ELEGY OF LOVE

ELEGY OF LOVE

Through a cloud of sadness,
love shines.

heartinclouds

Long before I knew him, our paths began to intersect.
Some call it “fate”; some call it “co-incidence.”
We called it “Divine Love.”

In Montreal, he and his family lived
… about three blocks away from my family.

In North Vancouver
… he lived a few miles away from me.

On the Sunshine Coast
… his family had a summer cottage in the community I worked.

We never met in any of those places.
And then we met, by happenstance at a Christmas Fair.
It wasn’t “love.”
It was simply a meeting of two people who shared common interests
and who began to grow in friendship.
And then ‘love’ entered the scene.
Not between the two of us
… just yet
but through a rescue dog
… his little King Charles Spaniel named Shandy.

As the years passed
the friendship he and I shared grew.

‘Love’ entered the spaces
that had been empty for far-too-long for us both.

When he first asked me to marry him
I said “No, not yet.”

Then he asked again
and again and again.

One day, he phoned and asked me to go
for an afternoon drive with him
… we often did that.

He came by with Shandy, picked me up and off we went.
And on a bench overlooking the ocean at Qualicum Beach
… again
… he asked me to marry him.

And this time I knew
… the obstacles we had talked about were nothing
as long as we faced them together.

I realized that his love for me was so deep
as was mine for him
and that spending the rest of our lives together,
… no matter how long, how short,
was part of “Divine Love.”

Six weeks later he had sold his little house
I had sold my little house;
a new little house was purchased
and we were married and moved into our “forever home.”
Our wedding day was a day marked by ‘clouds’
… physical rain clouds
… other ‘clouds’
but we knew that we would face any,and all clouds
together.

We were the love of each other’s lives
and we were grateful.

Over the years
… laughter filled our home
… deep conversations filled our home
… joy and peace and hope filled our home
… Divine Love filled our home.

On this day,
my beloved took his leave of this Planet Earth
but never
… never ever
takes his leave of my heart.

Like other calligraphers
he joins others in that Great-Scriptorium-in-the-Sky,
and is singing in that lovely voice of his
the six words of his reality:
… “It is well with my soul.”

Through a cloud of sadness
… love shines and always will
And when the time times for me to join him
our cremains will be together
in a unique box crafted by our wood artist friend.

Death may bring the end of life
but it does not end a relationship
for the love we were so blessed to share
will never end.

Rest in peace my beloved Hans.
Rest in peace.

<Hans van der Werff April 29, 1929 – June 26, 2016>

heartinclouds

© june maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“ECHOES”

“ECHOES”

Birthdays are supposed to be happy days
… times of celebration and memories that bring a smile to the face.
But not always.

This year’s birthday brought me echoes of words
spoken that day last year by my husband’s doctor:
… “esophageal cancer …  it has spread … Hans, you have about six months.”

The doctor was wrong.
And four days after those words were spoken
… not six months
Hans died.

Not surprisingly,
I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday this year
and didn’t spend time on the internet that day.

But when I finally did
unexpected and kind birthday greetings
brought light into the darkness
each image and comment
touching my heart in ways I cannot express.

Then a prayer emerged
… a prayer of hope that kind words would be
written, spoken and echo throughout our world
among family, friends, strangers and from politicians and social media.

Thank you, dear friends / dear Soulistry subscribers
for being conduits of kindness
which have echoed deep in my soul.

May words of kindness
echo throughout our world.

WM-KindWords
Photos and Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
<The photo of the apple blossom was taken when apple blossoms on our tree were plentiful. Sadly, that’s not the situation this year.  But hopefully, it will be – next year.  🙂 >

 

“WHEN YOU SMILE”

“WHEN YOU SMILE”

I smile a lot
… I can’t help it.
When I’m in the garden
I can feel a smile begin to form on my face as
… flowers bloom
… strawberries bear fruit
… bird-gifts blossom and I wonder “what will you become?”

 

 

When I’m out for a walk
I can feel a smile begin to form on my face as
… puppies romp in the dog park
… lovers hold hands and snatch a kiss
… children’s laughter fills the air
… and even when a bird poops on my jacket!

 

 

When I’ve got my little camera in my hand
I can feel a smile begin to form on my face as
… raindrops transform the roses into something
even more beautiful than they were before the rain
… and joy fills my heart as a new Soulistry blog piece
begins to form in my heart and mind.

 

I believe that when we smile often
and find beauty and joy in the ordinary
we begin to realize how blessed we are.

May it be so.  Amen.  May it be so.

<The photo of the rose from our front yard was the catalyst for this Soulistry blog.>
Text and Photos © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog     www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry

OrangeRose-DSCN9830WM-WhenYouSmile

 

“CURVEBALLS”

“CURVEBALLS”

Has this ever happened to you?
Life is going along
… a few hiccups here
… a few hiccups there.
But then a curveball comes
… out of nowhere!

Has it ever happened to you?
Of course it has.
Life
… wouldn’t be life
without curveballs.

Sometimes the curveballs are such that
… they are predictable.
Sometimes they are
… anything but predictable.

Like
… when the vet said, “It’s time.  There is no cure for your beloved pet, only suffering”
and you know you have to do
… what you have to do.
But you don’t want to do it.

Like
… the day the driver in the car
blinded by the sun
… behind the woman on a bike ride
ran into her.
Your friend died
… and he lived
knowing he had killed another human being.

Like
… when the symptoms began gradually
but weren’t recognized as  “symptoms”
until it became clear that something-wasn’t-quite-right.
The testing and waiting
… for tests began
Then the waiting
… for results
And then diagnosis.
… the big “C.”

No one goes through life without a curveball or two
… or twenty-two
or …

But life isn’t about the *number* of curve balls.
Life is about adjusting our perspective and
… not letting them define us
… not letting them destroy us.

Curveballs.
Life
… happens.
And it’s up to us
… to learn how to handle them.

© June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry

images-3

“LIFTED OUT OF FEAR”

“LIFTED OUT OF FEAR”

“Miss Pudgy Angel – it’s time for you to come
and lift us out of the fear many are feeling these days.”

This night, I want to share a story
a true story about *Miss Pudgy Angel.*

Many are feeling fear these days
… fear of “what next” when people think of the present incumbent of the White House in the United States
… fear of terrorists
… fear of flying
… fear of a medical diagnosis
… fear of aging
… fear of an unknown future.

I wish I could say that I’ve never been fearful,
but I remember a terrifying plane ride
… when the plane heaved and starting falling
… luggage began to come out of overhead bins
… and people screamed.
My hands were in a death grip on the arms of the seat.
My breathing was shallow and swift as my mind raced through possible scenarios.
I was scared
… big time.

God, help,” I heard myself whisper as the crying around me seemed to increase.
And then, *she* appeared.
… Miss Pudgy Angel.

Well, that’s what I called her when I was given her as a gift many years earlier.
She sat on my mantle for years and years
… and I delighted in her presence
… and in her sweet and gentle smile.
Why I thought of her at that moment, I didn’t know
… but I was grateful.
Her image brought a smile to my face
and for just an instant
my concentration was on her
… not on the fear.

I soon found myself imagining Miss Pudgy Angel with three of her pudgy angel friends
… Miss Pudgy Angel was underneath the nose of the plane
… two of her friends were under each wing of the plane
… and one was under the plane’s tail.
Each was working to stabilize the plane and help the plane climb back into its proper flying pattern.

The more I visualized Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends
it seemed that there was less and less space for the fear to take over my thoughts.
Slowly, I realized that my breathing had slowed down
my grip on the armrest had lightened
… and I was smiling!

Those four pudgy angels were ridiculously funny!
They huffed and puffed and pushed their pudgy arms into place.
nd as I continued to visualize the four of them under the plane
… lifting it
… stabilizing it
the more I became aware that the heaving of the plane had slowed
and my fear was dissipating.

Do I understand what happened in that moment in the sky?
Not for a second.

Of course, there was no Miss Pudgy Angel
… or her pudgy-angel-friends underneath the plane.
And yet … and yet …

As twenty-first century people living in a western culture
we’ve inherited a philosophy that says
“knowledge comes from a combination of our intellect plus our five senses.
If we can’t touch, taste, see, hear, smell or reason it,
then its existence is suspect.”

So it’s not surprising that giving serious attention to the existence of angels is difficult.
If angels are part of the realm of the Spirit
… that’s the realm of the unknown and the mysterious
and it’s not a world to which many can easily relate.

But in the Book of Job in the Old Testament
these words give rise to the possible reality:
“God does speak. Now, one way.  Now another, though we may not perceive it”

To believe that there is a Holy Other, Creator, By-Whatever-Name
… to believe that such a Holy One speaks to us
… and to believe that such communication happens through the form of an angel
well, that takes an openness
… an openness to Mystery. 

Do i believe in the possibility of angels?
I did then.
I do now.
And many times since that moment-in-the-sky
I have uttered/prayed/whispered/thought words of gratitude.

Were the pilot and co-pilot, crew, air traffic controllers, Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends
… angels that day?
I don’t know.

I just know that for that brief terrifying moment
… when I visualized Miss Pudgy Angel and her friends lifting the plane
… as the pilot, co-pilot, crew and air traffic controllers were working hard to stabilize the plane and get it back on its flight pattern
I was being lifted out of fear.

May all who experience fear of whatever form, in whatever way, for whatever reason
… somehow
… some way
… some day
be lifted out of fear.

PudgyAngel2-DSCN9993

Text and Photo @ June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry

<An aside: Miss Pudgy Angel now rests on the top of a bureau my husband, Hans van der Werff build, beside the handcarved container which holds his cremains.  And yes, she still beams that beatific smile and each time I pass her and Hans’ unique urn, I smile, remember, and give thanks.>

“FOR NO REASON”

“FOR NO REASON”

No reason.
I didn’t create Ms. DinoCritter for
… a reason … or purpose … or underscore a message

I created her simply
… to play.

Play with
… shapes and colours and new techniques
Play without
… care for the outcome
Play to
… do something other than watch the never-ending media commentaries
Play to
… let go of anything that was distracting me from “be-ing”

Be-ing
… creative
… aware of blessings
… filled with peace and joy and gratitude

Ahhh, the joy of play
… “for no reason.”

 

WM-Dino-CritterCards

Artwork and Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry

“LOVE”

“LOVE”

The word ‘love’
is used a lot.
… even Facebook has an emoji to express love of a comment.

But what is love?
Poets have “waxed eloquent” about love for centuries.
… Elizabeth Barrett Browning spoke of loving to “the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.”
… 14th century Persian mystic Hafez noted that “love lights up the whole sky!”
Christians have been commanded to love
… love God, love your neighbour – as you love yourself.

We say that we ‘love’
… the colour and variety of flowers
… the freedom and beauty of birds
… the smell of newborn babies
… the taste of chocolate
… the playfulness of kittens and puppies
… the sound of laughter
… the touch of a lover’s hand
… certain food
… certain subjects at school
… certain types of music
… certain seasons of the year
… certain people

Thich Nhat Hanh says that real love begins
“where nothing is expected in return.”
I like that.
A lot.

Nope
… I love it.  🙂

WM-RealLoveBegins
Text & Photo © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
poppies – more poppies – and more poppies

An aside: the photo of the orange poppy was taken
June 2017 in the back yard thanks to the gift given by
birds who dropped poppy seeds in one of the raised veggie beds.

“PLACE OF SACRED PEACE”

“PLACE OF SACRED PEACE”

faces of dear friends
dealing with the beast of cancer
came to mind
as heron arrived on the rock
gently landing before me
… place of sacred peace


one dear friend is exhausted
… and has decided against further chemo
one was told that “nothing more can be done”
… and is praying for a gentle end
one died last night

faces of dear friends
… fearful of the future and the dawning of another world war
came to mind
as heron arrived on the rock
gently landing before me
… place of sacred peace

one dear friend is exhausted
… and cannot sleep
one is obsessed by the news
… and posts, tweets, incessantly talks about ‘the situation’
one speaks of “ending it all now”
… before “things get worse.”

in difficult moments
may all imagine
heron gently landing
arriving on the rock
… place of sacred rest

 

 

WM-HeronOnSaltspring
Photo and Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
“JUST ONE HOUR LESS”

“JUST ONE HOUR LESS”

There are times when words make me sick
… words that people use to explain their lies
… words that people use to defend their indefensible position
… words that belittle, abuse, mock, harass, demean, bully, disrespect.

My soul resonates with author and theologian Matthew Fox who writes:
“Silence gives way for Spirit to arrive.”

 

I like that.
A lot.

It leads me to ponder a possibility – a hope – a prayer.

 

What if people unplugged from social media
just one hour less
than they were usually plugged in?

Just one hour.

And in that one hour
they experienced
silence.
Not words.

Imagine
for just one hour less than usual
No Facebook.  No Instagram.  No tweeting on Twitter.

They would simply be present to
… the holy silence
… the sounds of Nature’s joy
… their creative gifts
… allowing Spirit to arrive.

May “just one hour less”
give way for Spirit to arrive
in our hearts and communities and world.

 

 

silence-spiritArrives

Accreditation:
Calligraphy © Alice Young (www.calligraphy.ca)
Text © June Maffin  (www.soulistry.com)
Quote © Matthew Fox

 

“HOLY WORD AMONG US”

“HOLY WORD AMONG US”

A kaleidoscopic tumbling of emotions
pierce conversations and thoughts as
… yet another terrorist attack happens
… and another
… and another
civil unrest around the world escalates
natural disasters seem undeterred
medical issues cause confusion and fear of the unknown
media’s negativity barrages listeners, readers, viewers
political antics
… reminiscent of childhood playground fights
perpetuate voter-angst
religious organizations remain angry and divided around their definition of marriage
courts make decisions
… bringing relief to some
… death to some
… hopelessness to others
and
some politicians continue to be self-serving
… rather than serving those who elected them.

Personal experience and history are reminders that
words can wound
… and heal
words can bring division
… and reconciliation
words can cause confusion
… and bring hope.

Which will be chosen?

Holy Word Among Us
… encourage us to be sensitive to those whose opinion differs from ours
… empower us with compassion
… enable us to move beyond woundedness, confusion, fear
… equip us to survive
… energize us with hope.

WM. Caryl&EvoHome
© Photo and Text   June Maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
<The photo was taken from the balcony of a friend’s home in Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, Canada>

 

 

“FIERY ORDEALS”

“FIERY ORDEALS”

“Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeals taking place among you.”
Talk about timely  … and relevant.
Written a very, very long time ago
those words are found in the New Testament (1 Peter 4:12)
and considering what has been happening in the world recently
“fiery ordeal” after “fiery ordeal” after “fiery ordeal” …
how can I *not* be surprised – even, upset?  

When I turn on the news
… learn about another terrorist attack
… hear about the President of the United States possibly colluding with the Russians
… read of the US budget details that will negatively affect millions of people
… realize the implications of the Paris Accord to mitigate global warming
I can’t help but “be surprised” at the fiery ordeals.

Fiery ordeals make me think of an eight letter word
… begins with the letter “A” and ends with the same letter
that is the name of something that has no limbs or extremities,
has bizarre ways of eating, odd smelling habits, unblinking gaze and a worm-like method of locomotion.
Classed as a reptile, some can even grow to thirty feet in length.

A manual, supposedly attributed to the US government’s Peace Corps
designed for volunteers who worked in the Amazon jungle
says that if you’re attacked by one of these things
… Don’t run (it is faster than you think)
… Lie flat on the ground
… It will come and begin to climb over you

Let it.

Do not panic!
… After it has examined you, it will begin to swallow you
… always from the feet end

Let it.

Do not panic!
… Lie perfectly still.

When it has reached your knees
… s l o w l y
and with as little movement as possible
… reach down
… take your knife
and …

This may not be an authentic publication from the Peace Corps
but there are two things that might help when facing the fiery ordeals of life
… those things that cause us to fear or even terrify us
even if it’s an anaconda
… the answer to the eight letter word.

“Life is difficult”
wrote Scott Peck as the beginning lines in his best-selling book “The Road Less Travelled”
Yes.  Life can be difficult.
It can even include ‘fiery ordeals’.

Hopefully those times serve as a reminder of what to do
when attacked by an Anaconda Moment:
… Don’t panic.
… Carry a sharp (spiritual) knife.

Terrible ‘fiery ordeal’ things may happen in our world
and in our personal lives yet when
… Anaconda Moments strike
… we feel as if we are being devoured by life itself
 the darkness of life seems to take over or even overwhelm
we must carry our sharp spiritual knife.

But, what if
… our spiritual knife is dull?
… there is no joy
… there is no “centre” in our lives?
…  our spiritual lives are empty?
Then we go back to the first learning.
DO
NOT
PANIC.

Catastrophes
… including spiritual voids
can help us develop a more intimate relationship with the Creator.

There are ways often associated with religion:
… Bible Study … receiving the sacraments
… reading devotional books … prayer
… involvement in spiritual direction

There are other ways too:
…  making a conscious connection between creativity and spirituality
… experiencing the beauty and wonder of God’s creation in Nature
… welcoming music and art into our life
… developing a spirituality of play
… looking for opportunities to be grateful for the little things in life
rather than focusing on the fear-producing things

Many years ago, little Dolores was born.
The origin of ‘Dolores” is Spanish meaning ‘sorrows.’
Much of Dolores’ life was spent in extreme childhood poverty
and life-threatening illnesses which pummelled her throughout her youth and adulthood.
But after meeting Eddie, the love of her life who eventually became her husband,
she became known as ‘Joy’ … not ‘Dolores.’  

Several years ago, I made a mobile as a keepsake for myself
and ultimately my son, to remember my mother, his grandmother: Joy.
At the bottom of the mobile, I added the poem, simply entitled “JOY
which Mom wrote in the mid 1980’s
in celebration of her Confirmation when she was 70! 

JOY
Through a love of God and a willingness to submit my will in everything – most of the time – comes this deep sense of peace and joy even though at times it would appear I have almost nothing to be joyful about and feel full of despair.
   As I begin to count my blessings and feel grateful to God for even the smallest tone, this joy begins to permeate my being and fill my heart.
   It grows so quickly!  Even the troubles I am experiencing have little power to depress or overwhelm me.  It is like a magic spring!  Always bubbling beneath the surface.
   All it takes to make it appear and flood my being – is a conscious love for God and a deep sense of gratitude for permitting me to catch even the smallest glimpses of this wonderful JOY DIVINE over time.  <author: Joy Mack, 1985>

My mother had many Anaconda Moments in her life
… she learned not to panic
… and to carry a sharp knife.

No matter what size anaconda begins to nibble at our heels
fiery ordeals” (Anaconda Moments) can be faced
especially when we don’t panic and carry a sharp knit.

Mom'sMobile-DSCN9792

© June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.soulistry.com
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An aside: The Mobile has three red wooden hearts with pearls around each heart.
Pearls were Mom’s favourite.  🙂 
The top heart has a smaller heart covered by a piece of silk she used for the dress she made for my high school graduation (she was a lovely seamstress) on top of lace which she often used – and loved.  The bottom of that heart: an antique pearl button (part of her collection of antique buttons).  
The second heart has other buttons from her collection, a mini photo of Mom and Dad, and her pearl earrings.
The third heart has a Canadian pin (born in the US she became a very proud Canadian citizen when she and Dad married), a pin from Cursillo (a significant step in her faith journey) and another button from her antique button collection.  
At the bottom is a copy of her poem: JOY.

 

“ALONE – YET NOT ALONE”

“ALONE – YET NOT ALONE”

we hugged at the top of the front porch steps.
then, with a smile and a “Bye, Mom, I’m off!”
he ventured down the steps and out to the sidewalk
… alone
yet not alone

i was three paces behind him
… to catch him if he fell
… to hug him if he felt afraid
… to cry with him if he injured himself
… to laugh with him if he giggled
… to reroute him if he got lost
… to protect him if he ventured off track
… to smile with him when he reached his destination
… to feel pride that he had walked to school “on his own”
because for days we had practiced the route
and he knew that I would be “with him”
… following close behind
… giving him that sense of independence
… and sense of security
and that the one who loved him unconditionally was with him
in ways that may have been
… indefinable
… undetectable
… inexplicable
yet oh so very real

 

That’s how I see the Creator
… always present
… allowing me space to be independent
… encouraging me to make my own decisions / choices / mistakes
and go my own way
aware that the One who unconditionally loves me is with me
in ways that are often
… indefinable
… undetectable
… inexplicable
yet oh, so very real

 

 

IMG_3263.JPG
photo & text  © june maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry
www.soulistry.com

An aside: While the original photo was damaged, the memories it evokes (of that oh-so-long-ago morning when my son, Tod, proudly walked to his first day at kindergarten and I walked behind him) are irreplaceable.

When he stopped, turned around, showed me his first-ever watch with a huge grin on his face and shouted with such delight, anticipation and excitement in his voice “I’m going to school!”, my heart melted.

This photo recalls each treasured step of that walk to his first day at school when he was “alone – yet not alone.”

 

“POWER IN LOVE”

“POWER IN LOVE”

I’ve been thinking a lot about last weekend’s tragedy in Manchester, the vicious attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt this past week, and the three brave men who tried to thwart an anti-Muslim rant and attack on two women in Portland, Oregon this weekend.

 

Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche died in that attack. Young poet Micah David-Cole Fletcher remains in hospital and wrote this poem shortly after the attack: “I am alive/ I spat in the eye of hate and lived/This is what we must do for one another/We must live for one another/We must fight for one another/We must die in the name of freedom if we have to/Luckily it’s not my turn today.”


My friend Regina, came to church today and the children openly welcomed her and didn’t make fun of her large hands or strange-looking face or the fact that she wears a wig and has no hair because of the cancer treatments.


And then we sang Daniel Nahmod’s “One Power.”
There’s one power … it’s the power of the love in you and me.”


Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche died,
knowing and believing in “the power of love in you and me.”

 

Micah David-Cole Fletcher and the children in church who greeted Regina
know about “the power of love in you and me”
that is stronger than hatred.

We must hold onto that truth
… ‘real’ truth
… not alternative truth.


There is power in love!

 

Regina


Photo & Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
www.soulistry.com
www.facebook.com/groups/soulistry

http://www.danielnahmodlyrics.com/op-one-power.html

“WELCOME TO THIS WORLD!”

“WELCOME TO THIS WORLD!”

Welcome to this world, little one!

This world you’ve entered is big – very big!
It has trees and animals, plants and bugs,
galaxies and planets, rivers and oceans,
stars and suns, fish and flowers
and people.   🙂

People who speak different languages
… and people who can’t speak at all.
People who have different-shaped and different-coloured eyes
… and some who have none.
People who are tall
… while some are not.
People with red hair, brown, white, yellow, black and colours in-between
… and some with no hair at all.
People with red skin, brown skin, black skin, yellow skin, white skin
… and shades in-between.

This world you’ve entered is God’s creation.
It’s exciting … and full of wonder!
But it’s not nearly as exciting
… as it will be
It’s not nearly as wonder-filled
… as it could be.
You see, the world is waiting
… waiting for you to grow and learn
… waiting for you to become a boy, then a teen, then a man.
There is a reason you are here.

As time passes, you will discover your purpose,
and in yet-undetermined-ways,
contribute to the world in your own unique fashion.

Yes, there is a reason you are here.
Welcome to this world, little one!

 

baby

 

Text © June Maffin
Photo of Caleb Timothy Grant © Vanessa Grant
SOULartISTRY www.soulistry.com
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<In celebration and thanksgiving for the safe arrival of
Caleb Timothy Grant, our eighth great-grandchild.>

“MAY …”

“MAY …”

May the sun
… bring new energy by day.

May the moon
… softly restore by night.

May the rain
… wash away worries.

May the breeze
… blow new strength into your being.

And may you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.
                               <Apache blessing>

 

WM-MoonInblueSky

 

 

Photo © june maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“OUR SPIRIT GRIEVES”

“OUR SPIRIT GRIEVES”

Our spirit grieves.

People ache at the terrorism
the escalation of economic consequences
the racial discrimination and inequity
the religious persecution
the political rhetoric
the misogyny
the emotional, physical and spiritual damage done by hatred.

Our spirit grieves.

What to tell the children
who experience and have experienced danger and fear?

What to tell the elderly
who wonder if their lives were in vain?

What to tell those of any age
who are confused
and live in fear?

May we have a glimpse of hope for the future.
May we feel inexplicable, unconditional Love
… in the midst of our pain,
May we focus on the Good that unites us
… and not that which divides
even as our spirit grieves.

WM-ZendoodledPEACE

Text and Artwork © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“BLESS-ED SABBATH MOMENTS”

“BLESS-ED SABBATH MOMENTS”

a drive down a road not travelled
discovery
a chair by the river that called and
spoke come sit rest
gaze ponder exhale-worry
question dream write
sketch inhale-peace feel
believe
be

bless-ed chair
bless-ed trees
bless-ed river
bless-ed peace
bless-ed sabbath moment

 

WM-ChairByTheRiver

 

Photo & Text © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“EVEN IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING”

“EVEN IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING”

It’s not an easy question
… “How can terrible events happening around the world be seen from a spiritual perspective?”

Perhaps the answer can begin to be found in the words of others.

Hiding in an attic in the midst of anticipated discovery at any moment
a young girl, Anne Frank, had hope.
… “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

In spite of everything that was happening during WW11,
someone had hope and wrote
… “I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining.
I believe in the stars, even when I see them not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent”
on the wall of a concentration camp in Dachau.

Teaching songs to pre-school malnourished, sickly and orphaned children.
with no room to sit in the noisy, hot, humid, dusty and impossibly tiny and crowded room in Sri Lanka
a country torn apart by civil war
six crudely printed words
“Life is a gift from God”
were crudely scratched on the wall
as the children sang and moved spontaneously with joy!

In spite of everything.
In the midst of
… a terrifying yesterday
… a bleak today
… a potentially annihalted tomorrow

In each of these situations, there was hope!
Anne Frank’s words
… words of hope.
The Dachau prisoner’s words
… words of hope.
The Sri Lankan’s words
… words of hope.

Though the future
… may seem bleak and terrifying to some
the hope of those in bleak and terrifying situations in the past
… must be allowed to speak hope
to people in the bleak and terrifying present
… “in spite of everything.”

WM-AppleBlossom

 

Photo & Text © june maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“HEAR, SPEAK, SEE NO EVIL – METANOIA TIME”

“HEAR, SPEAK, SEE NO EVIL – METANOIA TIME”

The word ‘evil’
is spoken a lot these days
… by many people
… for many reasons.

It comes to us
… on tv
… in face-to-face conversations
… through phone calls
… via text messages,
 FB posts, messages and emails
… and even handwritten correspondence

Not just by adults
… but by youth and children and elders.
Not just by politicians
… but by ordinary citizens.
Not just by people we agree with
… but by people we disagree with.


It’s 
easy to
… tweet or text or type first, rather than think.
… react first, rather than respond
… speak words of love, rather than show that love in action.
… enable others, rather than be honest
… dwell in and focus on one’s own selfish desires,
rather than allow the needs of others to be the motivating force.


When people say
“All …”
be that all religions
or all politicians
or all Democrats
or all Republicans
or all Conservatives
or all Liberals
or all Jews
or all Mexicans
or all gays
or all Italians
or all Blacks
or all trans
or all Southerners
or all differently-abled
or all Americans
or all poor
or all elderly
or all mentally ill
or all Asians
or all youth
or all … (fill in the blanks)
and then make a sweeping statement
… degrading, disrespecting, bullying, ignoring anyone in a particular category,
there is no opportunity for
… dialogue
… respectful listening, compassionate hearing, genuine caring
… sincere conversation, sharing of opinion, or elimination of prejudice/bias
let alone
… reconciliation
… healing
… hope.

The world craves hope.

But if Hope leaves
what is left?

Evil.

Before the 8th century when the ‘hearing, speaking, seeing evil’ concept
began to take form through Confucius’ writings,
the Biblical teaching: “abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV)
provided wise counsel.

But it didn’t go away.
Can it be defeated?
Difficult but yes.
It involves metanoia
… a change in one’s way of life
… a transformative change of heart
… a turning-around
turning around *e-v-i-l* to become *l-i-v-e*

It is time to stop
… speaking
… hearing
… seeing
… thinking
… doing
… enabling
… denying
the existence of evil.


Evil is real.
It exists.
It is time to name it.

It is Metanoia Time.

“Let us not be overcome by evil
… but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:21

 

WM-METANOIA3
Text and Photo © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com/blog
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“THE ROTTEN STATE”

“THE ROTTEN STATE”

CandleInGlass-DSCN8547-copy

Text & Photo © June Maffin
www.soulistry.com
www.soulistry.com/blog
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