Rising Seas

comments 47
Christ

Something is happening but I can’t see what it is, because the day sky is an impenetrable scattering of color, and the night sky is too deep to see the bottom.  The moon isn’t a reliable reference either, because it’s just one point, and clearly an outlier.  You can’t leverage it at all.  Though the particulars are being worked out, I still take comfort in this vague arrival– in its presence– whatever it is.

I should elaborate on my topic, though, and not be so coy.

I know what it is.

It’s peace.

The sea level is rising they say, but they’re not really talking about the sea of peace.  That’s rising, too.  Some days I can barely touch the bottom and I wobble around on my tip toes, hopping once in a while in ephemeral weightlessness so the swells rolling in from the center of our galaxy don’t smack into my face.  I can get caught in this thoughtless rhythm.  Hopping, floating, touching down.  One-two-three, one-two-three.  I find myself doing these open water plies.  You don’t need a bar if your being held by all directions.   One-two-three, one-two-three…  I’m not even worried that the dining room table is afloat now, drifting off into the distance, leaving a trail of coffee mugs and papers in its wake.  Some gulls have already claimed it, and are sharing space with the neighbor’s yawning cat.  They’re all just enjoying the ride.

This is what I mean.

Peace.

I like to imagine when Jesus said, “My peace, I give to you.”  It’s like second hand smoke from someone in the corner burning down one of those red pills Morpheus gave Neo.  You’re breathing it in, like it or not.  Jesus says it like he’s got a case full of promotional materials in the trunk of his car– little wood carvings he made.  A bear, a turtle, a man.  Just say the word, and he’ll go get you one.  If I get too worked up, I come back to that moment.  To the offer.  I usually look up to find him standing there, looking back at me.  Waiting.

Me, too.

It takes time for the seas to fill up.

It’s not like the sky starts singing hymns and a spotlight follows you around.  At work the other day I realized I’ve traded in my office chair for an inner tube.  The desk bobs around a little, and if I have visitors to my little cube I jack it up on blocks so it looks normal.  I paddle around to meetings and nobody notices.  You can hide a secondhand battleship in plain sight if it’s just another example of you being you, and me being me.  It’s not even inconvenient.  The clock rolls around, and I do all the same stuff.  Maybe more of it.  There’s that part that wants to sit me down periodically for The Talk.  Where’s this all going?  Let’s extrapolate what’s happening here so we can avoid a disaster.  Any disaster.  Let’s find one, and avoid it.  At this rate all the offices will be flooded up to the ceiling in a decade, and then what…?

And Jesus is just waiting.  Already resurrected.  Making these little wood carvings.  Do I want the porpoise carving or the angel?

Do you have a moose back there?

Peace is rising like the sea, little by little, and seeping into the cracks.  I don’t have weekend plans.  Other than bobbing.  Why would you need a plan besides bobbing?  It’s like being rocked to sleep, or blown like a kiss across the threshold.

“My peace, I give to you.”

The crickets are whistling Dixie about that moment right now– milking that one note for all its got.  Telling the story of it.  They’re hanging out on my coffee mugs and those important papers that stick to the surface, and in the brush just a little further inland.  We’re all part of it, this sea level rising.  It’s gently filling in the land.  Burying our importance.  Making new layers of sediment in the crust.

I know what it is, even if I can’t see it.  Even if the sky is inscrutable.

When I look into the water I just see the bottom.  The office carpet.  The grocery store linoleum.  The dinged up kitchen floor where plates and knives have been raining down for years.  The asphalt.  They’re all a little distorted because of the waves.  Put two and two together, and it’s obvious.

We made it.

Peace is like that.  A lackadaisical, delicious certainty that goes on forever.  Lazily patching us in.

Jesus gave me two sculptures.  The moose– of course– and a hummingbird.

I’d like you to have it.

47 Comments

    • Hopping, hoping, bobbing… dunking into the waves of this moment…

      Enlightenment: a local phenomenon occurring everywhere at once. 🙂

      Blessings
      Michael

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  1. I’ve been enjoying your poems, even when I feel myself struggling to understand. But with this one, I stopped struggling. I just enjoyed bobbing along, imagining myself at work, smiling at those important papers drifting by on the water. Looking at the little sculptures Jesus carved. The porpoise or the angel. Well, maybe I could have both. Or I could let Jesus choose for me. That would be okay.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi JoAnne,

      I think letting go of the struggle is a good plan… This was simply about exploring the notion that there is a tide rising in the background of our lives, awkwardly at times sharing space with the immediate “known”, that will wash our resistance away, and leave us completely at ease. It is peace… It is what we have been given… I also like, sometimes, to note that love and peace are simple. Jesus’ carvings are representations of a meaning that we share, and yet we each discover and express it uniquely. He is fluent in all those languages of expression, knowing each of us intimately… able to create countless perfect offerings of grace…

      Peace!
      Michael

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  2. We are on the Med coast of Turkey, having stumbled by pure dumb luck (or is it one of Jesus’ gifts?) into a spacious bright white hotel room with a whole wall of glass (with door to patio) looking out over the deep blue gently rolling rising ocean. Don is napping. Peace is definitely rising. I think I’ll go bob around in the water for a bit. If I see your important papers I’ll wave them bye bye for you 🙂
    Alison ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Alison,

      The hotel room sounds amazing! A pure white room, overlooking a sparkling sea… and Don is napping??? Been there, done that!? ha!

      If you see one of my papers, please do give it a wave, and place a little wood carving on it. There’s one of a naval admiral in a musketeer hat saluting the sunset. I can see him drifting west on a scribble of meeting minutes… 🙂

      Hope you had a delightful swim!
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! Haha! Hahahahahaha! Ok, you are done. You can ascend now.

    This is one of those mega zingers that you are famous for. (In my world.) I don’t really know what else to say, except that I would like a wooden pelican please, and maybe a manatee if its not too much trouble, and a hot pink inter tube with a drink holder. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Andrea,

      If you only knew. I have to offset all my Jim Harbaugh moments at the office during the day… 🙂 I don’t know if that link will work, but if it does you will see, I hope, the hilarious spectrum of intensity and confusion that are, alas, kissing cousins.

      Your order has been placed… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

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  4. Oh how I LOVE this one!!! It was so visual for me…I saw it all occurring as I was reading your words…I was right there bobbing along with you…and that tutu you were wearing…Oh My!!! 😉 HaHa Yes..’no need for a bar if you are being held by all directions!’ Wonderful, Michael! And the carvings in Jesus’ trunk…I’m thinking I need an Octopus…just to commemorate my healing. Oh…and the different floors…there’s nothing like being ‘grounded’ by distorted ground!! Much love a wonderful weekend ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Lorrie,

      Did I say tutu? I don’t really need the proper gear to get in the mood for plies. Nor do I have the range of motion that would call for anything beyond blue jeans… 🙂

      The octopus carving sounds lovely, and perfect. And completely at peace in these rising seas…!

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “You can hide a secondhand battleship in plain sight if it’s just another example of you being you, and me being me.”

    I love that line Michael, and no, the holy ones tend not to have tonsured heads, nor wear flowing white gowns, nor silently direct piercing gazes into the core of your being.

    – Guru Hari, all-jingling-bells-and-radiating-humility-coz-I’ve-got-too-much

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tend to agree with you, Hariod. The holy ones are in supermarket express checkout lanes, the hardware store, the side of the highway, and the airport security lines. Also, occasionally, in the middle of nowhere, hiding in plain sight!

      Oh… you crack me up, Guru Hari! To have so much humility we’re busting open at the seams. To be pierced by the edgeless present, and hear the hot air whistling into non-existence!

      Have a great weekend–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, James! Warmest wishes to you as well.

      And peace.

      Big waves of it.
      Face-smackers from the center of the galaxy…
      Or like the ones I see arising from the center of your own being…

      Michael

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    • Aloha, Ka.

      I’m enjoying the premonitions of this water world in which we dwell in contentedness. And making friends with others who’ve been collecting flippers and snorkels all their lives, for reasons not yet fully apparent… Perhaps the world will be turned upside down, and we will find ourselves dog-paddling in the sky oceans… Why not!?

      In this spreading, silent grace,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    I have actually had that thought – about the world being upside down and diving into the sky with snorkle and fins. Haha. Snorkeling & floating in Peace. 🙂

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  7. Genie says

    It’s important to remember that, with all the outer chaos, there is peace within, and there is also a growing peace movement that seeks Truth, Justice, and Peace for All.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Genie,

      For me peace would be a meaningless word if it were not a reality that could be found despite external circumstances. That which the word describes feels like a seeing-through the externals– not in the sense of turning away from it, but of finding the ability to hold it and be present with it. To carry our swaddling experiences within the blanket of the skies…

      I also agree the manifestation of this peace is incomplete when any of us are missing from its perfect dispensation. But it becomes tricky– impossible really– for me to translate this type of statement into a clear assertion of what is in our out… Our world is a reflection of the idea sewn profoundly in the hearts of both the haves and the have not’s– in all of us– that we are separate creatures. And yet we are not, and so peace is always accessible… Or it would not be peace…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Not sure why I’m latching on to this sentence Michael, not even sure if I’m in line with your thoughts here but I’ll say it for it comes so, in this moment:
    It takes time for the seas to fill up!
    When I stop paddling for my periodic talk under the silent unlit skies, they often remind me that the seas are already full, just waiting to be noticed; Time is in remembering to notice again.
    Thanks for the offering of peace and remembrance. With much love: “My peace I give to you”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello PR,

      That is a good sentence to latch onto, because it does make us think. I wasn’t sure about keeping it when I wrote it, but I wanted to be true to my daily experience, knowing that the eternal reality of it all is indeed timeless. There is much written and stated about how all has already been given, and awaits but our acceptance. In this sense, as you say, the ocean is already full to the brim… I definitely agree with this. The sea in this piece is more of the realization you described– the dawning awareness of it all– and this seems over time to be softening the edges of my experience and finding me that much more certain that presence trumps over projection. This acceptance brings a rising tide of awareness, the letting-in of peace…

      Thank you for your precious gift…
      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Peace….I’m breathing it in and I am floating in it. Feeling the buoyancy of this beautiful creations, I am ready for the water to raise. Thanks for the hummingbird. I already have a moose. Wishing you bookends of joy. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! Perfect bookends of joy, Harlon. Drift gently in this rising tide, my friend… It is picking us up from our past, one by one, and setting us adrift. I have this vision of all these lit candles floating down the river…

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hi O,

          I was just referring to the piece I wrote, and the sensation that peace surrounds us… is rising like a tide in that sense. Nothing biblical about it per se, and certainly it isn’t meant to carry with it the feeling of The Flood– the one that only Noah and his two-by-two’s survived…

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • HI MM.
            Ok. I see. I did see it in relation to your poetry piece on peace. but, I was also looking for something hidden, or in the unwritten, perhaps because my sectors are unsettled with my work.
            I must cast that all aside. Inhale. And feel the surroundings. Better than struggling to change the world around you that you have been sharing.
            hugs,
            o and om.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Hello O,

              Deep breaths and gentle bobbing along in the waters. That is what I suggest. Like you described, feeling the life in your surroundings, and the countless ones who have gathered, to witness, who are already quite certain of who you are…

              Peace, support, enthusiasm, and knowing
              all included–
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

            • hi MM.
              hope youre having a wonderful sunday out east. relaxing. nfl. idk?
              im heading back into deeper water for the letter writing, and taking your support as my working tool – i shall not drown. i shall float above it all.
              hugs,
              o and om.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hi O!

              Had a relaxing day, yes… Worked on the novel a bit. Ship-shaped a chapter, for now… 🙂 Enjoyed the outdoors a bit and spent some time getting myself organized on goodreads… I was thinking of doing some real work today, but I punted. And yes– at the peril of abasing myself utterly before readers here– I do plan to watch a bit of football before the day is out…

              Hope you have been proceeding swimmingly!

              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hi MM –
              getting yourself on Goodreads is a must. Time very well spent indeed. As for the NFL, that’s time also well spent. Better to be well rounded than narrowly entertained. Who is your team? I’m going Bears, but let me say it in writing now, we are coming in 3rd, maybe 4th, in our division. As long as the Packer don’t win, I’ll rest easy through our 3/13 season. Ouch…
              So very very glad you’re spending time on Goggles. Sending hugs and happy writing your way. What are you concentrating on in your revisions/additions?

              I’m plugging away on my letters. Learned that it takes two months to write a good query. Hey, I’m only one month in. That’s great news for me, and my slow going. 26 versions in, but I’m wedded to two of them. Better than the 11 I started with. THough with any new writing there is the immediate tendency to like the previous version. Remember this for your edits. Our mind remembers all the older versions, and must adjust to the newer, knowing that the audience won’t be missing the rough and rugged tricks we magicians do behind the scenes to make the magic happen.
              Happy writing.
              Hugs,
              O and om.

              Like

            • Hi O,

              Apologies here for my delayed response, but it gives me the hindsight to be able to offer my condolences for the Bears’ first outing of the season… I grew up in Alabama, so we didn’t have a pro team, and so my allegiance tends to be the result of local resonance, which leaves me ensconced in the Patriots camp as I live in New England. We’ve been lucky in New England to have had some very exciting sports doings in the past decade or so, and I think no matter who you cheer for you couldn’t ask for a better Super Bowl to watch than last year’s…

              Thanks for the insights, and I’m sure I’ll be back in touch when my own letter writing begins in earnest, and also probably before that… 🙂 Hope you’ve had a good week on the creative front, my friend.

              Peace
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

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