Happy birthday and thank you, A.W.

It is not what a man does that determines wether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act.  All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never-so-simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah. 6:3)
A.W. Tozer - The Pursuit of God (with thanks to N.K.)

He lives in our hearts

God has left sin in the world in order that there may be forgiveness: not only the secret forgiveness by which He Himself cleanses our souls, but the manifest forgiveness by which we have mercy on one another and so give expression to the fact that He is living, by His mercy, in our own hearts. 

Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

To Whom we must give account

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:12

Seed – Kathleen Raine

From star to star, from sun and spring and leaf,
And almost audible flowers whose sound is silence,
And in the common meadows, springs the seed of life.

Now the lilies open, and the rose
Released by summer from the harmless graves
That, centuries deep, are in the air we breathe,
And in our earth, and in our daily bread.
External and innate dimensions hold

The living forms, but not the force of life;
For that interior and holy tree
That in the heart of hearts outlives the world
Spreads earthly shade into eternity.
Jules Breton, Song of the lark

At the heart of every darkness is a blinding light

Here we are again. The shifting balance of light and dark have reached a special point in the seasonal pendulum swing. I am reminded of a beautiful phrase from the mystical scholar Peter Kingsley whose work I discovered only recently. His words “at the heart of every darkness is a blinding light” cut into my own heart, and strike me as the perfect arrangement of letters for the winter solstice. 

I feel a special kind of joy this year. I have a good resting place and am reconnecting with the beauty of my homeland. The cool climate suits my northern vehicle, and the possibility of even a modest scattering of snow brings me a child-like thrill after so many winters spent in warmer climes. The crystalline formations adorning those brave little plants still daring to raise their heads above ground combined with the satisfying crunch of iced grass under foot is a treat. These tiny sensory delights remind me to be grateful. What a privilege it is to be alive, and to have “the universe in our hearts.”

"When you want what's so much greater than yourself, 
there's never a chance of being finally fulfilled. 
And yet something very strange happens.
When you want that and refuse to settle for anything else, it comes to you.
People who love the divine go around with holes in their hearts,
and inside the hole is the universe."

Peter Kingsley

The movement continues. We are here, and then we will be there. Always and ever an opportunity to enjoy now. I wish all evolving souls a wonderful winter solstice, and I leave you with a vivid depiction of the seasonal voyage (with thanks to Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Janine Jensen).

Parry Riposte

What am I doing here? What is the purpose of this collection of virtual pages? Words shape thought: they sculpt the inner landscape and influence the outer terrain. I am looking to share something of my individual path of healing and the realisations that have come along the way. I send the finest words I can conjure up out into the ether, in the hope that they will touch other human beings who are filtering similar matters through their own hearts, minds and wills.

I am sowing seeds of dissent and seeds of faith. I am practicing articulating the things that matter and working on my ability to form language so it reaches out with both greater precision and greater flexibility. Doing all this through a public platform allows me to track my own progress and perhaps receive a litle feedback. It also offers the possibility to cultivate humility, as I inevitably catch glimpses of my own naivety and misconceptions as I move forward. I am a witness and a chronicler. Does sincerity and truthfulness point to the untruth and deception of the society around us? I hope so.

The keyboard, the pen, the word in motion; the gun, the sword, the body in motion. Choose your weapon. Bow to your opponent. Fight with honour.

A noble art