The lesson for me was one of humility and not taking yourself too seriously. As UU’s, some of us (including myself) could use a reminder of being humble and not thinking that we are special or elevated in any way. Here is Rev. Mark’s poem:
Reading for the Day
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.
(from the collection Sonata for Voice and Silence by Mark Belletini, published in 2008 by Skinner House Books in Boston.)
I love the whole poem, but especially I love the parts in quotation marks: “You are alive, here and now. / Love boldly and always tell the truth.” This is my call to breathe into my body and not be in my head, worrying about the past or the future.
“Life is struggle and loss, and also / tenderness and joy. / Live all of your life, not just part of it.” This is my reminder to accept the sadness that is part of life. To love is to know that we will lose the things and the people we love. This is especially poignant this week as members of our Fellowship grapple with the death of a loved one. The pain of loss is acute. Leaning into the sadness can help us to live through it. Sadness shows where joy and love were.
Two people last Sunday morning spoke of the death of a family member during our Joys and Sorrows time. In a Fellowship like ours, we hear each other’s truth—even hard and sad truths—and we support each other as we can. As Mark Belletini says, “Do not think you can take away / each other’s troubles, / but try to be with each other in them.” May it be so for our Fellowship, because we all have troubles in this life.
Spirit of life and love, bless the words of Rev. Mark Belletini and his long service to Unitarian Universalism.
Bless the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan with love. May the love between us be shown in times of trouble and pain and grief. May each of us remember to breathe, to be in the present moment, to love boldly and always tell the truth. May we love ourselves, one another, and the whole world with no exceptions.
Amen. Aho. Blessed be.