1324. A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

To be creative means to be in love with life.
You can be creative only if you love life
enough that you want to enhance its beauty,
you want to bring a little more music to it,
a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.
~Osho

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Have you never wanted to create something? Have you never been so inspired by something at least once that you wished you could replicate in some way the beauty or allure of whatever it was? Is there never a yearning in your soul to leave behind some remembrance of your unique self? Not something that would garner money or medals or statues and the like, just something that would tell family and friends you walked the earth, that you felt joy and suffering, that you loved and were loved, that you were accepted and pushed away, that you knew elegance and crudeness, that you felt anger and delight as well as grief and gladness, that you were compassionate and indifferent, that you knew blessings and defeat, that you encountered kindness and rudeness, that sometime you came face to face with something extraordinary, perhaps even miraculous. If so, it’s because that’s what is found here in this place we call earth, and no, it’s not all good or kind or joyful or loving or pain free and so forth, but I have lived long enough to know that in some small, or middling or grand measure, one inevitably runs the entire gamut of human existence. And I believe that along the way, a voice in each of us calls out for us to create something whilst we are here. Why? Because we are all made in the image of a creative God. Wait, wait, wait before you try to tell me that you are not creative, let me say that I can’t  and won’t believe that not even for one millisecond. My guess is the reason you may feel that way is because at some point in time, maybe when you were very young, someone made you feel like you had no “quote, unquote” “talent” or even worse made fun of something you had created. And these naysayers had the right to decide that you weren’t talented because??? How easily mortals often turn over the keys to the kingdom to those whose credentials are less than Almighty God’s! And finally before any of you reading this launch into the argument that you can’t dance or draw or sing or write or whatever, I would ask of you: can you build a house or car or something else, can you grow things, can you manage a household, can you parent a child, can you teach, can you sew, can you cook…because all those things and more require creativity, Okay, now then, given that and the fact that we humans all have two sides to our brains, a left and a right hemisphere, and that one is the creative half we can be assured that each and everyone of us possesses the ability to create.

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God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27  ✝

**Images in collage via Pinterest; special effects done by me on iPiccy; image of brain via Pinterest; text added by me

1321. Sense your Being, your own presence. That’s a source of joy. That’s the ultimate gratitude. ~Eckhart Tolle

presence

noun pres·ence \ˈpre-zən(t)s\
:  the fact or condition of being present
:  the bearing, carriage, or air of a person;
: the state of being closely focused on the here and now, not distracted by irrelevant thoughts

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A fellow blogger posted the above quote by Tolle yesterday, and since then I’ve been thinking about it and what it means. For me it begs the question as to whether it’s just a matter of being visible and tangible or more than that a matter of reflecting the sacred Image in which we are made. And if it is the latter, what does that reflection look like. I believe it is one where goodness and light are as apparent as physical attributes and personality particulars. For example light can be so prevalent in some, as was so with my father, that there’s a perceivable twinkle in the eyes that warms and begets a very real presence even in photographs. And as for goodness, when present it is like an aura that surrounds and defines a person.

To quote Tolle again, “The answer is, who you are cannot be defined through thinking or mental labels or definitions, because it’s beyond that. It is the very sense of being, or presence, that is there when you become conscious of the present moment.” In the first quote Tolle implores us to be aware of our Being as a source of joy and gratitude. That should occur in every moment if we remain aware of the fact that life is gift and express our gratitude to the Maker of all life for that gift. According to Alan Cohen, “appreciation is the highest from of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”

So presence it seems to me is an awareness of the sacred ground on which we stand at every moment of our lives, an awareness of the sanctity of all living things, an awareness of the holy air we breathe, an awareness of the holy light that shines on and in everyone, an awareness of intentional and divine creation, and an awareness that He who brought us here saw that all He did and made was good. So when we are asked to sense our own presence we should realize that first and foremost it is “purely and completely evidence of God’s grace” in our lives. Walt Whitman once penned, “we convince by our presence,” and so it is not our face nor our hair nor our size nor any such thing that matters when we talk of presence. It must always be the goodness and light we bring to our “state of being closely focused on the here and now” which is “not distracted by irrelevant thoughts” as Webster so aptly defined it in his dictionary notation above.

God intended Earth.
God intended the waters.
God intended you and me.
We were created in the image 
and
the likeness of God; 
we are holograms, if you will.
So the power, the presence, the energy
is within you and me.
The energy of God, as life,
 is within each of us.
~Mary Manin Morrissey

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. ~Excerpt from Genesis 1:31  ✝

**Image via Pinterest; text on image added by Natalie; special effects on image done on iPiccy

1222. We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves. ~Leonora Carrington

From within and from behind, a
light shines through us upon things,
and makes us aware that we
are nothing, the but light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I was up early this morning and so went wandering around the yard looking for something picture worthy. As I took these photos, I decided that they were more spectacular because of the play of early morning light on them. I saw only a portion of the flower as I rounded the corner, and even so the light shining through the leaves and the small portion of this flower’s filaments was both magical and mystical. And I’m always struck by how much holiness I sense in the light, even small pieces of it. It’s like God’s radiance falls on things in the garden as well as the sunlight. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t decided which was more stunning, the fragment of the flower or in the whole thing.

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Later in the day during a Bible Study I found myself surrounded by people who like these leaves and flowers were filled with notable and holy spiritual light. In the course of our discussion we talked about the fact that we are all made in the image of God. And so it occurred to me that whenever we look in a mirror we are actually seeing the face of God, coming face to face, as it were, with the very one who breathed life into us. And when you think of it that way, you realize that we are never separated from the Lord, no matter where life takes us or what we do or don’t do. He is always there behind the face, behind the light. Notice in the lines below how the First Nation’s people also connected life with light and breath.

What is life? It is the flash
of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo
in the wintertime. It is
the little shadow which runs
across the grass and loses
itself in the sunset.
~Crowfoot

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. ~Matthew 6:22  ✝

1195. Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? ~Kahlil Gibran

The whole course of human history
may depend on a change of heart
in one solitary and even humble individual –
for it is in the solitary mind and soul of
the individual that the battle between
good and evil is waged and
ultimately won or lost.
~M. Scott Peck

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At the end of each day in the Creation story in Genesis it says: “God saw that it was good.” And then after the 6th day it says: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” We are made in the image of God and so “at the heart of who we are is the love and wisdom of God.” “The divine likeness within us may be hidden or forgotten. It may be in terrible bondage by wrongdoing but the image of God remains at the heart of who we are, even though we may live at what seems an infinite distance from it.” (J. Philip Newell, THE BOOK OF CREATION) Why else would we blush or feel guilty about something we have done wrong? Unless of course something within us discloses its own goodness and disapproval of evil. We are witnessing on the world’s stage, horrific acts of evil that bombard us every day because of constant media coverage. Sadly many are fearful and losing heart. What we need to realize is that on any and all of those days, somewhere in the world man’s ability to be a mirror of God’s goodness is visible as well, but it’s is not researched or reported. Why? Money, money, money!

“The garden of God in which we have been created has not been destroyed. Nor has it been abandoned. We may live in a state of exile from in, but God forever dwells in that place and seeks our company. The Book of Genesis describes God as ‘walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze’ and calling out ‘Where are you?’ The garden says, Eriugena, is our ‘human nature that was made in the image of God.’ God, he says, still walks in the garden of our souls searching for us…’” (J. Philip Newell, THE BOOK OF CREATION)

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil…” ~Excerpt from Genesis 3:22  ✝

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. ~Excerpt from 1 Timothy 7:10  ✝

**Image via Facebook

1074. It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or at dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~James Douglas

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,
and their author always has a niche
in the temple of memory
from which the image is never cast out
to be thrown on the rubbish heap
of things that are outgrown or outlived.
~Howard Pyle

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The “shy presences” of which Douglas spoke can be very real ones, like toads or snails or garden snakes and such; however, the “shy presences” for an imaginative child are often both real as well as make believe. For them the real ones might be shadow dancers, enlivened dollops of light, or glistening drops of dew whereas their make-believe ones might be the fabled “wee folk” found in stories they’ve heard or read. Gardens in and of themselves are naturally enchanting places, and tales of “fairies, elves, and leprechauns” can’t help but add an irresistible dimension to that enchantment, at least in the mind of a child or in someone with a very healthy inner child. And as Mr. Pyle so aptly put it, childhood images are never cast out onto rubbish heaps but instead leave “indelible impressions in the temples of our memories.” That’s why in early spring findings such as grape hyacinth, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops, and tulips can open doors in revered temples of memory and thus release cherished phrases such as “fairy woods where the wild bee wings,” or  “tiny trees for tiny dames,” or “tiny woods below whose bough shady fairies weave a house,” or “tiny tree tops, rose or thyme, where the braver fairies climb” as found in poems by Robert Louis Stevenson and others. Or maybe they come from a poem like this one below:

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It’s not so very, very far away;
You pass the gardner’s shed and you
just keep straight ahead —
I do so hope they’ve really come to stay.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
They often have a dance on summer nights;
The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,
And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.
Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams
And pick a little star to make a fan,
And dance away up there in the middle of the air?
Well, they can.
There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
Now you can guess who that could be
(She’s a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?
Well — it’s Me!
~Excerpted lines from a poem
by Rose Fyleman

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**Image via Pinterest

1018. Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles. ~Edwin Louis Cole

Even if I know I shall never change the masses,
never transform anything permanent,
all I ask is that the good things also have
their place, their refuge.
~Richard Wagner

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Scripture tells us that we are made in the image of God, and I expect that has nothing to do the with our faces and everything to do with our hearts. Therefore through us He can bring to fruition all that is within His limitless power to do. How?

Our hearts are able to feel another’s anguish, Our eyes can see the lacking needs of others, Our mouths can deliver His smile to light up darkness, Our voices can declare quiet, comforting words for ears to hear, Our hands can administer compassionate healing, And our legs can carry us wherever we need to go to accomplish such things.

How then can one who breathes the very breath of a Holy God, who bears His very image do anything less than deliver anything He asks of us. That is the purpose that should drive our lives. It has never been all about self, for truly what is love, and all humans yearn for and must have love, without a place to spend it, and where better to start spending than with someone in need. Honor the gifts you have been given, rejoice in them, and use them.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:27  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

947. Creation betokens a Creator. ~Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is more completely
the child of art than a garden.
~Sir Walter Scott

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I often marvel at the Lord’s artwork in Creation, and one of the things I love most about our amazing Creator’s handiwork is God’s occasional bent towards the frivolous. I see in it in flowers like the pink dahlia in the photo, and when I do, again I know why we are implored in Scripture over and over again to rejoice in the Lord and in His ways. Clearly God sees merit in such because nature itself speaks profusely of the Divine’s joy and delight in it and all that He has made. Not only that but after each day of Creation’s work in Holy writ it says that God looked upon what He had made and saw that it was good. Since this flower and other frivolous entities are a part of Yahweh’s grand design, I believe that perhaps they are made especially for times when the human heart has difficulty finding much of anything in which to rejoice. After all we are not asked to rejoice only in the good times but at all times. In a poem I read this week the author purported that each of us is “God clothed in a body.” Inasmuch as we are made in His image and as believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, at the very least that perception is a good way of remembering just how sacred and precious we are in the eyes the our Creator. Thinking that way might also help us rejoice more when we look at ourselves in the mirror and when we look at others.

Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. ~Psalm 68:4  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest