Thursday, February 01, 2018

Spiritual Journey Thursday - The Moon

     "I have been given the gift of lunar spirituality, in which the divine light available to me waxes and wanes with the season.  When I go out on my porch at night, the moon never looks the same way twice.  Some nights it is as round and bright as a headlight; other nights it is thinner than the sickle hanging in my garage.  Some nights it is high in the sky, and other nights low over the mountains.  Some nights it is altogether gone, leaving a vast web of stars that are brighter in its absence.  All in all, the moon is a truer mirror for my soul than the sun that looks the same way every day.
     After I stopped thinking that all these fluctuations meant that something was wrong with me, a great curiosity opened up: what would my life with God look like if I trusted this rhythm instead of opposing it?  What was I afraid of, exactly, and how much was I missing by reaching reflexively for the lights?"
from Learning to Walk in the Dark, by Barbara Brown Taylor

Today's hostess of Spiritual Journey Thursday, Donna, has asked us to write about the moon.  I immediately turned to Barbara Brown Taylor, and her beautiful book on darkness.  I have often felt, as Robert Frost put it, "acquainted with the night," and Taylor's book helps me work through some of those thoughts.

Here she is again:

"If Christians look to creation for wisdom about the spiritual life, seeking resurrection in springtime, divine promise in a rainbow, or the flight of the Spirit in a dove, why don't we look to the moon for wisdom about our relationship to God?  Sometimes the light is coming, and sometimes it is going.  Sometimes the moon is full, and sometimes it is nowhere to be found.  There is nothing capricious about this variety since it happens on a regular basis.  Is it dark out tonight?  Fear not; it will not be dark forever.  Is it bright out tonight?  Enjoy it; it will not be bright forever."

It was bright out tonight, as the super-duper Blue Blood Supermoon came up.  I tried and failed to take decent photos of it.  But at least I saw it, and it was so beautiful, and turned my mind up to a higher plane than the one it had been occupying.

On a slightly less spiritual note, I wrote the following golden shovel poem/prayer back in November.  (See, it is spiritual - it's a prayer!)  A golden shovel poem takes a quote (in this case, a line from Paul Simon's song Insomniac's Lullaby) and ends each line with a word from the quote.

Insomniac’s Lullaby

Awake in the middle of the night and oh
I wish you’d let me sleep, Lord!
Here comes slithering every mess I ever made (don’t
Surround me with your tentacles, keep

Your slimy horrors away from me!).
Nobody else in the whole world is up
Except for me, and now I have to face it all:
All my mistakes, all my losses, the darkness of night,

They all approach me, side by side.
Till morning, I’ll be in deep conversation with
Everyone who’s ever abandoned me, the
Whole sorry scene lit bright by the silvery moon.
Oh Lord, don’t keep me up all night
Side by side with the moon


(I posted about this song before here, including a YouTube video where you can listen to it.) 

Here's the Spiritual Journey Thursday roundup.


Donna Smith said...

What an amazing author Barbara is! Sounds like a wonderful read, and I may have to look her up. Thanks for sharing this today. AND I love your shovel. What voice created from a line!

Dani Burtsfield said...

Oh how I relate, Ruth. The last couple of nights, I could have recited your poem word for word, thinking, feeling, and believing its message as my own. Thank you for sharing. I hope to try my own Golden Shovel sometime soon!

Irene Latham said...

Oh WOW, Ruth, that Golden Shovel! Thank you for reposting it - what a beauty. And it especially resonates with me today as I experienced insomnia last night. Thanks for joining us! xo

Violet Nesdoly said...

I never thought of relating the moon's comings and goings to my spiritual life. And I too relate to your Golden Shovel, because I love Paul Simon lyrics and because I've lived it many times. Thanks for this interesting post!

Ramona said...

Love your golden shovel poem! Lunar spirituality is a delightful way to look at our spiritual lives. Isn't it that way with all of us? I love the words you shared with us from Barbara's book. They're going in my notebook! And I'm headed off to see if our library has her book.