of veils and desire

i have returned to a daily practice that is blessing me. i had been feeling substantial dis-ease and malaise, emptiness and disconnect. at the same time, of course, noticing an intense desire for ‘something more’, a very real yearning. during a conversation with a friend where we shared our mutual longing to be a part of some sort of intentional community, i recognized that part of my desire was related to being intentionally present, with having permission to spend time with god. and i realized that i can give myself that permission, with or without the walls of a convent.

likewise, i have noticed several times the sense of sacredness i experience
around the veil. once i slipped a prayer shawl over my head during a time of
prayer and the feeling of withinness, of ‘god gazing outwardness ‘was so very
palpable for me. i listened recently to an interview with an egyptian woman
about the sacredness of the veil and  felt the same longing.

several times over the last months i have noticed an increasing awareness in me of the goodness of and the need for structure, (this is coming from me?) some of this has come from watching someone i love struggle with too many choices and then not be able to take any one choice deep enough to find the place where her deeper self and the path she is on connect. its as if she is diffused somehow.

some if this is from noticing the way in which i have likewise been unable to
create boundaries around what is important to me…usually by letting other
peoples needs in (or rather my need to take care of them). i once read that for many women the kind of internal focus required to attend to self sends out signals to those who depend on them that they have turned the light out and they come seeking her out. i have great difficulty creating boundaries for myself, with saying ‘this is more important to me in this moment than dealing with your need’.

then, this summer a few spiritual friends and i created a monthly gathering for support and, to my surprise, the first month one of the women came with a written agenda. i found myself instantly amused by god, and recognizing the goodness of the structure she provided. it was as if i knew the container she was intentionally creating would hold our intent to attend to one another’s depths and not drift off or spill over into the trivial.
 
likewise, i am noticing the way in which a daily practice provides a boundaried container in which i can attend to what is important to me and ‘keep out’ all the extraneous distractions into which i can find myself distracted and diffused. i think for a time in my spiritual journey my need was sooo great that i couldn’t ‘not ‘ spend time attending to my deeper self (the early days in which i wrote and wrote to stay alive) but once a certain level of healing was reached it was easy to let that time alone with god slide or detiorate, which naturally led to a complimentary lack of awareness of God in my non-prayer time.

no, the need to be alone with god is never gone. i think that was the
nagging feeling over my shoulder of which i have spoken, which i felt right
there all summer long…the something more-ness, the meaninglessness. returning to being intentional about being with god in my alone time has almost immediately healed my sense of meaning and intentionality and passion for life in my ‘regular’ time, my work and family time. i feel ‘all together’ now.

last week i was reading the lectionary reading for the day during my lectio time. the story was the one about zachias in the tree. and there it was so clearly….zachias’s intense desire to see christ, matched only by my
own, a desire so intense it has him climbing trees to catch a glimpse amongst
the crowded, busyness of the ‘city’. and there it was, the surprisingness of
jesus’ response, for zachias’ desire is also christ’s desire is also vicki’s
desire. it is all a mirror. for christ desires the same as you and
i…to stay in our houses. to stay. to remain. to be present always. to not
come and go, but to stay.

i heard very clearly that day the call to unity. that god whisper ‘over my
shoulder’, of which i have spoken of late, was christ wanting to be in me even
as it is me wanting to Be christ here in this place. not in some flamboyant or arrogant way…but just to simply acknowledge that I am…you are….we are christ in this place.

Love made visible.

Love being.

Love becoming.

Love.

simple really. probably nothing new to you either. i just heard it so clearly
this particular day. so clearly on some new level. its not so much about being present as it is about Being Presence.

oh, i still desire to wear the veil. as i said my experience of withinness is so
palpable when i slip the prayer shawl over my head, gazing out upon the world. it is then that i realize my life is not about being seen, but about being and seeing.  being. loving. but i can perhaps find ways to do that here and
now, dressed as i am.

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