I and You

I was one with YOU
before I came
              longing to return

Time invisible winds up
like a runner running a race
                unknowing becomes knowing

Knowing yet unknowing
longing to know YOU
      in world
            out world
                longing unsatisfied

Longing for YOU
stop seeking
               sensing YOU

PRESENCE invisible
always here
   embracing relationship
      calls to me
         unknowing becomes knowing

©Ruth Jewell, July 22, 2010

Ramblings: Summer Reading

I just finished reading I and Thou by Martin Buber (translated by Walter Kaufmann, 1970) and I love this book.  I am struck by the realization that 3 years ago I wouldn’t have understood Buber and am forever grateful for the last 3 years of Theology School, and Father Mike, for giving me the tools to open my heart to words that inspire.    But on to my brain dump.

This was not an easy book to read, there are concepts here that I am struggling with but, still, what sticks out for me is the development of relationship as the fundamental basis for our growth as human beings.   And, if I understand Buber correctly,  the I-You world relationship is more than the relationship between I and another Human, or creation, the ultimate YOU is God, Spirit, ruach, Allah, however I identify the Divine.    In fact God is never in the I alone but always in the I-You relationship, and because we are always in that relationship we are always in the PRESENCE.

Wow, Buber has opened a door I’m not sure I can shut.  He defines true community as one that only exists in relation with the PRESENCE, the I-YOU world.  God didn’t create community because the YOU was lonely, God created community because without the I the YOU can not exist.  We are bound with invisible strings to the Divine YOU in all things, like the front and back of a sheet of paper, like light and dark.  Without the YOU the I would not be able to recognize self and without the I the YOU would not be able to be recognized.  I am still processing this, so much of this book makes sense until I start to take it apart, so there will lots more thinking on this book.

In addition to reading Buber I have also been reading John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes, Celtic .  Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong (1999), and it is a nice companion to I and Thou.  Both books emphasize the importance of our relationships and how we long to return to the relationship with YOU.  The longing for the return of that relationship is hardwired into us from the moment of our conception.  We spend our lives trying to bridge the gap between us and YOU and that longing is what drives us to seek more than surface impressions for our lives.  Even those who settle for things, material and physical know in their hearts that such ‘stuff’ is not enough.   Each in their own way Buber and O’Donohue tell us that reaching into the mystery of being is never safe but is the only way to find what the heart longs for.  I have no idea where I’m going with this, just that I’m trying to make some sense of what I’ve read, so you all get to listen to me, lucky you.  It has taken me 63 years to figure this part out, I sure hope it doesn’t take another 63 years to figure out the next part!

©Ruth Jewell, July 22, 2010

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