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Monk in the World Guest Post: Katharine Weinmann

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Katharine Weinmann’s reflection and poem “A Holy Balance.”

Grieving the loss of my professional vocation due to Covid and needing to find my footing with the world’s unravelling, I enrolled in the Abbey of the Arts Fall 2020 intensive online retreat, “Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist.” During a session of Lectio Divina in which Christine read Ecclesiastes 3, A Time for Everything, I reflected in my journal:

“… Humming to the Byrd’s musical interpretation, I’m struck by what comes to me as its “Holy Balance.” A description of the human condition that both with and beyond the literality of each phrase lies every possibility of human behaviour, in perpetuity. 
So, while I feel a deep and disturbing dread with what is unfolding in the world, sensing a deep, inarticulate foreshadowing, I must remember and have faith in the long, unseeable, unknowable view.” 

It is from this experience and my immersion in the retreat that this poem arose.

A Holy Balance

the sharp edge
of salvation’s knife

on one side, my denials, 
distractions and despairs desperate 
when whittled away 
by wordless worry

on the other side, singular 
moments of a measured slicing 
through life’s liminal veil

cutting a hole in the noise within

then divine wisdom 
echoing from thine
to mine

then a holy balance poised silent, 
full and surrendered

Katharine Weinmann is a seeker whose travels and reading of mystics and poets shapes the container from which her words and images emerge, revealing beauty in her imperfect, sometimes broken, mostly well-lived and much loved life. A published poet and photographer, Katharine is co-editor of the online quarterly, Sage-ing: The Journal of Creative Aging.

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