Tuesday, October 27, 2015
GLEAMS OF DIVINITY
THE PHIAL OF GALADRIEL
"May it be a light to you in dark places,
when all other lights go out."
we see merely a fleeting refraction of that Light
glowing sometimes in the eyes of lover or friend
or glistening briefly at dawn just before the sun
edges its fiery rim slowly above the horizon
or lacing the deepening shadows of dusk
as those brightest first stars begin to shine
I've heard rumors of that Light now and then
a refrain sung so piercingly sweet so aching pure
my heart could no longer fit inside my chest
but broke free opening out like a radiant blossom
expanding till it encompassed both earth and sky!
yet no such image can possibly contain it
my mind strains mightily but can't find words
for this Reality reaching forever beyond words
a Beacon that's guided me through living hell
inspiring hope when every hope was blasted away
infusing courage though I stood paralyzed with fear
a dazzling shaft of Eternity bursting into time!
found and lost found and lost found again!
the greatest wisdom isn't gleaned from any teacher
it's only learned through being--all other knowing
trumped by our soul's transcendent revelation!
everyone's a sacred vessel--a Phial of Galadriel
the Light that saves us is the Light we are
"The Phial of Galadriel" is, of course, from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. It's the sacred gift Galadriel, Queen of the Elves, gives to Frodo when he and the other eight members of the Fellowship journey through Lothlorien on their way to Mordor. Frodo later fends of Shelob, the horrible giant spider (for a time) with The Phial. It seemed to me Galadriel's Phial could be used as a symbol for the Divine Light of our own souls, and that's how I deployed it in this poem.
I'm back inside the fold today
munching sweet clover again
grass of blissful coming home
yesterday I thrashed about
oozing self-pity and bitterness
turning away blaming God
Divine Light won't gutter out
Grace cascades unquenchable
yet I felt splintery bereft
how could it go otherwise?
how could I be safe or whole
estranged from my inmost Self?
today though I scoured my soul
tearing down its rigid walls
flinging wide the brittle gates
my stubborn ego caved to One
Who envelops like atmosphere!
I breathed in opened bowed
now I munch the sweetest grass
holy sustenance grown for me
clover of blissful coming Home
The gleam of Divinity is always there, at the core of my being. But I have a thousand ways of blinding myself, alienating myself from my Eternal Source--self-pity, bitterness, fear, rage, etc. That's what I know about hell. Yet I'm never "damned" unless I choose to be. And when I finally choose not to be "estranged from my inmost Self", then I find I'm back inside the fold again, munching that sweetest grass--"clover of blissful coming Home."