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Hearing God’s Word in Creation

27 Apr

After a long absence, I thought I would share with my readers this poem “The Word”,  by the 19th century American poet Richard Realf, which was a focal part of my meditation and prayer a couple of days ago. I continue to be moved by ruminate over its message even today.  Here the poet sweetly lauds the Cosmic Word that reverberates throughout all of Creation for all that have ears to hear.

“The Word”

O Earth! Thou hast not any wind that blows 

Which is not music; every weed of thine 

Pressed rightly flows in aromatic wine; 

And every humble hedgerow flower that grows, 

And every little brown bird that doth sing, 

Hath something greater than itself, and bears 

A living Word to every living thing, 

Albeit it hold the Message unawares. 

All shapes and sounds have something which is not 

Of them: a Spirit broods amid the grass; 

Vague outlines of the Everlasting Thought 

Lie in the melting shadows as they pass; 

The touch of an Eternal Presence thrills 

The fringes of the sunsets and the hills. 

 

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An Anniversary Poem by Tom Webber

3 Nov
You can find out more about Tom & Barb's music by visiting their website: www.fairwebberfolkmusic.com

You can find out more about Tom & Barb Webber’s music by visiting their website: http://www.fairwebberfolkmusic.com

To Barb: An Anniversary Poem

I love you this moment
This small moment —
One drop of the tide of moments
That make the ocean of our life together.

We cannot know its distant shore
‘Though it seems we are on a long journey
On this tiny vessel we call “marriage”.
We do not know whence our journey first began
Nor when we will one day land.
(But we do have this one moment!)

We do not know its depths,
Nor what peril lies ahead.
But we feel the high tides
And the low ebbs
As we ride the crest of this moment along
To some unseen shore past the horizon.

What really does it matter?
This moment is all I have to give you.
For the ocean would be so much less
Were it diminished drop by drop.

So I love you this moment
And give you this moment.
Perhaps the ocean is in this single drop of time.

(c) Thomas C. Webber, November 1990


My wife Barb and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary today! It has been a wonderful journey together so far, and I am looking forward to all the years we will share in the future. We have filled it with a simple but full life centered on family (we have four lovely children) and our shared love of music which we have been performing together since the late 80s.

I wrote the poem above to commemorate our first anniversary together, and I shared it again with Barb in a homemade card. The message, I believe, will never lose its meaning for me. I share it you, my reader, with the hope that it might likewise speak to your journey of love.

Peace,

Tom

 

 

A Creed For Disenfranchized Chiristians And Disillusioned Spiritual Seekers

3 Jan
Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase

 

“God is not a belief-system.
Jesus is not a religion.
The good news is not a ticket to Heaven.
Church is not an address.
The Bible is not a book of doctrines.
Transformation is not behavior modification.
Community is not a meeting.
Grace has no exceptions.
Ministry is not a program.
Art is not carnal.
Women are not inferior.
Our humanity is not the enemy.
Sinner is not our identity.
Love is not a theory.
Peace is not a circumstance.
Science is not secular.
Sex is not filthy.
The herelife is not a warm-up for the afterlife.
The world is not without hope.
There is no “us” and “them.”
Tattoos are not evil.
Loving the earth is not satanic.
Seeing the divine in all things is not heretical.
Self-actualization is not self-worship.
Feelings are not dangerous and unreliable.
The mind is not infallible.”

– Jim Palmer

Check out Jim Palmer’s WordPress blog at http://jimpalmerblog.com

“Peace on Earth” – Classic MGM Christmas Cartoon

23 Dec

Peace On Earth. Classic Christmas cartoon. MGM 1939. Anti-war.

Here is my early Christmas gift to all of my friends and visitors to this blog. I hope you take the 8 1/2 minutes to watch this extraordinary classic cartoon. It is distinguished as being the only cartoon to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. I would describe this as a post-apocalyptic, dystopian-yet-utopian tale that presents the true meaning of the peace associated with the Christmas story in a manner that makes it still as relevant today as it was when it was first released, back in 1939. Think of it as an extended meditation on the twin themes of the “peaceable kingdom” and “turning swords into plowshares” that figure so prominently in the Book of Isaiah; two themes which serve as a backdrop to the story of the first Christmas found in the Gospels of Mathhew and Luke. What is ironic and sad is that this cartoon’s powerful anti-war message was largely forgotten or ignored just two years later when the USA entered the throes of WWII.

I post this now as we enter into this year’s Christmas season in hope that perhaps the message of this cartoon may engender in some people a reconsideration of the subversive but much needed message of Christmas: of the power of non-violent love that was incarnated in the coming of the Christ child some 2000 years ago. As we reflect on the sorrow, injustice and violence that plague our world right now, it should be clear that we need this cartoon’s simple message of peace and hope even more today.

I would love to have you post your reactions and thoughts here once you enjoy this heartwarming cartoon and ruminate over its message. And you are certainly encouraged to share or re-post this!

Merry Christmas and “Peace to All People of Good Will!!!”

Tom

A Meditation on Time, Eternity and God

12 Dec

A Facebook friend of mine was commenting on the following meme I had copied and shared from a blog run by the Passionists, a Roman Catholic religious order. The quote, which I find to be simple but profound encapsulation of one of the central truths taught by all the great religious traditions, was authored by Bil Keane, the cartoonist who created the much beloved comic strip “Family Circus.” Here it is:

My friend wrote the following comment in response:

I just read, recently in fact, that Einstein didn’t believe in “Now;” he didn’t believe there was a past, present, or future, that all time was “one.” I get dizzy trying to grasp that.

But then, do you know you can never really TOUCH anything? Has to do with those pesky electrons; since they repel one another they keep all your molecules from bumping into each other. What that has to do with “past, present, or future,” well, probably doesn’t. But I thought that was interesting, like Einstein’s disbelief in “Now.”

(I like the sentiment of that quote though.)

I, in turn, responded “…Bro…you are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven, or Enlightenment…Oh, and btw, the notion of the insubstantiality of everything is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism.” My retort was offered only partially in jest.

My friend inspired me to look up a long quote I copied in my journal (way back in June of 1989) from a philosopher and mathematician named Charles Muses during an interview of him I was watching on PBS. He, fact, wrote a book containing an extended meditation on Time. I never did read that book, but I will present here my personal thoughts as I recorded them in my journal, those being inspired directly by what Charles Muses said during the interview.

I wrote:

“Zero is beginning of the ruler. It is not to be equated with nothing. Zero is real, is something. (“Nothing” is just that: no-thing!)

We have been brainwashed by modern logic to equate the two (zero = nothing). Thus we cannot conceive or believe the notion of God existing beyond or at the edge of creation. To transcend creation is to find that the “edge of the ruler” is GOD!”

And finally, I concluded my little meditation with this little aphorism I wrote, again inspired by what Charles Muses had said:

“Be present to this moment in Time, for it cradles the entire universe.

As I look back, I can see that this processing of what I head heard in this interview represented for me a kind of epiphany, a watershed moment, one in which my attempt to finally free myself from the shackles of Western dualism was coming to full flower. I was on the verge then of forging a mature synthesis (or perhaps a better word would be reconciliation) of the western metaphysics that had grounded my Christian worldview and theology with that of the metaphysics of the Oriental mindset, especially as found within the Buddhist traditions. This attempt to reconcile the two was a philosophical and spiritual pursuit that occupied me greatly over the next two decades, and to some degree even up to the present.

If you have followed my blog for sometime, you may recognize many of these same themes — of Time, eternity, God, and being mindfully present to the moment — often emerge in many of the essays and poems I have posted here since I first began this blog a couple of years ago. And you can be assured that I will continue to flesh these thoughts out more in the future!

As always, your thoughts, questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.

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