Do You Meditate? Not Medicate. Meditate.

Thinking on my feet is not one of my strengths. I think better on my arse. Usually my right elbow rests on the arm of the chair. The right thumb under my chin braces my think tank. The right finger extends over the cheekbone pointing to the brain. The pointer doesn’t tap like Pooh Bear, it just rests there in hopes of pointing something out.

I think deeply about deep stuff, like when will be the last time I tie my shoes. Some people refer to intentional thinking moments as meditation. But meditation isn’t exactly what occurs when my brain cells decide to socialize and go synapsing through the ‘hood under my hood. Meditation, I’ve heard, is mulling over one idea or concept, not thought-hopping like when I press the search knob on the car radio over and over.

The Psalmists in the Old Testament of the Bible refer to the act of meditation. The first Psalm and Psalm 119 talk about meditating on the law of God. Sounds a bit boring on the surface, but the term law doesn’t mean just the Ten Commandments, although those are good references to put one’s mind to meditate. The law spans all of scripture. David had some spare time to mull over the narrative of God’s creation and written communiqué.

I see things and think about them. All day long I drive around taking in creation, including humans, and wonder and wonder. I don’t look at things, I look through them. Not every second of every moment of every day, just when I am attentive. When considering meditating on the laws of God I try to see beyond the laws to the law giver. Law giver doesn’t sound much more appealing, to me anyway. The world hears the words Law and God and sprint in the other direction. Even some people of faith hear those words and shrug their shoulders. I do sometimes.

But think of the Law Giver as a person. God is the Person of persons whose image we persons bear. To look at the law is one thing; to look through law is personal. Before any law was written in cement a Person existed to exact the law.

Meditation on the law can be a personal experience if we have eyes to see. I don’t want to simply obey the law, but to experience a person behind it. I mean, if God is good (I don’t want to engage with a god who isn’t. Who would?) behind the laws is a pure motivation for my well being. Not a constriction per se, but a freedom to know a Good God through a transcendent view.

Try this:
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35 Carry this around in your brain today. Two words. Simple. Pray it. Say it. Think it. Ponder it. Marinade it in meditation.

Carbon Notion

Don’t explain why carbonation bubbles appear then rise to the top.
Each air pocket lifts beyond my surface tension.

I could jump inside one blip of oxygen and ride it like an escalator
to break through the high fructose corn syrup.

The trick is to catch the carbon orb’s inception at the base of the bottle.
Try to find that little nothing out of something.

It becomes a base jump, leap of faith, through a wall of glass
like a choreographed Jackie Chan scene.

Sometimes I buy some purified water, but late in a day gone flat
I will grab a club soda to tickle my imagination.

 

 

Umbilical

The talking’s good from the belly.
Distended words, tight,
pushed up like a burp.

The singing’s good from the diaphragm.
Birthed below the heart,
skipping beats.

The prayer’s good from the center.
Released midriff, exposed
from under our coverings.

In a Box. The Animal Nature of Poems.

It was a rectangle, actually,
laid in two dimensions.
His suggestion to reign in
some post modern poetry.

This poet recommend we
place our words in a box.
Our cats like boxes, litter
type are their favorite kind.

Are my poems going to pee
and dig and clump the white
space? Am I going to have
scoop the poop words out?

Por Favor. Favor as a cultural word.

Favor. Someone used the word favor again. God grants favor. I suppose I need to study it a bit because I don’t get the way some pockets of the Christian faith fling it around. Maybe its my aversion to the faith’s colloquialisms which sets this word aside in search of a different one. I’m sure its biblical and all but sometimes favor comes off as an entitlement mentality.

Perhaps its my laid back approach to God and life in general which shade in the colorful aspects of words like these. My use of the word would be more utilitarian and embedded in a question. “Uh, God would you do me a favor?”  Favor as a precursor to what God might choose to do if I asked nicely like my Mom instructed me to do.

God has already done so many favors for me. My response: Hands folded, bowing over and over again while taking little steps backward. “Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.” Stating “favor!” is not my style. I hope God understands and my brothers and sisters in the faith do too.

Folding Chairs.

Everyone, everyone, sit
down on your rights
and flatten your opines.

squish them on the surface
as thin as you can
until only one thought

remains.
Cross your legs
and bob one foot

instead of putting it down.
The folding chairs
came out and here you, hear you.

Lean in, forearms on thighs.
Close your I’s and see theirs.
Every one sit. Everyone.

Blip. Period. Spot. Dot. Monday Musing.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at my church. I haven’t been hearing much from God lately. I planned on beginning with “I’ve got nothing.” God agreed and said “mind if I give you a hand?” What am I going to say…No? I suppose I could decline help, I’ve gone solo before.

I started seeing spots before my eyes, like when you look directly at the sun a bit too long. Everywhere I turned little dots appeared. The cloud clear nights produced a myriad of white-light pin pricks in the boundless sky. An acorn flipped its lid and I kicked its sphere to see how far it would roll. I saw an ant carry a single grain of sand out of a crack in the driveway. Eye contact enhanced with the awareness of their circular dark centers. Pupils.

Our lives are just a blip on the screen. The period at the end of this sentence. As I age, the spot of my life seems to diminish. My adorable little age spot. How nice.

Remember the original Toy Story movie?

“My name is Woody, and this is my spot.”

Don’t we all lay claim to a spot from time to time? Our little point of reference placed by God. We all take our spots lightly until some circumstance, like a spotlight, blinds us for a moment until we adjust to a new reality.

God in grace points out our point of existence and says “I see your point.”

God sees each dot. Even yours. Even mine.

God gives us a period of time.

A period. See that little speck after the d? See the dust mite at the bottom of the question mark?

So, what are we going to do? How are we going to spend our spit-spot allowance?

Consider Psalm 8:3,4

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You pay attention to him?”

Good question, but remember God is mindful of us. God pays attentions to us. How are we going to respond with our little dot of life?

Oh God, thank you for watching my blippy, spotified, dot dot dot existence. I will be more mindful of You today too. Amen.
Hand of God reaching out to Adam who receives it

Fall. A poem.

Fall

The other night, the wind and rain
slapped a lot of beauty out of their canopies.
The rain fell on the leaves,
the leaves fell like rain.
The colors lay dead.

I tried to rally my kids to pick them up.
I gave them Elmer’s glue and a stapler.
I had a few ladders too.

The sun’s out and how much
I wanted to see the colors against a cool blue sky
rather than on faded green grass and asphalt and gravel.
I prayed for a resurrection
and imagined the maples bending over,
gathering leaves like fallen feathers.

But then, my kids dropped the glue
and staples and the disbelief
their faces had shown me.

They ran for rakes.

With their faces flush with autumn air,
they piled up the leaves on the runway.
They carelessly overlaid color on color,
like a scribbler with crayons.
Their excitement rose, as did the pile.

I saw the clear blue sky in their eyes
as they lay laughing in the spectrum.
I smiled as their redemptive act
fell on me like cool rain in the night.

Poplars. A Poem.

The poplars lost their voice.
Leaves like vocal chords fell silent.

Still, wind pipes through canopies
and raspy utterances remind of the coming

silence on its way.
words rustle on the field of grass.

White noise of laryngitis
will acquiesce to the evergreen’s

whispered prayer for renewal.
Snow will come and settle us.

Each winter gust vibrates
rebirth through the needles.

The poplars will find their voice again
and I will listen, I will listen.