Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The mans face was set in deep concentration as he turned the millstone and listened to the grinding of the wheat between its jaws.
He thought of how only the other day he admired the grown wheat waving like a sea of gold in the breeze,. He remembered how he had planted it months before, scattering each seed onto the damp earth. As he did, he imagined the life of a seed, its succumbing to the earth to be broken down, released of its protective husk. How it would have plunged its remaining energy into the deep soil in the form of a single root, drawing on the nourishment to create a second shoot that would with the strength of an arrow work its way towards the sunlight.
It took his breath away.
Such life and courage, such patience and strength.
But today the field was motionless, only stubble remained. The wheat had been cut, thrashed and threshed to separate it from its useless chaff, and now, here, it was being crushed beyond recognition. Yet from it poured the finest flour, flour that could be made into bread, cakes, puddings, biscuits, all kinds of delightful nourishing meals.

He scooped up the flour, put it into the bowl and began to mix in the yeast, the salt and the water. All his strength and love went into transforming the mix, kneading and pummelling, feeling it transform under his fingers into shiny dough. Letting it rest, and watching it grow in the warmth of the kitchen, reforming, reshaping then into the oven to turn a golden brown.
He placed it on the table and saw the summer sun, the nourishment of earth, the death and darkness of the seed, the constant changing and transforming all bound into this small loaf.
As he took it into his hands and broke it he remembered how in a dark time he too felt like the seed in the ground with life stripping him of all he believed himself to be. He remembered how he had to dig deeply in search of a new way of nourishing his being.
He broke it again and remembered the yearning for sunlight, for times when the darkness seemed too much to bear. He remembered too the courage found to imagine a new.
He broke it, and felt the freedom of renewal, basking in the wonder of being, nearly touching the sun.
He broke it and felt the ground come up to meet him as life took an unexpected turn and he was changed again..
This time beyond recognition, removing all he thought himself to be, until all that was left was gift for the baker to knead and cook and be shared.He broke it once more and he knew now that he was the bread of life. Living, changing, dying and renewing life and in that same moment he remembered; he was the Baker.

Bev Robertson 2008

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Truth and Story

Truth and Story
In a time before time in a land faraway the people of this land were so excited when they heard that Truth was coming to visit their village.
The men, women and children all dressed in their best clothes to await Truths’ arrival in the village square.
Soon they heard the sound of horse’s hooves coming from afar. ‘Here he is’ the children squealed, clapping their hands with excitement.
In rode Truth and dismounted his fine horse. He was pleased at such a welcome and strode about greeting everyone, but something was very wrong! Truth was as naked as the day he was born! Parading around with not a scrap to cover him.
Now the children were really squealing. Their mothers were putting their hands over the eyes of their little ones and the Fathers were putting their hands over the eyes of the mothers and all were trying so hard to scurry each other into the houses and away from the sight of naked Truth.

Now all this time Story had been taking tea with the villages greatest Grandmother. When she heard the commotion Story hurried to see what was happening. The village square was bare except for Truth who stood there weeping.
‘Why are you weeping so,’ asked Story tenderly.
‘These people don’t want me.’ snivelled Truth,’ Look they have all run away from Truth, they never run away from you in you’re beautiful robe of rainbow colours all shimmering and shining like the sun’.
‘I think I know what the problem might be’ said Story, ‘You see people can’t always take the bare naked Truth, it is a little shocking at times.’
Story smiled, ‘Wait here a moment, I have something that will help’
Soon she returned and brought with her a beautiful rainbow coloured coat that shimmered and shone, much like the one she wore herself. She wrapped it around Truth covering his nakedness. Truth was delighted and danced about making the coat shimmer and shine even more. Story laughed and said‘ Now you will always be welcome anywhere and everywhere just like me.’ As she spoke, first the children, then the mothers and eventually the fathers all came out from behind closed doors and welcomed this new vision of Truth dressed as Story all shimmering and shining in multifarious colours. Truth spent many a long day and night in the village saying all he had come to tell. There was not one who did not hear him and not one who went untouched by the beauty of Truth robed in Story.

This is not an original story, it was given to me by someone who heard it on the radio some years back, sadly I don't know the true author.



Once upon a time at the very beginning of time in a garden ripe and fecund,
Adam and Eve, were lovingly inspired by God. She breathed her own breath into their clay and gave them life.
Here, there was no hunger, no cold, no fear, only love. God watched her children grow and time passed. She knew that soon the garden would be too small for them. She could see that they were growing fast and knew that the time was coming very soon when She would have to let them grow.
This pained God as it does every mother who has carried her children this far. It was a wonderful thing to keep her little ones in the safety of Eden, to feel them quicken to life, to expand the boundaries and let them stretch. But the time was soon coming when, if these children were to become as she had dreamed, God would have to do something that would cost her dearly.
Finally Her time came.
God gathered the children about her sky blue skirts and told them that they could eat of anything in the garden they wanted, but, they must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As she spoke these words her heart trembled. She knew that the gift she was giving them was one of the most terrible and loving things she could give; the freedom to choose and grow to know themselves.
This was only the beginning. If they were ready to choose, they would be ready to grow into the freedom of her Daughters and Sons. She also knew deep in her heart of the great risk to herself; that they may well forget her.
It was the female child who thought long and hard about God’s words as she gazed up at the fruit from the giant roots of the tree. Eve had no experience of choosing anything. ‘You shall not’, was a concept she had never encountered in her whole life and now she was confused. So she consulted one of the wisest creatures in the garden.

The wise old serpent told Eve that eating of the fruit of this tree would change her world. She explained, that just one bite would cause her to grow in a new way, she would see many new things where before there had been One. The wise old serpent added that after eating the fruit, when she looked upon still waters she would see something she had never seen before.
Eve didn’t really understand this explanation, but gathered from the depth and the seriousness of the old serpent’s tone that this next thing was very important.
Eve climbed the ancient trunk of the mysterious tree. Near the top she clambered out on a limb until she reached the ripe fruit. She stretched out and held the fruit in the palm of her hand and gently plucked it off.
She put the fruit to her lips and tasted. A great shudder rolled through her flesh and seemed to be echoed in the garden as a veil dropped from Eve’s eyes and she saw herself and the tree as, not one but two. She ran to the still pool and gazed into it. This time it was not just a bright dancing pattern of light and colour but a face that looked back at her, it blinked when she blinked it stuck out its tongue at precisely the same time as she stuck out hers. Then it dawned on her and she saw her face! A new word moved upon her lips ‘mine’.
Nearby, God was hiding behind a great rock, watching her beautiful girl entranced with her own image and with a loud groan God began to weep and a great river arose and broke open the gates of Eden.
When the shudder subsided and all was quiet again, Eve ran to find Adam. She saw him from a distance. My goodness, he was so different from her, she laughed then covered her mouth, she had never laughed at him before! . She pulled herself together and absent-mindedly plucked a leaf from a tree and covered her newfound vulnerability.
Eve held the fruit out to Adam and without so much as a question Adam took a bite. The garden shuddered again and a second great moan came from behind the huge rock. The two children huddled together, both now afraid as the beautiful garden that had been their haven for so long began to darken and shrink around them.
Eve hurriedly took Adam to the still pool, where he too saw his face and uttered the new word ‘mine’. One last great moan filled the garden and the river rose so steeply that it caught the two babes and carried them out through the open gates into a world of light and darkness, joy and pain, up and down, life and death, mine and yours. God heaved one last great sigh and rested.
Many years passed and the children, now grown, had learned to live in the world of opposites. Survival was hard work in this place, where life ate life and hunger was a daily companion. It didn’t take long to forget what it had been like to live without fear. Only the occasional, winsome memory of the Mothers sky blue skirts came to mind, and longing, on a cloudless day. Now She was gone, far away from them. They could no longer see her all around them, watching and singing in a still small voice, trying to re-mind them of the wisdom, with her stories and her songs. They could no longer see, in the beauty of the butterfly and the call of the deer that She was there, still with them, trying to attract their attention to re-member the Oneness they all shared.
Oblivious, Adam and Eve drifted in a dream of separation, hypnotised by desire and fear. In two minds, which made the dreaming something of a nightmare.
Yet one warm night under a full golden moon, Eve dreamt of a garden where God’s breath was the air itself. She awoke within that longing thought of love, wrapped in a faint memory of God breathing her, giving life and a gift that she never quite understood. Then a great moan came from Eve as her belly stretched and moved mysteriously with a secret yet to be revealed.
God smiled as she saw how her girl had grown just as she had dreamed. She sat alongside her daughter and touched Eve gently with a kiss and a new life broke forth from Eden.

Bev Robertson 2009