God

The Universe is Godding

Today on the blog of the Lake Chalice Church in Gainesville, FL was an article on the language we use to speak about God and how this frames our perception.

It would seem, to carry Wieman to his logical conclusion, that the universe will have attained total, complete and perfect spirituality when everything signifies everything else — or when, we might say, when everything gods and is godded by everything else. Godding, then, would be the activity of building meaning by building interconnection and relationship…

Our grammar itself lures us into assuming that there are separate things, the referents of our nouns. Could we tell the story of life, of creation, in a language without subjects or objects, a language of only verbs, a language that perhaps the Cosmos itself speaks when it whispers to itself — or in your ear?

This, of course, (I say of course as though you have read my book of poetry Where Souls Grow Warm) was the theme of one of the poems in my collection.  So while we’re on the subject, I thought I would share.

Godding

The universe is godding.
Rain from the evening
showers from the trees
a powder in the morning sun
like snow in August
large drops and small
then a pause before
poised and still
before the next breeze

The world is godding.
A leaf from the ivy
that grows along the wall
with a single droplet
has become a mirror
shining as a tiny star
in the mid-morning glow

A butterfly gods above
in its halting, jagged flight
The ivy diamond disappears
as a cloud obscures
the rays of the sun,
then moves on
“Let there be light”
The morning is godding.

Beneath the overhang
an arachnid artist
has woven her stunning silver web
zen spider
I brush it away with a broom
and she starts again
The spider is godding.

A persistent squirrel
under the plastic bird feeder
gods as he climbs
the metal pole
and is baffled by a bevel
He will keep trying
The back yard is godding.

I, the guilty poet,
gaze out the window
as a leaf, all burnt umber
dances to the ground
godding in the updrafts

A perfection of messy weeds
peeks through the stones of the walkway
ripe for the picking
another task on my list
My distracted mind gods and wanders
Are there words for all these things?

Nearby an engine revs,
coughs and buzzes
a lawn is being cut to size
suburban fashion
intersecting with the interdependent web of life

In the house
a child is screaming,
“No! It’s mine!” she cries
The neighbor’s house is godding.

The beige cat approaches
slinky and masterful
and purrs as he rubs his head
against my leg
The universe is godding.

And I amen.
I amen.

Intersection of Faith and Sex

I came across a very old post by Hugo Schwyzer today.  It’s from 2006, but it’s new to me.  Schwyzer is wrote about “the intersection of faith and sex.”

And this morning, what the heart of the matter seems to be is this: how is human sexuality, both in its transcendent joys and its glorious messy physicalities, a reflection of our relationship with God?  And how can we begin to talk and share more honestly about how our faith is lived out in our fantasies and in our actions, in backseats and bedrooms? 

We Christians do a great job of making the case for “NO!”  But what, exactly, is the true nature of the “YES?”  What does it look like, taste like, feel like? 

This got me to thinking that one of the themes I wanted to explore in my novel Angel was how sexuality and spirituality are linked.  It’s not a theme I am often asked about in interviews.  That my protagonists are both male might be what distracts people. 

Back when I was doing the research for one of my non-fiction books (Broke is Beautiful) I learned that brain researchers have discovered that the same part of the brain is responsible for transcendent and mystical experiences, artistic appreciation and sexuality. 

The wonder of experiencing a beautiful symphony, a rapturous sermon or a lover’s touch all flow from the same source.  It is an experience of the force of life that reaches our emotions before the intellect.