Dearest monks and artists,
I am thrilled to share with you above the video and audio podcasts for Day 2 Morning Prayer. We hope that you are enjoying these resources!
In the Celtic imagination, the hours of dawn and dusk are considered threshold times when the veil between worlds is especially thin. When we show up for morning and evening prayer we open ourselves to an encounter with the Holy One reaching toward us. This encounter is always available, but it is in these sacred moments of Earth’s turning when we become more open to receive this gift.
These threshold moments are not just at the turning points of each day from dark to light and back to dark again. They also happen during the year in alignment with the seasons. November 1st is considered to be a time when the doorway between worlds is open even further and is the start of the New Year in the Celtic calendar.
Our western culture doesn’t make much room for the honoring of ancestors or valuing what connection to the stories of our past might bring to us. When we uncover the layers of the stories those who have come before us have lived for generations we begin to understand ourselves better. Some of these stories we may know the details of, and some we may have to access and experience in an embodied and intuitive way. These memories live inside of us, waiting for us to give them room in our lives. Making space in our lives to learn our family history, to know some of the struggles and joys of our ancestors, to experience the land they walked on, all gives us a sense of time as generational and how things in our lives are planted for the generations to come.
We have scientific evidence through the work of epigenetics that family wounds are carried unconsciously from generation to generation. The stories and traumas of our grandmothers and grandfathers are our stories. We can help to heal the wounds of the past and in the process heal ourselves by telling those stories again, giving voice to the voiceless, unnamed, secrets and to the celebrations, insights, and wisdom gathered over time. The poet May Sarton wrote in her poem “All Souls”: Now the dead move through all of us still glowing. . . What has been plaited cannot be unplaited.
Landscape, language, and culture have all shaped the stories we’ve told, the words used to express the most aching sorrow and the most profound joy. Ancestral lands with their trees, rivers, oceans, and undulations have been imprinted on our psychic lives and our soul. Learning some of the language our ancestors spoke or walking in the landscape that shaped them can bring us home to ourselves again.
On Saturday, October 31st I will be joined by Deirdre Ni Chinneide, a wonderful singer and gifted facilitator who lives on Inismor, the largest of the three Aran Islands. Together we will be inviting you into a time of personal reflection and community ritual for honoring those who have walked before us. You will be called to listen at the threshold for the voices of the ancestors. It promises to be a rich meaningful time at this sacred turning point of the year.
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE