New Year Meditation

How the Light Comes
“May we bend our bodies

to follow the arc it makes.

May we open

and open more

and open still
to the blessed light

that comes.”
—Jan Richardson

from “Circle of Grace”
 I come to the end of another year. To say the least, I’m grateful that 2015 is slowly receding into the rear view mirror of my mind and up ahead lies 2016 full of possibilities. Each New Year brings the out the laundry list of things folks want to improve, from being healthier, those gym memberships are on sale right now, to changing careers, to finally finding that one true, passionate love. Resolutions are made, talismans are held at the stroke of midnight invoking the gods of the great universe to smile down upon our lives and to show us the way or guide us into choosing the right combination of numbers for that power ball ticket. Much of what we seek is self indulgence, all about our very human need of thinking first of oneself above and beyond the other.

 I was struck by this verse from a poem by Jan Richardson, How the Light Comes. When I look back on my accident, the time spent working on my physical healing, I realize that I have also been working through the emotional and spiritual pain as well. Life, my life, and how I look at the world around me has changed, and from my perspective it has changed by arcing in a more creative way. “May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes”, the poet writes, not only bending our bodies but also bending our souls to follow that arc. She uses the word “bend”, which implies a gentle way of stretching those inner muscles of our hearts. God seeks to bend us, yet unlike a grand master of Yoga who seeks to bend the body, turning our focus inward, God seeks to bend our unruly wills and passions, turning them toward the light and pointing us outward.

 If I’m to have any resolution for the new year then it is to continue bending, stretching out my creative self, to test the boundaries of my interior and present that to the world. Immersing my deepest self in the prose and poetry that is all around us, the song of the heavens that opens our hearts to see everything with different eyes. Like the healing of my hip, this creative bending will come with some frustration as well as some pain, then again that which pushes us into new territories of life and faith eventually leads to wholeness. 

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