As a Unitarian minister, every time I create a service I find myself scrolling through word documents trying to find that quote, reading, meditation or chalice lighting that fits the theme. I can waste a lot of time seeking that perfect piece – one of the downsides of a tradition without a sacred text! Most of the time I’m glad to find myself opened up in unexpected ways through reading novels, watching tv shows, or listening to tedx talks; I love referencing Anne of Green Gables as well as the Dalai Lama in a reflection. But it is a challenge trying to remember where I found that insight…
I created wordchalice to hold all these pieces in one place with a good search engine. I’ve only got a fraction of the texts I use up there, but I’m adding more each week. The blog includes insights from musicians, scientists, feminists, writers, gardeners, poets, theologians and wise people from across the centuries. And from tv shows that have wowed me with anew ways to consider the world. My original work will also be posted there. The Empty Chalice will remain my blog, the tumblr account is my reference database. An eclectic and evolving gathering of texts, I hope wordchalice will be a useful site for anyone seeking inspiration on topics from the sacred to the food we eat. It can be accessed via my blogroll anytime.
But when we begin to tell stories,
our imagination begins to flow out through our eyes and our ears to inhabit the breathing earth once again.
Suddenly, the trees along the street are looking at us,
and the clouds crouch low over the city as though they are trying to hatch something wondrous.
We find ourselves back inside the same world that the squirrels and the spiders inhabit,
along with the deer stealthily munching the last plants in our garden,
and the wild geese honking overhead as they flap south for the winter.
Linear time falls away, and we find ourselves held, once again, in the vast cycles of the cosmos —
the round dance of the seasons,
the sun climbing out of the ground each morning and slipping down into the earth every evening,
the opening and closing of the lunar eye whose full gaze attracts the tidal waters within and all around us.
David Abram excerpt from Storytelling and Wonder
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
~ Mary Oliver ~
Pine in Algonquin Park