Family Coffee Pot and a Fossil (Thinking of Gaza). 9 1/2" x 8 3/4" . Acrylic on paper, July 14, 2014.
Richard Rohr's meditation this morning contained a lot of wisdom. Being a Franciscan, he was talking about how Jesus embodied this way of "being peace," but I've taken the liberty of removing the Christian language, hoping everyone can find the truth in these words without being turned off. What he says is certainly true for me, and my experience. And I appreciate that he states that this is work -- a lifetime of work and practice for most of us.
"Negativity unites most people far more quickly than love. The ego moves forward by contraction, self-protection, and refusal, by saying no. The soul, however, does not proceed by contraction but by expansion. It moves forward not by exclusion, but by inclusion and by saying yes...There is really no other way to save us from ourselves, and from each other, until we are saved from our need to fear and hate.
Conscious love is the totally enlightened, and often entirely nonsensical way out of this universal pattern. Love has to be worked toward, received, and enjoyed, first of all, by facing our preference for fear and hate. But remember, we gather around the negative space quickly, while we “fall into” love rather slowly, and only with lots of practice at falling.
This is exactly what contemplative practice helps us to do. Meditation is refusing to project our anxieties elsewhere, and learning to hold and face them within ourselves and within God."
For once, I used the best hours of my morning to paint today instead of getting lost in my computer and work responsibilities. J.'s parents brought this coffee pot with them when they immigrated to the United States in the mid-1940s. The fossil shell reminded me of the Sea of Galilee, and the "living stones" - a phrase used by Palestinian Christians to describe themselves; a diminishing remnant of two thousand years of Christian presence in Palestine.