How Sweet the Sound

[Jesse in the Groove, Honk!, Somerville, MA 2016]

When you’ve traveled around the sun as many times as I have, and been blessed, as have I, to know a host of lovely people, you’ll want to send off a LOT of Season’s Greetings* cards, right? I do. And, because I am human and, this season, easily overwhelmed, by Hour Three of writing and addressing cards on Saturday, I hit the wall. Only up to the H’s in my address book, I questioned my sanity; I doubted that a pretty card touting “happiness”—ordered  in sunnier, cheerier, pre-election August—was even the right thing to mail!

But, you know, Grace happens. Sometimes. Sometimes we are given, willy nilly, an opening: Suddenly I saw my-way-too-facile-cards and the United State Postal Service and the water warriors of Standing Rock and Sanctuary Cities and activist lawyers and the Muslim owners of a restaurant in London that invited the homeless and the lonely to come eat for free on Christmas Day and good people everywhere; millions and millions of people profoundly and intrinsically and powerfully connected together. What a vision! What an opening! I saw how perhaps-silly-but heartfelt acts of reaching out, connecting with those we love, can be a simple yet significant act of solidarity, reassurance, kindness; support. Yes!

But, wait, there’s more. I heard it. That ginormous web. Just for an instant. I heard its hum. Like the sound I remember from my teaching days when my writing students silently, happily settled into their individual work.

Yes. I heard that sweet “Mmmmm.” I’ll end by offering another sweet sound:

“The secret of the mountain is that the mountains simply exist, as I do myself: the mountains exist simply, which I do not. The mountains have no “meaning,” they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.”
― Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard

*Although I celebrate Christmas, many people do not. I respect that. It’s that simple. End of discussion.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!! I pray, wish, and hope for you and for you and for your and yours A Very, Very, Nice, Special, Blessed, A Very, Very Happy, and Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!!!!! Sister, WOW, YOU, dear, dear sister, your prayers and thoughts for me, and your absolutely beautiful blog post article have greatly and immensely helped me to feel better and I am definitely on the mend and feeling better, sisterfriend!!!!! Yay!!!!! Patricia, I just so, so very much love this astounding and very inspirational blog post article of yours. The title is just perfect here, absolutely perfect, and the cool so full of spirit picture accompanying this very fine and excellent article adds to and complements this great title and the entire article itself! Wow, sisterfriend, I love so this awesome blog post article, Patricia!!!!!! Sister, I love to send out Christmas cards as well as greetings for all occasions like for people’s birthdays. Wow, what a blessed joy this brings to me. My health didn’t hold up and I wasn’t able to do all of my Christmas cards that were waiting in my kind of a makeshift office in my apartment but wow, I’ve been praying without ceasing for YOU, dear, dear friend of mine, Patricia, and for everybody!!!!!! I just so, so very much love and cherish the beautiful Christmas card which you sent to me in the snail mail with the so, so very dear words inside which just went straight to my very heart, sister!!!!! The cardinals on the card are just lovely and the card with all of its decorations on it are such a great joy to behold, Patricia!!!!! Thank-you so!!!!! Looking at my card gives me great joy and cheer and helps me to feel even better having been so sick, sister!!!!!! Grace does very much indeed still happen even in these dire post-election times, sister, as you very wisely suggest and share and declare here, Patricia. The sheer beauty and so, so very fun, too, of sharing, giving, and receiving Christmas cards and Hanukkah cards, and Happy New Year cards, and all sorts of cards in the holiday season, amidst the ongoing struggles for social justice, equity, and fairness with dear persons enacting our very agency and empowerment in resisting oppressors and oppression to gain and maintain our rights in all of this at this time and at all times we rejoice creating a beautiful vision as you say of people profoundly and intrinsically and powerfully connected together. We are all connected together in the great unity of the spirit with Spirit loving all of us and with all of us connecting to and loving each other as best as we can. Sister, I just so love how the awesome Muslim restaurant owners are going to host a free Christmas dinner on Christmas day for those dear folks who have nowhere to go and are alone and lonely on this observance of our Sweet Jesus’ birth. Wow, this is just so, so very great and dear here, sister!!!!! I love this link here as I so love all of the great links which you have very graciously and generously featured in your brilliant blog post article, sister!!!!! Sister, heartfelt acts of love, of friendship, of relationship, sweet, so whole, pure, and good agape love, and love in all of its beautiful aspects with acts of connecting with not only our loved ones and family but also with our wider and larger human family never ever go for naught. As you very wisely with such astute and acute sagacity share and declare here simple yet significant acts of solidarity, reassurance, kindness, and support help us all together in the unity of the spirit to co-create a vision of our shared love as a community and humanity family rejoicing in all of our bountiful blessings and in one another. I, too, hear the sweet sound along with you, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!! Yay yay yay yay!!!!! The sheer beauty of the insightful writing you shared by our great Paul Matthiessen with his glorious The Snow Leopard just makes me ring with life in my very, very heart, and in my very, very heart, mind, soul, and spirit, sister. Wow!!!!! I am just so moved and touched in my spirit here, my so, so very dearest and darling friend!!!!!

    Sister, I so love all of the great links which you have as usual as always very graciously and generously featured and included with this spectacular blog post article, Patricia!!!!! Sisterfriend, for some strange reason when I click on the Sanctuary Cities link I keep getting a video about bottle opening. I’m not sure what’s happening here but I’ll keep trying to click on it for sure. Oh, my so, so very dear sister Christian Quaker woman, thank-YOU so for this awesome link to the Glossary of Quaker Terms and Phrases!!!!! Wow, sisterfriend, I love this!!!!! This is so interesting and full of such great learning information here and such fun and a joy to read and study!!!!! Wow, this is just great here, Patricia!!!!! I learn here more about YOU, my friend, and about your very faith and beliefs, sister, and more about the so, so very pure in heart Quakers you all are for sure!!!!!! I so love and appreciate the discussion as to how many Friends refer to worship as Meeting and how the physical structure where worship takes place is the church. How beautiful and so, so very lovely here, Patricia!!!!!! I love how the discussion continues with how she sees the phrase, “To hold someone in the light,’ problematic and like with how Robert Griswold perfectly articulates that the Light is a reality that uses us leading to greater discernment about what the path to take would be rather than as any notion or convention people would think of. Wow, I am learning a whole bunch here!!!!! Sister, this is fascinating reading and enhances my very faith and my walk with Jesus, Patricia!!!!! Sister, I learned from this great reading that the phrase, “speaking truth to power,” originated from the American Friends Service Committee in 1955 when they published the pamphlet, Speaking Truth to Power, regarding a new, fresh approach to the Cold War. Sister, I didn’t know this fact!!!!! I’ve always thought that this phrase came from the Civil Rights movement from some of the black persons who were involved in the Civil Rights movement! Wow, this is great to know and great to learn here what the real, true, and accurate origins of this great phrase is here and to give proper credit here where it is due, sisterfriend!!!!!! Wow, what awe-inspiring words of wisdom here in the sharing on how “let your life speak” is a phrase which is not as historically accurate and that the more relevant words, “let your life preach” being more historically accurate and more toward the heart of the matter as Quakers are along The Way. I so enjoyed, loved, and appreciated learning about how Friends speak and think of their Christianity not as a mere “notion” but as “a Way.” I can see here as well that the words notion has its limitations and that “a Way” are words with broader meaning and more all-encompassing. Wow, I love reading this-this is just very interesting and fascinating here, sister!!!!! Wow, I love the quote here, “Christianity is not a notion, but a Way.” Sister, all of these great words speak to me to in just speaking to me and my very heart and spirit!!!!! What glorious words here bearing such great import, Patricia!!!!! Wow, how you as usual as always provide such great links with such marvelous and educational, deeply spiritual information, sisterfriend!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

    Sister, please have such a totally terrific and a very thrilling Tuesday, a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend ahead, may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, and I pray, wish, and hope for you and for you and for you and yours with your dear husband, your precious Loved One in the long-term care facility, for your children, grandchildren, and all of the rest of your very special, blessed, and precious family, for your very pure in heart friendsfamily at your Friends Meeting at Cambridge, for all of your other friends in thinking of all of you, too, daily and very frequently sending to each and every one of you such great positive energy in praying without ceasing for all of you and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!!!!!! I just so love and cherish YOU, sister, and all of you, and I thank-YOU ALL for praying for me and thinking of me the way you all do-I can feel your very prayers and thoughts for me!!!!! Thank-you!!!!!! Sister, I am just so, so very incredibly blessed and YOU, sister, are my and our very joy and blessing, and so are all of your inspirational blog post articles, other great writings and books, and all you do in such an excellent and a very fine manner for all of us, Patricia!!!!! I thank Spirit continually for YOU, Patricia, and you help me with my walk with Jesus!!!!! Spirit loves and so cherishes you so, so very much and so do I!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always precious and special soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with Such Peace and Love For You For Always, sister of mine, and with Such Very Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, friend of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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