Hermitage Update, June 2000
Where You Are Going, Who Resides There
For this June update, four quotes, four comments, and a reflection.
1. Safire worries the longer we stay with something the more we are seduced by it. Garbo let Barrymore stay and was seduced. The proliferation of constant communication and meaningful nearness warns that staying too much in touch robs personal freedom.
2. John the Evangelist adds in his Gospel that the words of Jesus indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. “After this he said, ‘Follow me’.” Do we tire of our own direction, die to it? Is Christ no-other to follow? Are we led to a truth too intimate?
3. Wan-Li questions whether it is possible to stay awake all day, present. Our dozing distractions depress and distress. But, ah, now for a moment the refreshing breeze delights! But quickly he wonders and wanders worryingly to the future. Gone again!
4. Nouwen might be suggesting that what we can possess is only an illusion; there is no possessing truth. We can only discover in our deepest center What-Is given to us. This great name of God, “What-Is,” resides Alone and invites us to drop into its movable feast.
What is poetry? There, there’s a question! And perhaps an answer as
Attempts to figure out the direction and development of Meetingbrook Hermitage have fallen into solitude. There “we can slowly unmask the illusion of our possessiveness.” (Nouwen) Later he writes, “It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended, but a gift to be shared.” (p.22)
Perhaps that’s what poetry is, a gift to be shared. Sometimes in poems, or letters, or in pieces of journal. Most times in practice of personal, intimate, presence, and feasting. All times and always in the reverent approach we make to the holy ground of What-Is, God, Life-Itself!
This is humiliating experience. It is also very hilarious. A sense of humor is a comforting companion. The stepping-stones to discovering humility continually exact a watchfulness of what unfolds underfoot and a jettisoning of excess gear too heavy and unnecessary for the journey.
Somewhere in the wandering there is the gift of poetry. Forget what you’ve ever been taught about poetry. Rather, enter poetry, step by step. Be surprised at who resides there, alone, welcoming you!
Yang Wan-Li begins his contemplation with a wonderful first line that invites the follower -- whether Buddhist or Christian, or any other naming word or meaningful identification – into the sacred mystery:
Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage with its Bookshop & Bakery begins its 5th year. We invite you to reside well in the hermitage solitude of your own open heart and open mind -- at this Pentecost, this Summer Solstice, this inviting time of Poetry and Practice,
64 Barnstown Rd.,
Camden, Maine USA 04843
Meetingbrook Bookshop & Bakery
50 Bayview St. (Cape on the harbor)
Camden, Maine USA 04843
© Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage
Web design by Karl Gottshalk