18 May 2023  - CITW

18 May 2023            A Candle in the Window            Peter Millar

Words to encourage us in these times.          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The day stirs

with the beauty of divine life

piercing through

the unknowing night

showering all being

in silent love.

Kerrie Hyde, ‘Stirrings of Love’

The one who understands our need

accepts us as we are;

and, like a loved one, welcomes us

when we have wandered far.

God never says we come too late

to be forgiven, free,

but promises we can become

the self we’re meant to be.

Edith Sinclair Downing (1922-2016)

‘How can we determine the hour of dawn, when the night ends and the day begins?’ asked the Teacher. ‘When from distance you can distinguish between a dog and a sheep’, suggested one student. ‘No’ was the answer. ‘Is it when one can distinguish between a fig and a grapevine?’ asked a second student. ‘No’. ‘Please tell us the answer then.’ ‘It is, when,’ said the wise Teacher, ‘you can look in the face of a human being, and you have enough light to recognise in him or her your brother or sister. Up till then it is night and darkness is still with us.’                                                A Hasidic tale

O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world.      Psalm 8, Verse 1

The great mysteries have to be experienced. They have to be lived.

Indian saying

Every moment of every event in our life on earth plants something in our soul.

Based on words of Thomas Merton

Shared experience:

For many of us during lockdown, listening to music or watching a play became an almost private experience. We could enjoy great performances on our screens in the living room. We streamed them live and wondered why we ever bothered to buy tickets, or queued to get into crowded concert halls or theatres. Surely we could have the best of the arts at home? Yet, as one writer put it, all that may have been good but we were missing something. Perhaps we began to realise that the real pleasure of music or drama derives from sharing them. The great violinist, Nicola Benedetti, who is now director of the Edinburgh International Festival, recently reminded us that people want to reconnect to the sacred value of the live collective experience.

The idea that the digital era would herald the end of live performance, she said, was outdated. She is right. Listening to a piece of music on our own can bring great comfort or pleasure but music is composed and plays are written to be shared. In Shakespeare’s time, audiences were virtually sitting on the stage, and the numerous great outdoor music festivals throughout the UK in this coming summer attract thousands of people of all ages who value sharing the experience together. For most people, sharing the joy or the tension or the trauma of a great dramatic performance is part of its magic, which the internet cannot hope to replicate. As the conductor Sir Simon Rattle said: “We may find more and more ways in which technology invades our artistic spaces but music in a concert hall...is there in time and space and for that moment only”.

Adapted from an article in The Times, UK.

The act of dispossession:

Recently I came across some words written many years ago by a person called Mr N. K. Somani in the Indian Express. These were his words: “Let us teach our children one lesson – the act of dispossession. Life is an opportunity to evolve not to indulge”. As I read these words which were probably written in the 1980s it struck me how important it is in our times for us to understand our human journey as a time for evolving and not indulging. The months of Covid lockdown enabled many people to think about the future direction of their lives and what was really important to them. This time of reflection propelled people to change direction and discover other ways of living. Collectively, as we think about the great issues now facing the human family, I recognise that Mr Somani’s words are truly prophetic. “The act of dispossession” must be understood by us all if we are to survive as a race. Returning to a simpler life style and a deeper compassionate connection with our sacred Earth is a sure starting point. pm