By Father David Fisher

picture of father fisher

Want to learn more from different perspectives about our lessons? Soundings is a an opportunity for our Clergy to provide different insights into our readings and scripture. You may not always agree with the Clergy's interpretations. But that is why Soundings was created. To invite thoughtful discussion. You are welcome to email the author of each article to provide your comments. Welcome to Soundings!

Trees Have a Lot to Teach Us

Parker J. Palmer writes: 

On Monday afternoon, a storm darkened the skies over my part of Wisconsin, bringing wind gusts up to 70 mph. A lot of big dead branches came down in my neighborhood, and a few large tree trunks were split clear to the ground. No one was injured but the mess was widespread, and lots of folks pitched in to help clean it up, as good neighbors do.

Read more: Trees Have a Lot to Teach Us

Hymn on Paradise

soundings 061822Such is the flowing brook of delights
that, as one tree takes leave of you,
the next one beckons you;
all of them rejoice
that you should partake of the fruit of one
and suck the juice of another,
wash and cleanse yourself 
in the dew of yet a third;
anoint yourself with the resin of one
and breath another’s fragrance,
listen to the song of still another.
Blessed is He who gave joy to Adam. 
[hymn IX, v. 6]
For the colors of Paradise are full of joy,
its scents most wonderful,
its beauties most desirable,
and its delicacies glorious.

– Ephrem of Edessa, aka "the Syrian" (306-373)
'Hymn On Paradise'

Reflection of Divinity

The artist or the poet possesses
an interior light which transforms
objects to make a new world of them
—sensitive, organized, a living world
which is in itself an infallible sign
of the Divinity, a reflection of Divinity.
For me now, silence and isolation
are useful. Only superficial painters
need fear them. —Henri Matisse

You, God, Who Live Next Door

If at times, through the long night, I trouble you
with my urgent knocking -
this is why: I hear you breathe so seldom.
I know you're all alone in that room.
If you should be thirsty, there's no one
to get you a glass of water.
I wait listening, always. Just give me a sign!
I'm right here.
As it happens, the wall between us
is very thin. Why couldn't a cry
from one of us
break it down? It would crumble

it would barely make a sound.

Rilke, Book of Hours