I hold in my hand a ball of flame so hot and fiery, so vast and powerful, that it is rightly to be marvelled at. It is all your troubles, my beloved, called into flame. For just as a candle melts away as it burns, matter will always be transformed into different energy.
In the same way, all your sorrows and tears will become light for the world. Inside the white-hot sphere, at the centre of this new sun, swirls the rainbow that makes up the spectrum of your sufferings, and the hues hewn from hurt become a dance of joy, colliding colours in a kaleidoscope of changing shapes and patterns the universe has always known.
You read the desert father’s advice, “Why not become flame?” and you heeded it. Rest your weariness here in the palm of my hand, and grow with my powerful love even as you are rightly consumed.
God calls me into the loam pit, and I wonder at its name. Here is a place that sounds like home and is full of nutrients to drink up through my roots, to softly connect into with my mycelia. I sink and softly twist into the mud, as though I were truly the tree that I am being called to be, or perhaps a holy hippo, ready to roll and languish in the squelching goodness.
Brown the cool earth, the colour of everything mixed together, all skin colours and barked armour broken down into a melted pot of delicious oneness, so that none can claim difference to lord it over others, nor does anyone feel they do not belong. Here we partake of the crib and the cross, the stillness of forests, the ages of oak and olive, the rotted matter of long gone leaves, we revel in the richness of all that has fallen apart, and prepare for resurrection.
Dewy pearls sit smoking on the grass in the misty morning light. Each one catches a piece of dawn’s lavender lustre that smiles through tears. The nearly-Spring trumpets in clusters of crocus, each one a saffron-centred pale amethyst, royal resurrection reminders. Here and there, the pretenders to purple, the soft lilacs of thistle and artichoke, the tips of clover, and the waving flowers of chives, bring their gentle song to the chorus of colour.
There is a pinkly light settling over the waters of the lake, letting us know it is the time for prayer, and we get up and wade out until the heaviness of water makes us start to curl up and fall down, diving without effort into our embryonic selves, able, in the weak light, to float between two worlds, breathe bubbles and watch the birds and butterflies swoop through the holy water.
This winter cloak is cerisely the colour of cherry pie innards, loganberries and deep Scottish heather. A long, velvet brocade that drips with the heaviness of too much wine, dizzy with its own lushness. When she sits on the gilt throne, it drapes grape-ishly along the floor, curls coquettishly into heaving shoulders of patisserie layers, as though folding in on itself in mille-feuille delicacy.
Such lightness with such weight, and the King’s silver clasp that holds it on my lady, joining across hard sternum, is thorn to its roses, ringing bells discordant at mourning, a wedding feast too close on the heels of funeral meats. A heady aroma rises and falls here, undulating like the cloth, akin to Jesus’ gambled garment, which knows no seams.
Let us not be caught unawares by the forceful fragrance of crushed petals, the impassioned poisoned perfume of ambition. Not unsexed but fully rounded, seductive, the spell of a persuasive smile and the perfectly timed drip-dropping of venom into one’s ears.
So much read that is not there, even betwixt the lines, her character moulded and imagined by so many male players and professors over the centuries. Sister to Magdalene, even she does not know how she has been played, and enfolded in plans long laid out, enveloping more than her body, cloaking her in foul deeds.
Blackness of sky, redness of agony, bloodied sun, cracking clouds. There is no doubt to anyone who has ever stood at the foot of this dark shape, looking on this tortured man in perfect obedience, that this is the centre of the universe. Here is the fulcrum of history and the turning point in all relationships. This is where the questions are asked and you are never found wanting, unlike those who have fled but will return. The women, and the man who loves you, becoming a new family at your nailed feet, churched by the anguish of love.
The central bud of the rose is strong for its many layers, a spear-like nub. Like the heart, to grow it must open. It will learn the hard way, that the more it does so, the more delicate it will become. Beauty and love do not stay crouched and bunched like a fist, but have learnt to unfold, and to make themselves vulnerable.
Change is always humming in the air and thrumming in the ground. If you listen long and low you might hear it through your feet, or feel it in your heart. The beat of the universe, a cosmic drum, the constant of all things. Seconds, seasons, aeons, none the same, all is dancing, sometimes swung around one turn in a year, holding hands with the sun, sometimes a thousand steps in a minute, tapping with the feet of bees who know where the sweetest nectar lies. But always and ever ready to move.
Translucence may be the next stage in the life of a pearl. For this oh too solid flesh to melt and prise itself apart so that beams and rays might travel through it, lighting all things up and calling everything sacred.
Flames of love lick at the drabness and drear, at the dross of life and transform them by consuming them with fire. Beauty arises from the ashes, just as a smile lights up and transforms a wrinkled, weary face. Bow to the beauty and the sacredness of all things. This is transfiguration, shining light into the darkness not to illuminate it, but to redeem it.
Pearls of knowledge and wisdom are more often to be found amongst pigs’ husks than locked in ivory towers in safe deposit boxes. For the world barely knows real treasure when it sees it, and so much lies undiscovered, waiting and excited to be lifted into the air with cries of Eureka and Alleluia!