The mystery of *I am* - Raymond Leonard - 10th Nov 01greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
To truly put words on God is like fixing decorations to a tree. There is something very humbling in realising that my words may never quite grasp a full truth of God but my experience is a living out of God’s love all the time. So in beginning to write about that experience I think that my starting point today is to declare: I am! This declaration affirms the artwork of God in creating me as me (if I may be so cheeky to put it that way). It is in the amazing experiences of my own being, and the experience of being the person I am, that somehow God has already proffered words of self-revelation, even before I proffer my own words. And so to write a theology from experience seems to me to involve a kind of imprinting of the mystery of my experience of being on paper through a playful mastery of words and images and concepts. Something like encountering fellow walkers on a mountain firstly through fresh footprints left in the damp turf behind them. Something like the concentric rings in silver-rippled surf that tell of the sea-bird still there, only fishing.
-- Anonymous, November 10, 2001
I think your way with words is great. And I like the cheekiness of expressing how wonderful I am in my being - it affirms both the goodness which is within me, in my core, and the goodness of the creator in making me. And life is wonderful!
And I like your second part from our discussion - if you could post it here that'd be great - where you refer to the past and people gone before. I think continuity and history is a great thing.
Thanks again, Roisin
-- Anonymous, November 20, 2001
However, such theology, such words of God, arrive to me in a language which is as close to me now as my own backbone is, yet given through thousands of years of evolving sounds, a music which came across continents, still carrying the rhythm of waves from a distant ocean I have never seen. It is the language my mother and father always spoke to me filling me with all that I am. Words couched in a home, a place of belonging, a place to come from. These are the words I talk about God with. Words that mean more again when I speak them, and hear them. Yet to talk directly about God leaves me at a loss for words. Although I could turn to “the Word” in scripture, my own experience can furnish me with words for the beyond from within, from the interplay of all of my own personal history with the history of everything else as I receive it. I sometimes feel held by a creator as a piper will hold pipes, cradled in the crook of lap and arm, gently pumped and nimbly played with the wind rushing out from every chink and opening, sometimes screeching, others bellowing, and it all emanating from the fire in the piper’s soul, and there I am imagining it is myself who is creating it all on my own. Until something happens which is not there by my own making. Until something wakes me up. Tiny songbirds in amongst the bare spines of a winter hawthorn, singing their guts out with the joy of its tiny red berries. All it takes are these few berries and the clear shrill birdsong travels at perfect pitch on the cool winter air to fill a whole neighbourhood, as though the berries themselves were feeding the music to the birds. Or the alarming sense that the earth is about to speak through the deep bass thud of huge boulders in the sea, which only the more powerful storms can lift and throw against the hidden walls of a cliff. Then from somewhere even deeper, even more hidden, the remembered sound of my own name spoken by the voice of another.
-- Anonymous, November 22, 2001
I have heard my own name on the voices of others and always I am moved from the deepest part of me. As though I am defined in my being by some primal naming and no matter how much experience I have, no matter how far I travel, no matter how long it has been, I can always be known by that other who has known me enough to name me from the beginning. When it comes from inside there is the intimate knowledge of another. There is ancestry. There is the beginning of all, the echoes of the creative moment, a supernova which continues to radiate in the deepest part of my being. There is the ground on which I walk. There is the presence of love.
Often I have found myself physically walking with such rhythm that my steps resemble a kind of physical mantra, somehow focusing my body and lending energy to my inner being. Has my journey been a pacing out of this mantra on a ground of love which somehow has caused me to be and will continue to hold me in my being, continually calling my name out for those rare moments when I am open enough to hear it? Has my journey been a following of that call in the depths, taking me beyond foreign-ness, closer to familiarity, beyond and close simultaneously, transcendent and intimate simultaneously. One moment it is like being drawn home across some river, my footsteps being fixed in the singular direction of some narrow bridge, my vision gliding through the reflections in the water of the far bank. The next moment it is to be drawn down, to pierce the threat of the water’s surface to search beneath the reflections for what I feel I already know…
…and am known by. In the present moment there is another to share the experience. It is so often on a bridge that this happens, suspended between banks, between what I have moved from and what I am called to, that I am conscious of the depth of the present moment where awareness of self is intimately woven with awareness of other.
-- Anonymous, January 12, 2002