Thursday, July 17, 2014

To pluck words

In a book I'm reading, World Enough and Time, the author Christian McEwen wrote this: "In the same way as one pulls the petals from a daisy, so too can we pluck one letter at a time from familiar words, revealing the core beneath....My own favorites center on a little cluster of words that seem, like koans, to conceal a deeper meaning. It is as if one bit into a juicy peach to find its wizened stone or broke apart an egg to show its golden yolk. For example, when where is plucked, it reveals here; the small domestic hearth expands into the cosmic earth. Most miraculous of all, perhaps, eyes open into an all-confirming yes."

I loved this and I was totally distracted during our last three prayer periods in searching for plucked word pairs in our psalter! Look at what I found: least---east; glove---love; trust---rust; swords---words; praises---raises; calms---alms; swings---wings.

I know that a clever writing teacher or poet could do a lectio divina or other meditative exercise with any number of these. Here's my own simple example from one I found: Giving alms is a practice that surely calms the inner spirit of selfishness.

The early morning eastern sky from my 4th floor office window.

Don't miss this Smilebox collage on our website of a discernment retreat we sponsored last weekend. Cute!