“The ecumenical communities of L’Arche in Australia used to have gatherings that they called ‘host and guest’. First, a Protestant would describe to the community and its friends how her own church had made it possible for her to know and love Jesus more fully. Then a Catholic responded to what he had found striking in this story, before sharing his faith experience in his own church. The Protestant would, in turn, respond to what had touched her in this: devotion to Mary, for instance, or to the Eucharist. That was it–no discussion or debate, simply each person speaking of what had seemed wonderful in the other. This is what living in community is about too–seeing the positive in others and accepting them as they are, with all their human difficulties. To love your brothers or sisters means recognizing them as people; it means revealing to them their own beauty.” (Jean Vanier)
I love Mary Anne Morgan’s photography, and I would like to introduce you to it. The piece below is entitled shining. Her blog post follows.
all rights reserved Mary Anne Morgan
Last summer he brought home a box of spoons left over from an event at church. I wondered what he was doing. They were just cheap spoons, nothing special. A few days later, I found him drilling holes into the tops of them in the front yard. He was drilling holes and tying them up with fishing line on hangers in the trees. I could hear them singing softly already. “They are for you”, he said gazing straight into my eyes. “I know how you like them.”
He knows me. But how could he have known that these cast off spoons would carry nourishment to so much of me? Their soft tink-tink-tinking in the breeze lets me know God is near. When I hear them I sense his presence. On dark nights when seasons change and I am clinging to all I am losing, they sing. On blustery days when the sky is gray and I don’t think I can do one more day, they sing. He is invisible like the wind but he uses ordinary vessels to be heard and yes, tangibly felt. I am walking through a lonely season but the chimes help me feel I am not alone.
He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams. ~J.R.R. Tolkien Fellowship of the Rings
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
Just when you’d begun to feel You could rely on the summer, That each morning would deliver The same mourning dove singing From his station on the phone pole, The same smell of bacon frying Somewhere in the neighborhood, The same sun burning off The coastal fog by noon, When you could reward yourself For a good morning’s work With lunch at the same little seaside cafe With its shaded deck and iced tea, The day’s routine finally down Like an old song with minor variations, There comes that morning when the light Tilts ever so slightly on its track, A cool gust out of nowhere Whirlwinds a litter of dead grass Across the sidewalk, the swimsuits Are piled on the sale table, And the back of your hand, Which you thought you knew, Has begun to look like an old leaf. Or the back of someone else’s hand.