Enter Into Joy

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Teach me to seek you

Photograph by Eugene Atget 

Originally written September 7, 2010

Teach me to seek thee, and reveal thyself to me when I seek thee, for I cannot seek thee except thou teach me, nor find thee except thou reveal thyself.
— by Saint Anselm

Right hand:
This is a complex thought, a complex plea. Let’s start with “Teach me to seek thee.” “Teach me to seek you.” What does that mean? It means the one making the pleas has picked a teacher and recognizes that there is some action required to go on the quest to be in the presence of that teacher. Is it a pilgrimage to Lourdes? Or Jerusalem? Or through much more treacherous territory? Past, through the fears, the compulsions, the little pleasures, until we finally, finally, finally arrive at this quiet, safe, irrepressible place. And getting there requires the instruction of a teacher, offering guidance on what shield to use, what to leave behind, what are the best shoes for the long journey, and what kind of sustenance will I need?

Left hand:
Slap my hand with a ruler. Go ahead. Really. It’s OK. Maybe that’s the quick route to bring me back to you, to Love, to trust, to wonder.

September 8, 2010

“. . .  and reveal thyself to me when I seek thee.”

Right hand:
The plea continues. You’ve taught me to look for you . . . in meditation, in nature, in another’s kindness and patience, in the quiet time of making art, in the beauty of raindrops clinging to an ornate pine branch, in the creative vortex of children, in a child’s happiness, in the animals who live in my home, in a shared meal. The search is elementary, really, right? The sought after is everywhere, and the lesson so simple  . . . just slow down, give attention where attention is due, look . . . listen . . . respect. You don’t make this journey particularly difficult. We do.

Left hand:
“. . . and reveal thyself to me when I seek thee. “

There you are, in plain sight – patiently waiting for me – in the same way that I patiently stand, waiting for my dog to sniff every scent that wafts her way, stop in her tracks and bark at every errant sound, get in a barking match with the shrill puppies across the street, relieve herself, leave her mark as many places as possible – finally. She is done, and she notices me again – maybe hears my voice calling to her – and she comes – smiling or sheepish — back, to my protection, kind words + embrace. Reunited.
— Karen Blessen


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