Aldon Hynes's blog

Sweet and Sour Soup

The rich man complained
that the soup lacked
meat and vegetables
and I searched with my spoon
for my own nourishment.

The grieving mother moaned
that the soup was too sour and spicy
and I carefully tasted it
prepared for disappointment.

Then the homeless man rejoiced
at the simple succulent meal,
the warmth and many flavors
and I shared with him
the manifold pains and joys
of each moment.

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The Story

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

We talk about
the trunk and the tail
the flank and the legs
and the gifted
might even
describe how various parts
are connected.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

and the way we tell the story
shapes us
and shapes those around us
as we try to understand
what is unique;
what is universal.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room.

It is a story about
and death
and joy
and suffering
and still
we have problems
how the various parts
are connected.

We are an improv team
telling our common story
about the elephant in the room,

and by telling the story
we create meaning
and healing.

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The Snowflake

I pause to consider
the snowflake
that has landed
on the handle of my shovel.

Was it part
of the waters
that were separated
from the dry land
on the third day?

Was it part
of the sweat
that fell from Adam’s brow
after he was cursed?

Was it part
of the great flood
God sent
to destroy corruption?

Was it part
of the river
that brought
the infant Moses
to Pharaoh?

Was it part
of the Red Sea
that Moses
providing a path
for the Israelites?

Was it in the Jordan River
when Jesus was baptized
or in the jars of purification
at the wedding feast?

Was it part
of the water that flowed
from the pierced side
of Jesus?

Did it irrigate
hazelnut trees
in the time of Julian
in Norwich?

And what will become of it
after it melts,
flows into the pond
and rejoins
the great cycle
of evapotranspiration?

“It lasts
and ever shall
for God Loves it”

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Making Eden Great

Now the serpent was more crafty
than any of the wild animals
the LORD God had made
and he said to Adam and Eve,
“I’m going to make Eden great again.
I will be the greatest president
that God ever created.”

When they heard the boasts
and found them pleasing to the ear,
they cast their vote for the serpent
and elected him their leader.

Then they heard the sound of the Lord God
walking in the garden
and they were afraid,
so they said to the serpent,
build a wall to keep us safe
and drive out those who are different from us.

When the Lord heard this he said,
“Because you have done this
by the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
from which you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

Yet still the serpent boasted
“and when I return to dust,
I’ll be the greatest dust ever”,
and the serpent’s daughter
made fancy clothes
that were too expensive
and nobody liked
and tried to sell them in the stores.

And so the serpent started working on his agenda
And he attacked the judges and reporters
That thwarted or criticized him
And he said
“Nobody knew that healthcare
could be so complicated.”

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Where are you going?

The other day, I wrote about going to a dinner and worship service at Yale Divinity School as part of an assignment to make a pilgrimage to a sacred space for a class in English Spirituality and Mysticism I’m currently taking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the words of Walter Hilton, from one of the assigned texts for this week. “I am nothing. I have nothing. I seek one thing.”

It came to mind as I drove to the transfer station. What if we thought of every trip we take, no matter how small or mundane, as part of a spiritual pilgrimage. What if we managed to see each place we visit as a sacred space? Could we approach the town transfer station this way?

“I am nothing.” How contrary this is to the message of today. What if, instead of focusing on people who talk about how great they are and how great they are going to make everything, we focused on Walter Hilton, “I am nothing”?

This is not about self-loathing or denying any of what is great about ourselves, it is simply putting it into perspective. It is counting everything we are and have as nothing compared to the surpassing value of being as compassionate as possible. I’ve written in a secular sort of way in hopes that it will resonate with friends that don’t have much use for religion, but Christians may recognize it as a paraphrase of Philippians 3:8.

“I seek one thing”. What is that one thing you seek? I seek? Perhaps some of the answer is, “I’m not really sure”. That’s okay. Perhaps some of the answer is, to try and put it into some sort of secular spirituality, to become one with all compassion. Perhaps some of the answer to put it into the language of Walter Hilton, is to be recover our imago dei, to recover how we are created in the image of God.

Where are you going?

Postscript: As I prepared to post this on my blog, a few associations came to mind. “By My Side” from Godspell came to mind,

Where are you going?
Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold
And needs warmth
Where are you going?

as did, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

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