Love the gift of your life and do no harm.
Let the sky above me unroll like a scroll,
and let me read upon it today’s text for my life:
“You are alive, here and now.
Love boldly and always tell the truth.”
Let the wind arrange the naked branches
of the maples and aspens and oaks
into letters which proclaim this sacred text:
“Your heart beats now,
not tomorrow or yesterday.
Love the gift of your life and do no harm.”
Let the eyes and hands and faces
of all men and women and children
with whom I share this earth
be chapter and verse in this great scripture text:
“Life is struggle and loss, and also
tenderness and joy.
Live all of your life, not just part of it.”
And now let all the poems and scriptures and novels and films and songs and cries and lullabies and prayers and anthems open up before our free hearts. Let them open like a torah, like a psalm, like a gospel, like an apocalypse and let them proclaim:
“Do not think you can take away
each other’s troubles,
but try to be with each other in them.
Remember that you are part, not all,
great, but not by far the greatest,
small, precious brief breaths
in the great whirlwind of creation.”
And remember that every single human word is finally and divinely cradled in the strong and secure arms of Silence.
Reprinted with permission from Sonata for Voice and Silence: Meditations, published by Skinner House Books, 2008.
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The Rev. Mark Belletini, senior minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, Ohio, is the author of Nothing Gold Can Stay: The Colors of Grief (Skinner House, 2015).
Growing up on Star Island
Looking back on my summers spent at a beloved Unitarian Universalist retreat.
We cannot hear unless there is silence.