land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

my humanity

So much time is spent trying to understand, to analyze and predict.
So much energy is expended to make a point and to be understood.
What I am trying to express and what I am trying to understand is so often the avoidance of listening and experiencing what is actually before me.
Why is the experience of mortality so frightening?
For it is in the simplest and basic elements of life that the basics of my life are found.
And yet I try to find my meaning in more elaborate formulas and complex or newer ideas. I avoid the immediate pain of life out of fear, and am left with a more drawn out and isolating pain from my efforts.
James Baldwin has a quote I find very helpful:
Inability to love is the actual problem,
because that inability masks a certain terror,
and that terror is the terror of being touched.
And if you can’t be touched, you can’t be changed.
And if you can’t be changed, you can’t be alive.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Holy Cross Day thought

Sometimes it is easier to focus on the suffering, the agony of Jesus than it is to actually carry our own cross. If my focus on the cross of Jesus leads me to understand better His love and sacrifice and strengthens me to carry my own cross and follow him than what a blessing it is to see that cross of Christ. If the agony, the suffering and the tragedy of Christ is what I focus on with a sense of interest and or obsession or even as a diversion from the confronting present experience of Christ, than the cross will only be a side trip from my own fascinations.

Friday, September 9, 2011

some thoughts on God

It was not the bush, that was green and damp while fire was all around it, that changed Moses - it was that you knew his father.

Walking on the water, when they were about to sink, wasn’t what changed Jesus’ apostles, it was that you were not afraid.

It wasn’t the beauty of your home, a cathedral of beauty and glory, that changed everything about how I knew you and even knew my own self - it was that you knew what I had done and my struggles and that you loved me.

It is not all the memories and things you have done and the answers you have given that keeps changing me - it is that you are still here beside me in the darkness of my night.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

the red ant

My hands
Rip at the weeds
Pulling the roots out,
As whole as possible.
the wounded soil,
Turning the earth over and over,
Preparing for a new day
I dominate my domain.
One red ant,
Instinctive in courage,
Climbs to my wrist
And clings hard with his jaw,
With a bite of rebellion
And self defense.
I crush him
Yet for days
His legacy remains;
Prophetically reminding me
Of those whose lives and homes
I just destroyed
In order to grow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Prayer for Rose

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen
How do you know when to take a poem out of the oven?
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