POEM: Know Knead to Brink

I live at the fringes
At the boundary of what is and what could be
Sow playful a lure
At the threshold of what might not be and what should be
Seriously brewed
At the edge of the
I peer
Gathering friends
And
So called
Out
From the owed
Into the new
Horizons discovered
Each fresh berth
Launching unforeseen recreations
On the verge of another
Unfamiliar stretches becoming home
As novel know longer
Ridden in the margins
We find ourselves
In the bosom of
A rootedness so moving
We share freely
A steadfast revel
Dispelling
Looking straight in the I
With know knead to brink

This poem addresses the necessity and profound benefits from living on the cutting edges, the fringes of , and courageously facing the . The , at first glance may look frightful. However, I view the simply as the place where those thing beyond words reside. This is the of subjective . This is scary inasmuch as we can’t pluck our experiences in this realm and “make” others understand or the same. This initial sort of isolation and lack of is often experienced as uncomfortable or -provoking. Of course, experiences in this realm can profoundly influence us. I would even go as far as saying that this part of is inextricably part of us, and even contains and encompasses the higher parts of . However, in the everyday world is often about “making” things happen. The more we are focused upon and enmeshed in controlling stuff, the scarier and less “useful” this abysmal realm seems. The subjective of the doesn’t make it any less real. In fact, this metaphysical is where resides. Those who poo poo subjective find their search for handicapped, and tenuously moored to drift toward or amoral . Courageously facing and delving into the subjective realm is the only way to discover the mysterious purposes of . The of the subjective realm is instructive in and of itself, as uncontrolling yet highly ordered. Discovering order in the abyss is the root of and purpose, a higher order in which lower order matters are organized in ways increasingly harmonious with life, and itself. There, that doesn’t sound so scary! However, the profound limit of subjective is that it can not be reduced to mere , easily shared in bits and pieces. In essence, subjective is a relationship with a larger, whole. The best we can do is integrate our subjective experiences into a whole, coherent life so others may witness to an not fully explainable by the sum of the factual parts. This is the equivalent of ’s “Be the you want to see in the world.” Or St. Francis would say that we are instruments of ’s peace. I would simply add that we are more than pieces.

The fact that we are more than just pieces is the underlying of why salvation lies in . The initial isolation typically felt when staring into the abyss is either the that there is no meaning at all, or the equivalent of standing alone before . Still, the of our is what binds us with other people, and even with a capital S, if you will. Even more so than individuals, communities of people can exhibit the of higher ordered living. Perhaps most importantly, the value of reciprocity is most easily manifest and understood in . In its simplest form, a relationship between two people, the of grows exponentially when with reciprocity. is not unconditional in the sense that one aspect of is reciprocity, or mutuality. One cannot overcome another with . One can only invite another into the dance of reciprocity and mutuality that powers up for all who participate.

An important exception to this human reciprocity is the mutuality expressed in loving our , those who will not return our , or worse yet, seek to manipulate us by threatening or destroying those with whom we have built . The mutuality in this relationship is not dependent on the other person, a subject who chooses to engage in -building. The mutuality here is based on our relationship with life itself, or God. Life gives without forcing payment. This is the foundational and that drives life-affirming ways. The only force is the and disorder that comes about by not living in accord with harmonious higher order. Fighting reality itself, separating ourselves from reality is our own . However, since reality is one, this is shared by all. Our destinies are woven together. Writing off is a misreading of reality. Not surprisingly, creating separate realities for different people creates divisions and gives birth to snobbery and , different standards or for different classes of people.

I would not rely on first impressions when staring into the abyss. Patiently and openly delving into the “inner” life of , and the “outer” experience with communities of life-affirming folks has for millennia reliably resulted in better, more whole, human beings. Only in looking beyond ourselves do we become more whole, more fully human. The abyss awaits. And the crowd says “Woo.”

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