In faith, attention is controlled by a new Spirit, no longer the spirits of materialism, self-seeking and self-preservation, but by the ethos of faith which is by its nature dispossessive. It is always letting go and continuously renouncing the rewards of renunciation, which are very great and so all the more necessary to be returned. . . .We can glimpse it simply by calling to mind those moments or phases in life where we experienced the highest degree of peace, fulfillment and joy and recognize that those were times, not when we possessed anything, but when we lost ourselves in something or someone. The passport into the kingdom requires the stamp of poverty. [. . . .]
After meditation: “Something That Happens Right Now” by William Stafford in THE WAY IT IS: New and Selected Poems (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 1998), p. 8.
Something That Happens Right Now
I haven’t told this before. By our house on the plains before I was
born my father planted a maple. At night after bedtime when others
were asleep I would go out and stand beside it and know all the way
north and all the way south. Air from the fields wandered in. Stars
waited with me. All of us ached with a silence, needing the next things,
but quiet. We leaned into midnight and then leaned back. On the rise
to the west the radio tower blinked—so many messages pouring by.
A great surge came rushing from everywhere and wrapped all the
land and sky. Where were we going? How soon would our house
break loose and become a little speck lost in the vast night? My father
and mother would die. The maple tree would stand right there. With
my hand on that smooth bark we would watch it all. Then my feet
would come loose from Earth and rise by the power of longing. I
wouldn’t let others know about this, but I would be everywhere,
as I am right now, a thin tone like the wind, a sip of blue light—no
source, no end, no horizon.