Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's Meditation offers William Stafford's "The Way It Is" with a commentary by Naomi Shihab Nye. Trace Haythorn of The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education called it to my attention. What is the thread for you?

 We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 516: "The Way It Is" by William Stafford

The Way It Is - William Stafford

In her introduction to The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems, a wonderful collection of William Stafford’s poetry, poet Naomi Shihab Nye writes:

"In our time there has been no poet who revived hearts and spirits more convincingly than William Stafford. There has been no one who gave more courage to a journey with words, and silence, and an awakening life." This is at the heart of it - to give courage to a journey with words - to write of life’s simplicity, wonder at its mysteries, and venture out into the wild sky with reckless abandon, conviction of purpose and clarity of vision. Stafford’s poetry is filled with the “essential”. These are poems that echo the truth, that need to be heard because it is too difficult to say it out loud, to speak of struggle without being vulnerable. It is the poet who articulates the unsaid, however deep it cuts through the flesh, however embarrassing this naked vision is.

I’m finding, these days, as the experience of the pandemic comes home in myriad ways, as we try to come to terms with this hyper-real limbo, that poems such as this one strike a special chord. I’ve read this before, but I feel it more deeply today, as was the case with Mary Oliver’s “The Journey”.

"The Way It Is" by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among

things that change. But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.