Is-ness

A friend shared this poem with me this morning and I loved it…
Maybe some of my love for it is the weather of late. There have been some heavenly days in the last little while: the finest of August offerings…deep everlasting blue in the background with crisp greens in relief, leafy shadow art upon the pathways beneath branches, the Fibonacci riot of dahlias in the Public Gardens, a breeze through the window while work gets done. I want to savour these days; let them seep in just as they are in their glory.
Portent of Fall, some call the cool evenings. Soon enough…say others. And there are those who wish this weather would stay year-round.
…And a girl said: The sky today/is incomplete because the cypress broke./And a young man said: But the sky today is complete/because the cypress broke. And I said/to myself: Neither mystery nor clarity,/ the cypress broke and that is all/there is to it: the cypress broke!
The weather of now is the weather of now. And it is beautiful now. Sometimes I think we have a hard time with Is-ness rather than once-was-ness or will-be-ness or even might-become-ness. Those tenses and times I find a bit fuzzy most days. They have their places, for sure, but there is a certain satisfaction, even freedom, in the Is-ness. Neither mystery nor clarity
I can’t even call it joy…because it isn’t always joyful, for sure, depending on the situation. No matter what my reaction, though, I find it grounding to identify the is-ness. How I feel about whatever it is, is another question I might ask myself—but first—here’s what IS.
And sometimes, that’s enough… Is the world a hot mess? Yup. Is it full of wonder? For sure. Are human beings capable of all sorts of damaging acts, small and large, self-directed and outwardly so? Yes. Are we also capable of art, beauty, generosity, and grace? Absolutely.
Walking with that both-and is walking with is-ness.
Makes me think about Moses who is the one who stopped long enough at a bush on fire to realize that it was not being consumed. Is-ness. Turns out, it was God. When Moses asked how to respond to the Israelites when they ask who sent him, the response is purest Is-ness. God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, I AM has sent me to you.
The cypress was there, the cypress broke. Neither mystery nor clarity. Nothing to be solved…just is. I can’t imagine seeing a bush alive with flame but going nowhere, much less explain how it is that God, I AM, spoke from within it. Am I good with that Is-ness? Am I good with believing that and not being able to explain it or find a reason for it? Most days, yes.
I don’t know what is ahead with this whole fourth-wave Delta variant situation. I don’t know for sure what weather the turning of the earth will bring here next. Some days, most days, really…I’d simply like to look outside, be outside, and say Look at the contrast of colours and lines against the sky!! Oh, the textures in that flower bed! Or, see how each blade of grass is tipped with a raindrop? Or, watch the news, walk down the street, read the paper, talk to a neighbour, and wonder— How can I by my actions, attitudes, and behaviours, make the Is better or more bearable for more people? And if I can’t do that, how can I help people hold the contradictions, hold on, and hope onward, BEING in the midst of and holding hands with Mystery and Clarity, both.

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