Posts Tagged ‘longing’

Buried Treasure

October 22, 2008 Leave a comment

After hours of digging, we finally quit. My sister and I were going to dig to China (or at least discover some buried treasure in the process). I guess we choose the wrong spot. Like most children, visions of treasure chests often danced in our eyes as we longed to find that one map that would lead us to “x marks the spot.”

I never found that map.

Over time, the passion of childhood dreams is buried beneath layers of pain and disappointment. Hope that is frustrated again and again goes underground. But it still bubbles, and once in a while we feel fleeting sensations of this childhood ache for Christmas magic, buried treasure and the world of fairies. Chesterton and Lewis realized that this we wouldn’t have this longing if it wasn’t for something real.

Here is a delightful verse from my favorite poet Bobi Jones (translated by Joseph Clancy). Hope you enjoy, and may it stir a little longing in your soul.

By Bobi Jones

Cold ugly lady with beads
of icebergs around your sea
like stumps of teeth,

Uncivilized, empty, and fruitless apart
from the ore beneath your soil that is
a complex in the sub-conscious.

Out of sight your embryo, in
your wine cellars, the love child
deep beneath your desolation,

Is about to flourish like a fountain. Overhead
the sun is always moon
shining over the blossoms

Out of sight beneath the soil forever.
Singing was hid there,
colours are buried: here it is all

A waiting, all of it is about to come,
and the strain of holding the possibilities
inside, a discipline

We in Wales don’t know much about.

It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

While I’m working on business KPIs and online marketing, I listen to the Grateful Dead belt out Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue.

I feel a bit foolish as tears fill my eyes and a deep ache fills my heart because something, someone “calls for me.”I don’t always understand what makes me cry so easily. One minute I in the midst of promotions and products and schedules, and the next moment, I’ve slipped over into a thin place.

This joyful pain seems out of place in the cold light of fluorescent rows, staring down on endless cubicles of people pounding out metrics on laptop machines. And yet, the voice still calls.

Beneath our engines of enterprise and above our monuments of marketing, the still small voice is wooing, drawing and stirring us to love. Maybe the match I strike does not burn up this material world around me. Maybe instead I leave the cold, relation-less sterility of business behind, and remember once again that I am a lover and called to love and embody love in the midst of every place–whether lush green valley or a cynderblock room of cubicles.

Categories: love, Music Tags: , ,

Rhiannon and the Pursuit of Woman

June 12, 2008 Leave a comment

Bobi Jones captures the one of the Welsh myths from the Mabinogion in verse with his poem Rhiannon. This love story centers on the pursuit of a woman by a man over hills and into mist. No matter how fast his servant or his horse travel, Pwyll cannot reach the object of his affection. In desperation, he calls out to her and she stops and tells her tale and ends up marrying him.

When he beholds this vision of beauty, Pwyll proclaims,

She was dew: if the mournful sun should dare
attempt to lure her away, it would not deserve to dawn.

Then Jones’ poem (in Pwyll’s voice) describes the rapturous vision of Rhiannon by saying,

To see her like precious life fleeting away,
Nervous maidenhood raining along her shoulders
And everyone slaking his thirst in watch her:
As smoothly as blood in a vein she glided
On the white stallion-heart through the morning mist.
How shall one sing her purity?…Not like one
Moving in the outer world was her going,
Unless like a breeze softly wooing the ear,
Like a shadow of waters slanting the mind.

Is she a goddess? Is she a human? Has she crossed over from a thin place? Reading Jones’ poem the other day, I was struck by how vision of Rhiannon mixes physical attraction with spiritual longing. In the woman, he beholds something, someone that touches him deeper than simple lust for the other.

In Rhiannon, Jones’s stirred me to think of a vision beyond the Celtic myth to the pursuit of woman. Why do men respond the shape, movement, touch, smell, and voice of woman? The powerful warrior is powerless before such beauty. The intellectual falls dumbstruck in the presence of woman. Is this not part of the mystery of Song of Solomon and the passion between David and Bathsheba.

Then as I reflected on this response to the beauty of woman, I was moved by the decision of God to reveal his relationship with humans in the context of man pursuing woman. This pursuit is not the violent conquest of predator but of the Prince running toward His beloved in the folds of a misty morning.

In the midst of the pursuit, He speaks and His words capture the heart of the maiden.

With all our books about pursuing God and our songs about our love for God, we must not forget the real story. Our feeble responses and pursuits are but dim reflections of a God who runs to His bride. Though she seems to elude Him, He runs straight through the curse of sin and death to pursue His beloved. Then He speaks but a word and she, we, His people are overwhelmed by a love beyond knowing.

Again and again we fall back into His faithful loving arms, and by His grace we are learning to trust the Lover who defines the eseence of love by selling all that He has (giving up His life) to purchase the pearl of great price.

Tomorrow when I arise, I would do well to remember Jones’ poem Rhiannon and expect the Lover of my soul to pursue me through the hills and valleys of my wandering life.

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