A Blackbird Singing: full throated beauty.

This poem by RS Thomas captures this alchemy of joy and sorrow – the heart opening depth of the evening. It seems wrong that out of this bird, Black, bold, a suggestion of dark Places about it, there yet should come Such rich music, although the notes’ Ore were changed to rare metal At one touch…

A condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything)

Non-attachment, sacrifice, surrender, presence. These concepts are at the heart of spiritual development, at least in its more sophisticated forms. What could be more simple? And yet what can possibly be harder? Eventually you have to give your self over to something bigger than yourself. No-one escapes it. We come in to the world naked…

Storming out of the darkness

When transformation comes, it is sometimes at the pace of a glimmer, a hint, the tiniest and merest minute sign that something is different. But sometimes that spark catches, like an early May day, and the whole of a person’s life can be transfigured. Boom! Just like that. Did you go to the countryside this…

Albedo – alchemist’s purity, alchemist’s peril.

By the light of the silvery moon…..albedo is the whitening stage of alchemy. How do we recognise it, how do we work with it, and what are its dangers? Although we are often mightily relieved to move out from the dreadful clutches of nigredo in to the white, imaginative, open, diaphanous, cleansing rising of albedo,…

One or two honest words….

It’s possible that while sleeping the hand that sows the seeds of the stars started the ancient music going again -like a  note from a great harp –  and the frail wave came to our lips as one or two honest words. Antonio Machado (translated by Robert Bly)

The Emerald Tablet

The earth reflects heaven and heaven reflects  earth, and there is no division between these realms. Everything proceeds from the origin. This knowing is, and is  engendered by Light and by loving reflection. It became known through the body and understanding gently emerged there approached with wisdom and love. It will be constant and it will…

The forgotten mistress of the king.

This poem by Rowan Williams has become a favourite of mine. Glory and defeat, victory and humility, all  there.   For Inna Lisnianskaya Barefoot, down the long woodland corridors of frost, Over the needles, walks the forgotten mistress of the king. She smells of grapes, candles, black furs. Of cooking smells, and smoke in a…

A blaze of light in every word….

‘There’s a blaze of light in every word It doesn’t matter which you heard,  the Holy, or the Broken. Hallelujah.’ Some poets and dreamers have been particularly generous in their contributions to the forming, the languaging, of what it means to be a human person. Psychotherapy is about this formation. Good therapy wonders as it…

How many goats do you have?

      Becoming Human Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about “His great visions of God” he felt he was having. He asked me for confirmation, saying, “Are these wondrous dreams true?” I replied, “How many goats do you have?” He looked surprised and said, “I am speaking of sublime…

Time’s fool, or the ever fixed mark?

The link we make between love and eternity deserves some attention. We offer a ring as a symbol of our love in marriage, because it is eternal – the ring, in its circularity,  has no beginning or end. We promise to love ‘forever’ (although in the Christian marriage service the promise is only until death,…

At Blackwater Pond. Mary Oliver.

And so here where I live the weather has just suddenly turned from hot, heavy, laden summer days to  cool, clean freshness in a drenching season change. Last night the rain came, in buckets, streaking lightening, soaking the flowerbeds, keeping us awake to storm-watch (and deeply breathe!) through open windows. What a constant delight the…

Refusing the spiritual bypass..poem by RS Thomas

Facing terrible truths, roses have thorns,  people can be murderous, cruel, indiscriminately monstrous. And beauty is still present in the violent, selfish world. At the same time. Roses don’t shed their thorns before they flower. Here is a poem by RS Thomas in which he wonders about the many faceted nature of the God he…