Friday, May 01, 2009

Poets don't make arguments, they reveal mysteries...


"What the congregation needs is not a strategist to help them form another plan for achieving a desired image of life, but a poet who looks beneath even the desperation to recover the mystery of what it means to be made in God's image." -pastor-professor, and poet, M. Craig Barnes, in his new book: The Pastor As Minor Poet: Texts and Subtexts in the Ministerial Life

"Just like a wild animal, the soul is tough, resilient, savvy, resourceful and self-sufficient: it knows how to survive in hard places. Many of us learn about these qualities in the darkest moments of our lives when the faculties we normally depend upon utterly fail us—the intellect is useless, the emotions dead, the will impotent, and the ego shattered. But sometimes, way back in the thickets of our inner lives, we sense the presence of something that knows how to stay alive and helps us to keep going. That something, I suggest, is the tough and tenacious soul. And yet the soul, despite its toughness, is also essentially shy—just like a wild animal. It will flee from the noisy crowd and seek safety in the deep underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods yelling for it to come out! But if we will walk into the woods quietly and sit at the base of a tree, breathing with the earth and fading into our surroundings, the wild creature we seek may eventually show up." -Parker Palme

I find that the poetic voice is desperately needed today, especially within the church.

Poetry fosters and nurtures life by finding wonder in the nooks and crannies of ordinary life.
-Suzanne Rhodes: The Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student Poets

Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen to what is beyond, always kindles the desire for the hidden through what is constantly perceived. Therefore, the ardent lover of beauty, although receiving what is always visible as an image of what he desires, yet longs to be filled with the very stamp of the archetype. — Saint Gregory of Nyssa
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