never looked at the water

They said of Sarah of blessed memory that for sixty years she lived on the bank of a river, and never looked at the water. From The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks by Benedicta Ward. (Compare to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. Both testify to the beauty and power ofContinue reading “never looked at the water”

I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs

The Springs by Wendell Berry In a country without saints or shrines I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs, where in his life’s dry years his mind held on. Everlasting, people called them, and gave them names. The water broke into sounds and shinings at the vein mouth, bearing the taste of theContinue reading “I knew one who made his pilgrimage to springs”

Willis Run Soliloquy

I caress each stone, brick, root, turtle, and grocery bag that rests in my slow, shaded pools, and I taste each rock quarry dredging that muddies my current. I hold everything—from every side—within my moving waters, and I search out the interior scents and textures of all that touches me. Each moment, all my watersContinue reading “Willis Run Soliloquy”

confirm our song and lead our feast

Excerpts from Royal Hours on the Eve of the Theophany (Epiphany). [Served on Friday, January 5, 2018. © 2006 The Orthodox Church in America.] The river Jordan was turned back by the mantle of Elisha, after Elijah had been taken up to heaven. The waters were parted in two, and the stream became a dryContinue reading “confirm our song and lead our feast”

all the attention you can give it

That mention of Feuerbach and joy reminded me of something I saw early one morning a few years ago, as I was walking up to the church. There was a young couple strolling along half a block ahead of me. The sun had come up brilliantly after a heavy rain, and the trees were glisteningContinue reading “all the attention you can give it”

he had done all that he could do to save himself

“Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water” by A.A. Milne: Really, it wasn’t much good having anything exciting like floods, if you couldn’t share them with somebody. “…There’s Pooh,” he thought to himself. “Pooh hasn’t much Brain, but he never comes to any harm. He does silly things and they turn out right.” Then suddenly heContinue reading “he had done all that he could do to save himself”

this question is answered at the waterside

If the gospel stories were preserved in patterns determined by preaching and reinforced by decades of the same, we should expect the gospel sequences to be thematic, not chronological. And this is, in fact, what we find. …Recalling the ancient tradition that Mark’s material came from Peter, we observe the graphic details indicating that thisContinue reading “this question is answered at the waterside”