caressed by invisible grace
that spread across the sky
spread across my face
like nothing else has
my face open to the light
my soles on forest floor
so deep in my clay
down where fossils
cease to decay.
For as longÂ as I can remember,
I have loved soft warm wind blowing against my face. I never â€˜knewâ€™ why, although I used to try to understand. Funny things we do.
The most profound experience I’ve had of this was in Hana, on Maui. There, the air is moist, always moist, and filled with scents. And, it is warm there. It doesnâ€™t get cold in Hana, really.
There, I feel the wild more acutely in my cells, the wild of the land a mirror to the wild of the terrain of my body.Â
The soulâ€™s secrets rise to be known on land that isnâ€™t covered over by thought divorced from flesh (concrete one of the literal expressions of this broken marriage). Raw earth offers itself to my raw soul, inviting soul forth into flesh to be touched, felt, and seen. And the conscious mind, for at least a moment, meets soul in this intimacy.
The body is soulâ€™s physical expression. This human body is how soul makes itself known on earth, in flesh. The soul’sÂ longing to experience and be experienced comes through as our longing to see, touch, and feel, and be seen, touched, and felt.
This is the creative impulse to live and to express our sacred uniqueness into flesh and blood and bone – of body and of other physical creation. This is an impulse for life, an appetite to know through experience, through feeling and senses.
Oh, and to think how we deny our appetite for life. Consider how much effort it must take to deny this deep impulse of life, to grow into our fullest expression, to offer it into the world so it can be known.
There is nothing wrong with our appetite, nothing wrong with our desire, nothing wrong with our flesh. There is everything right with creation.
“The body is a sacrament. â€¦ A sacrament is a visible sign of invisible grace.”Â
“All our inner life and intimacy of soul longs to find an outer mirror. It longs for a form in which it can be seen, felt, and touched. The body is the mirror where the secret world of the soul comes to expression.” ~ John O’Donohue
Your body, my body, every body, is the physical manifestation of soul, a physical manifestation of grace.
Invisible grace – like wind. This is what I feel as I am caressed by wind – caressed by invisible grace.
The soul is deeply affected by body and what our body experiences. Earth touched, wind felt, fragrance inhaled, all leave an imprint on soul. I now understand why the different lands I have traveled to, and walked upon, affected me so deeply. My soul took it all in, and my willingness to go, even when I did not understand why, was how this body, this body/mind, walked what she needed to walk for soul to live the experiences soul was hungering for – that outer mirror.
I now have a sense of why I love warm wind against my face.Â It is not really for me to ‘understand’. It is more that I have the capacity to choose to have those experiences that feed my soul, that feed her appetite for life.
This is life’s grand radiance:Â this invisible grace making itself known in physical form, and then our physical forms, our bodies, offering back the gifts of this human, everyday, life, to soul.
When every cell of the body is awake with invisible grace, awash with love, alert with awareness, consider how much more fleshy real estate isÂ available for this sacred interchange between flesh and soul, this experience of being alive. Instead of just understanding what it might be like as an idea,
we become fully aflame with life’s grand radiance…a living, breathing, loving vessel of liquid soul.
This poem, above, was written during a Writing Raw circle call. They are powerful, potent circles where soul-knowing can pour forth. Join me for the Spring, 2015, Writing Raw circle…now open for registration. We begin the first week of March.