Saturday, April 11, 2009

Connection. Mystery. Joy

Recently, I read an essay titled Identity, A Rant by Yezida at Peacock Dreams. You might know her better as author T. Thorn Coyle (1) . I loved this piece. It speaks to much of what I have been feeling these last ten years or so about my practice and my place in the earthwise community.

Where she might say "religion" I would say "spirituality", where she speaks of worship, I choose to celebrate but these are trifling differences compared to the hard won wisdom contained within this essay. I will quote some of her words here but please read the whole thing. You'll be glad you did.

...When asked what her beliefs were, (Cora Anderson) said, "We believe in the grass and the trees and in being sensible." That's pretty good. My religion is my also includes everything else that has formed me. My practice is deep, and daily, and ecstatic, and filled with thought and silence and activity and stillness and sex and communion and time alone. My religion, like any religion, is how I connect. And my primary connection is to God Herself and the reflection of that in everything else. The names don't matter so much in general, though in specific, of course they do. Just as I know the names of my friends, so too, do I know the names of my Gods. But I also recognize that God Herself is known by many names...

I have altars to Ganesh and Freyr and Freyja. I have altars to Brigid and Quan Yin and the Peacock Angel. I have altars to the ancestors and the Shining Ones. What does this make me? Engaged. Active. Present. Alive. I practice at home, and on airplanes and my bicycle and in the gym, and on the dance floor and in meetings and classes and the grocery store. Everywhere and everyplace there is an opportunity to connect. That is my religion. Connection. Mystery. Joy.

...I do not care what you call yourself or by which label you identify. What I care about are these: Do you love? Do you practice? Do you spread joy and seek out Mastery? Are you attempting to know yourself? Are you strong? Are you kind? How do you deepen? What is your commitment?

As for the rest, I barely care anymore. I feel grateful for my training. I feel grateful for the beauty that traditions give rise to, just as I feel grateful for any great art or science. But I also feel grateful for poppies and lavender, and laughter, and well made hummus with raw vegetables, and chocolate pot du creme. I feel grateful for deep thinkers, and bright lovers, for stone circles on hilltops and drinking tea in bed during a rainstorm.

My religion is connection. What is yours? How do you identify?
For years now, I've had a particular quote written on a Post It Note on my computer so that I see it every day:

It is not about command and control.
It is about connection and communion.

Whatever your tradition, faith or practice, may it be so for you.

Peace, wonder and joy to you and yours in this season of life and renewal.



(1) T. Thorn Coyle's book is titled Kissing the Limitless.

Art: Forest Bunny & Cougar Portrait by Marion Rose. You can see and buy her work here.

Related Articles:

Little Messages Everywhere

The Spirituality of THIS World

Training As A Green Witch


Morgaine said...

That is a beautiful expression of feeling; I recognize those feelings, sensations and emotions. Thank you for so pleasantly putting them into words.

Dj Connell said...

I'm so glad very you liked it.

T.Thorne Coyle gets the credit.


Anonymous said...

I can really identify with this. It puts into words what I often find difficult to express.

And I do enjoy Rose's work. Thanks again for sharing.