Skip to main content

In-let


I've been reading Julia Cameron's The Sound of Paper. A beautiful book. She is the now-famous author of many books, so well-known that I think even posting a link here is unnecessary. After that book, I began reading her trilogy, The Complete Artist's Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice. Cameron shares her inner life with her reader in a remarkable way, including how she hears God speaking to her. No, not the delusional kind of God-speak, but the quiet, honest, and undeniable kind. I believe that Charles Wesley described it amazingly well when he wrote these lines:

"Thou callest me to seek thy face. 'Tis all I wish to seek;
To hear the whispers of thy grace, and hear thee inly speak."


Did you "start" at the same word that has always made me "start" in this hymn, entitled "Talk with Us, Lord?" Inly. Not inwardly. Not toward the interior, not aiming for the "in" within us, but going there directly. Inly.

When I first read these lines in Wesley's hymn, oh, how the editor in me wanted to fix that word. At first, I giggled at it. Then, I fretted over it. Then, I "excused" it, given its authorship. But now, with the passage of time, I believe I have come to understand it. And to understand why Wesley used it; not as a choice bent to rhythmic convenience, but because the word is exquisitely right in place and meaning.

Inly. What do we let in? How many media and messages? How many worries and obsessions? How many rotating fears and wishes?

Yet, the Divine stands ready always to enter, according to our invitation. An English hymn-writer of the 18th Century and a gifted 21st-Century author invite me, also, to travel inly and listen.

Text and image, copyright Ysabel de la Rosa, all rights reserved.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Life without Television, Part 2

I began life without television with relief, which was consistent Monday through Friday. The first few weekends, though, felt awkward, anxious, lonely. When PBS has good programming on Saturday nights, it is extraordinarily good. Father Brown, Phryne Fisher, New Tricks... Extraordinary acting, high production values, and I fantasize about the pudgy, brilliant priest just perhaps having an innocent crush on one of his special parishioners, which would be moi. 

I called a friend one Sunday. "Maybe television helped with my anxiety more than I realized," I said. She told me about her aunt who, after her husband's death, kept the television on in his "man cave" 24/7. He has been gone years now. The television goes on, everlasting, in his absence. I don't blame her. Much of my frequent and prolonged television viewing began with grief.

After my sister died, I would watch almost anything, especially late at night when sleep eluded me. I even watched Convoy with …

Whose day?

Years ago, I made some collages using pages from a desk calendar from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image that leads this post is one. Inside the hearts and flowers is a picture from the MMA collection of  a Japanese screen made in the 16th century. It is titled Tagasode, which means Whose sleeves?  The title comes from a 10th-century poem:


The fragrance seems even more alluring than the hue, Whose sleeves have brushed past? Or would it be this plum tree blossoming here at home?
Iro yori mo ka koso awaredo omohoyure tagasode fureshi ado no ume zo mo
The word haunts: tagasode. Whose sleeves? The question floats in my mind like a cloud on a still day. The sleeves materialize in my mind's eye. I hear them move through hushed air. I can imagine, though not name, the scent of the person to whom those sleeves belong. It's not unlike smelling the scent of your infant's clothes, or holding the perfume bottle that belonged to your mother...you don't need to open it... you know tha…

Glad to Hear It

This past week, Larry Wilmore and company mentioned Rachel Dolezol again on The Nightly Show. I don't remember who made the comment, but either Wilmore or one of the panelists said, "Did Rachel Dolezol do anything bad? No, she really didn't. Why did we get so uptight about that?" I was glad to hear it. Three cheers for being human.

I looked briefly at what's on Google currently about her and the now much-discussed Shaun White. I intend not to enter any of that fray mentally or verbally. I still maintain that humanity trumps color. We have a long way to go until we can leave our "paint by numbers" mentality behind, but we've made progress. Good changes can come, even in the midst of chaos and controversy. Maybe White and Dolezal will help us see that eventually.

As long as I'm here and continuing on the subject of color, I think I'm not alone in the fact that I don't like being called "white." As for my background, it includes …