tiny cosmos

“Faith comes to me so often in musical moments and musical images. For me there is a constant crescendo and diminuendo. One moment faith is LOUD and the next is soft. One moment it is a whisper, the next it is a shout.

Which is more powerful, the whisper or the shout? It is like comparing the raging torrent and the solitary drip. We know the power of the raging torrent, the ability to slash and carve through solid rock. We forget the power of the relentless, patient drip, dissolving and reforming the elements of earth…the inexorable whisper of faith that will not be denied; the wild, triumphant cry of faith that cannot be contained. They are connected, related…they find their common source in the great rhythm of God pulsing through all of creation. Is it any wonder that our lives are made up of whispers and shouts?”
–Ed Wilson, From Advent Book 1991 Light for the Darkness

This is an excerpt of a piece my dad wrote almost 30 years ago for the Advent book, a book of short essays written by members of the church. In the Christian liturgical calendar, we have entered Advent, the time before the birth of the Christian Messiah. The collecting of stories around Advent is a beautiful tradition. To be able to memorialize the spiritual journeys of individual humans is, for me, the crux of what it means to be a community — one story into all stories. I suspect this is how sacred texts are compiled. They are the adjoined stories and memories and contemplation of a people that live in connection to divine love. A consecrated collective — not an individual work, and I believe that is what makes the sacred.

I am always emotional reading Dad’s work. Any of it. He was a powerful weaver of metaphor, stringing together syllables as one might arrange musical notes in a symphony. No surprise that he was a musician and that music was his spiritual medium. His magic was music as he admits in the first sentence.

I find myself maturing into spirituality in a way that I consider alternative to how I was raised. And if fundamentalism to a text is required, then true, I am an outsider. (I grieve that much of ‘faith’ insists on fundamentalism, hence my departure from organized religion.) I don’t consider myself Christian, preferring instead to remain apart from any specific system of believing organized by humans. I find my faith in Nature. And so I find it affirming to read my dad’s piece and see how Nature is his metaphor. Nature is how he describes his own faith. It opens a door of connection between his faith and my own budding beliefs that I’d thought could not be opened due to a dogmatic technicality.

I miss him. I have said it before and will say it until I can no longer draw breath. I miss him this time of year, when lights twinkle and music is everywhere. I long for his wisdom as I walk the magical path I find my heart on now — full of mystical wonder and curiosity. It is like the spiritual world has awakened anew for me and I wish I could tell him about it. I bet we could talk into the wee hours about Nature and Music and Magic; about how the smallness and bigness and intra-connection of this realm will always return us to “Common Source.”

He ends the piece with a prayer which I am honored to compost and regenerate in this way:

May we allow our bodies to move between whispers and shouts.
Let our hearts listen to the clamoring waves, the inconspicuous drip and remember that we are both — the drop of water AND the ocean.
Let the unstoppable cycle within which we all BE bring us connection and nurture us with the vital cosmos of Love.

Thank you for your blessing, Dad. I love you. Always.

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