Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Tangled Tango

As the creator of GGG, it is always challenging to "stay in the mix." Meaning, I have to practice what I preach. The last three months have proved difficult in that regard. A personal issue extending over twenty years has emerged (yet again!) to push, prod, vex and bedevil me. Several times I have been reduced to Anne Dillard's personal prayer ('help-help-help!'). And it isn't as if I'm not utilizing my own techniques. Ultimately, though, it is the outcome I am having trouble with. I keep thinking (believing--feeling) that if I  just do a little more...

Thomas Merton (Trappist monk) said, "We stumble and fall constantly, even when we are most enlightened." I know this to be true...but I know another of his quote's is equally true: "Perhaps I am stronger than I think." In this context then, can I re-embrace gratitude for how the situation is now? Honestly appreciating it as it now stands--unfair, destructive, confusing? Can I view my personal angst as a metaphorical nova that will result in the creation of new elements--new aspects of my personality otherwise doomed to remain dormant? Can I learn to tango for two/you?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sibyl of the Rhine

"Divinity is in it's omniscience and omnipotence like a wheel, a circle, a whole, that can be neither understood, nor divided, nor begun nor ended."

"The mystery of God hugs you in it's all-encompassing arms."

"Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside you have heaven and earth, and all of creation. You're a world--everything is hidden in you."

"Even in a world that is being shipwrecked, remain brave and strong."

"We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light."

~Hildegard of Bingen

This remarkable woman (1098-1179) was a Benedictine nun who authored 9 books, 70 poems, a play, and composed music--for which she is most celebrated today. During her lifetime she was venerated as a visionary and seer. She advised and consulted bishops, kings and Popes, and actually called Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, a "madman" for his support of two anti-popes.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sand, Sunni's, and Couscous

Algeria is over four-fifths desert--which would be an impressive statistic if it wasn't dwarfed by being 99% Sunni Islam. Those are some overwhelming percentages. And it seems everyone eats couscous...

The biggest surprise (for me) regarding Algeria was to find there is a Notre Dame d'Afrique. Located in Algiers, this cathedral is noted for the inscription behind the altar; "Notre Dame d'Afrique priez pour nous et pour les Musulmans." (Our Lady of Africa pray for us and for the Muslims) Hope she is listening.