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Invitation to Poetry: Always We Begin Again

Welcome to our 37th Poetry Party!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. Add them in the comments section and a link to your blog (if you have one).  Make sure to check the comments for new poems added and I encourage you to leave encouraging comments for each other either here or at the poet’s own blog. (I was using Mister Linky before but it started slowing down the loading of my pages drastically, so please leave your poems and links in the comments).

Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog if you have one and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

On Friday, July 3rd, I will draw a name at random from those who participate and send the winner a signed copy of my newest zine: Sacred Poetry: An Invitation to Write (which will ship out by Monday, July 6th and you can pre-order for your own copy for the discounted price of $12.50)!


Theme: Always We Begin Again

I spent this past weekend with my Oblate community at St. Placid Priory.  It was our annual retreat and this year I helped Sister Lucy facilitate on the theme of “Always we begin again” which is a line from the Rule of St. Benedict.  One of the vows in Benedictine life is conversion which is essentially a commitment to ongoing transformation and recoginizing that we never fully arrive at the destination, we are always on a journey.

I took this photo while up on the Canadian coast last week.  At low tide one day I wandered the beach gathering stones and creating cairns, carefully balancing one stone upon another.  It became a meditation on my life.  For me Benedictine practice is at heart about living my life in a renewing balance between solitude and community, between silence and conversation, between work and prayer, between all the elements of my life that demand attention and energy.  I have returned from this retreat renewed in energy, focus, and commitment to my Benedictine practices.  I am ready to begin again.

We are half way through the year, so I invite you to take this opportunity to pause and reflect where you are being called to begin again.  Write a poem about your longing for balance or the places where you seek renewal.


© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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26 Responses

  1. Here I am… Again!

    Yes, here I am again
    in my wandering

    How is it that
    another fall
    has over come me?

    I walk a stretched road,
    the walk of every
    faith, no doubt.

    But, my soul
    needs a way to
    balance my steps.

    I rest in the centre
    of my God.
    Imbibing peace.

    May sabbath
    time nourish my

    God you always bless
    my birth, at
    each beginning.

  2. I posted this poem (and an explanation of how it came to be) here

    Longing. Searching. Dreaming. Believing.
    God, I know you hold my life in balance,
    Please wrest from me my selfishness, my angry words,
    My hurting heart..
    and heal me.

    Standing. Walking. Preaching. Teaching.
    Jesus, I hear your words in my ear,
    Please show me how to live by example, by serving,
    Tear the rough places away…
    Use me.

    Bowing. Praying. Fasting. Worshiping.
    Holy Spirit, I surrender every facet, every part
    Please guide me once again into your place for me.
    My heart is warmed…
    I am resting.
    I am listening.
    I am at peace.

  3. lucy, great quote!

    Beth, I love the movement in this poem, both through the possibilities of the day and the physical invitation to stretch beyond ourselves.

    Martha Louise, lovely haiku, that last line is very evocative, makes me ponder.

    Elaine T, this is an incredible story of resurrection, I agree with Shelley, both disturbing and beautiful.

  4. Elaine T. – you’re poem is both disturbing and beautiful. Seems to touch some place of grief and warmth inside of me. Thank you. Blessings to you on your pilgrimage.