Measure

Am I wave or particle? Light or matter?
Maybe it all depends on what we use to measure.
We measure and measure and measure.
Our instruments get finer, more accurate, deeper and deeper
into mysteries created by the very act of measuring.
We are in awe the further that we go.
Perhaps we will get to a point where all of our re-searching fuses—
geometry, physics, biology, poetry, theology—
into something we cannot behold, and we will be back
to where we began,
at the pin-point of all curiosity and wonder and awe.
I heard a quantum physicist on the radio, John Polkinghorne.
He said that creation—birth, life—happens on the edges.
An edge that is not completely random
and not completely predictable.
If this cloudy edge, like a coastline or a fractal, is where God brings into fruition—
which is also the point where we plant seeds, compost, and bake bread with wild yeast—
then in terms of human communities, it is the margins where we find God
to partner and bring into fullness of life, the place where life is uncertain,
where people are more dependent on earth and each other for survival,
which is, in its nature, both rhythmic and unpredictable.
That is where we are alive!

A Mother’s Philosophy

A moment or two, but maybe now the moment is gone. What do I want words to do? To capture a moment, or two, like this one, when the sun is now shining away the snow and my girls are sleeping upstairs. I think! Emptiness seems to be the way of life now. To empty the anger and longing over and over again. To empty and empty until hollowness resounds with surrender and surrender becomes real and the monotony isn’t really the thing, it’s the hollowness resounding with the everydayness of things. The idea of a country, of a religion or a dogma, all of these slip away when you try to stand on them. Then what remains? What foothold is there for an idea of God? Who can give me the answers to my questions about why we die? What happens when we die? Why we live? What is this happening that I call life and why am I so small and what matters? Questions so many people have asked so many times before. Questions that are the toe holds of intricate philosophies I no longer have the energy or time to study or wrap my mind around. Not when my body wraps around my smallest while I breastfeed her, or my arms wrap around my oldest as she screams her way through another tantrum. Empty again, it is so much easier than hanging on. It is so much easier than holding in. Dissolve. Empty. Cut loose. Surrender.

Splinter

To fully experience the earth,
the moon, people, music, love, God,
takes all of us.
I mean ALL of us.
Splintering into stars, into dust.
We are splinters of the same star story,
so we need all cultures, all faiths,
all stories, all living beings
to catch even a glimpse of the whole.
Newborns are splinters of parents,
grandparents, great-grandparents and on and on,
never diminishing but increasing in complexity and wonder
with every splinter.
Darwin’s great insight was the splintering
of birds, fish, insects, humans.
A recipe book splinters food, people, memories,
liked stained glass, mosaics,
like sun through a prism,
we are all splintered and it’s OK.
That’s why we need each other,
why we can never
know fully,
love completely,
if we insist on being alone.

Transform

Sometimes, when I dig into compost, I try to understand the universe—I know, but it’s true.
I try to understand that this hollow rhizome I hold in my hand,
once an iris, emptied by worms,
motionless,
“dead,”
is no less alive than me.
That here, where the sun shines on my bent-over-back, and I feel the warmth of it,
that here in the Present is not just a passing feeling,
but some glimmer of
Truth.
The sun warms the soil, seeds sprout, I consume them along with star particles,
super nova dust,
and somehow
I live and
breathe.
That this planet is explosion inverted, star catastrophy united into soil, water, rhizome, worm.
I am, literally,
dust.