Saturday, April 28, 2012

Invitation to Poetry: The Center and the Edges

The following is this month's poetry challenge from The Abbey of the Arts: Transformative Living through the Contemplative and Expressive Arts. I bid you join us, poets and artists, and participate with us as we continue our creative journeys. Dip your pen into the possibilities of spiritual transformation through art. Catherine.

Presented by Christine Valters Paintner, OblSB, PhD, REACE | April 28, 2012

Welcome to the Abbey's Poetry Party #57!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your own poem. Scroll down and add it in the comments section below. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog (if you have one), Facebook, or Twitter, and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

I have recently discovered a stash of copies of my first book on lectio divina (published by Paulist Press, written with Sister Lucy) and so I will be sending out free signed copies to the first 25 people to share their poems (will be mailed out the week of May 7th). When you submit your poem, please also email me directly with your mailing address. This is my way of saying thank you for participating in the Abbey community.

This photo is of one of the doors to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I love this found mandala, because for me, I could see the clear boundary of the center where the knocker for the door was and where you request entry to the inner sanctum, and then the extension outward from there of the design which had a reaching quality to me and sense of how our service to others extends out into the world. We are called to dance on life's edges, stretching the boundaries and horizon. I felt the beautiful tension between the center and the edges and how we are called to both – each one nourishes the other.

I invite you to ponder this image and see what it evokes in your heart. Let that be a starting point for your poem writing. Then scroll down to the comments section and share it here with our Abbey community.

Here is my offering of poetry to the photograph above:

I travel 'round
this way,
that way...
in the sacred dance
to places I dared not go...
I go now
with opened eyes
with twirling feet
closer to edges
places I have never been
bridging the spaces
where I must be bold
to reach the next turning...
my heart beats fearfully
yet with joy and reckless
at what may be
the next unknown edge,
the next turn in my
sacred dance that leads
ever closer to Your Door...
the apex is near
hands stretched out
anticipation is heady
with the Presence of You
the center of my life,
I need only open myself
to the place beyond,
dancing before You,


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