There is no religion for the whole of “god”,
just some small and all-too-human scraps.
We are not equipped to know the universe,
nor much more than we hold in our laps.
There is nothing that is end-all, be-all
that we can imagine. Only fools
seek a formula that folds it all in;
we know not the game, or half the rules.
There is no united, single pathway,
nor a sole, most sacred mountaintop.
All we see are ripples and faint echoes,
not where things begin or where they stop.
We are at the shore of a great ocean,
thinking that our buckets hold the sea.
Salt dolls sent to measure depth and distance,
we dissolve. That’s how it’s meant to be.
There is nothing sacred that is separate;
just some shattered fragments, nothing more.
That we cannot put them all together
doesn’t mean we’ve failed. There is no score.
It is not religion that imagines
some connection that escapes our sight.
The small gods we carve out in our image
leave us blind and deaf out in the night.
There is nothing missing from the picture;
only our misjudging of the frame.
Drawing rigid lines between each other,
we each die dividing up the blame.
25 JUL 2017
She waits for us to understand,
or better, to remember:
that at her breast we all have suckled
since we each began;
and for a thousand thousand years
have eaten at her table,
imagining some unseen other
laying out the spread.
She waits for us to come back home.
Our lives are spent returning:
pretending that we start apart,
we blindly seek connection
to what we would call the divine,
imagining it elsewhere
when it is underneath our feet.
We never can be parted.
She waits for us to recognize,
to hear, to begin listening:
the current runs inside of all,
a song we all are singing,
that all is sacred or none is,
that there is no exclusion;
what binds us is her life in us.
What separates? Illusion.
22 APR 2013 (Earth Day 2013)
About two years ago, I participated in a discussion group that included a number of relatively famous pagan “elders”. There was some scuffle regarding some relatively unsavory behavior on the part of one of the members, a leader of a pagan group and the erstwhile protege of one of these “elders”. This elder posted (anonymously, of course) a message that encouraged people to close ranks, to support this unscrupulous character because as Pagans, we owed it to ourselves to present a unified front against our “enemies”, to recognize and respect our “brothers” and give them more leeway, so to speak, than we would another non-relative. A recent item over at Letters from Hardscrabble Creek on whether or not “pagan community” was a meaningful construct gave me incentive to look up my response to that issue, which touches on the concept of “pagan community”:
As far as “Pagan community” is concerned, I am often troubled that some people who claim the name of “Pagan” seem to think that there should be some artificial construct (of course, it does not seem artificial to them) that connects us all at the level of our common beliefs, that there is some kind of “brotherhood” which all pagans should acknowledge and respect.
I have a fundamental question regarding this “brotherhood”, however … is this a “brotherhood” of those who CLAIM to be at one with each other, or of those whose deeds prove it to be the case?
As was said once earlier in the last century (if may have been FDR who said it), if you are a “Harvard Man”, you don’t need a class ring to prove it – your actions will make it obvious to all that you are of that caliber.
For myself, I know my brethren (that are not tied by blood) by their deeds, and not their words. And if a brother (or sister, for in fact ‘brotherhood’ implies something that smacks of patriarchy and hierarchy, of closed rooms and inequality) makes what I feel to be an error, it is my obligation to discuss it with them privately, “on the way to the church” so to speak, rather than standing up and impugning them before the entire congregation. For if we are in fact ALL siblings, then any action that affects the well-being of one affects the well-being of all. All of which goes to show that one cannot choose one’s “brothers” lightly. Yes, we are all related, we all share this plane in which to find our paths, we are all different shafts of the same light. But our “unity” is quite a different matter. The fact is that we are NOT a pagan community because we call ourselves Pagan, but are only a community if we act as a community