Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"The First Christmas" and ACIM passage

This blog is a great place for me to post things I want to remember in a location where I can actually find it again. Since I mentioned the poem in my post Thanking Shirlee, I thought I would include the readings I did here. First is the poem, second, a passage from "A Course in Miracles".

The First Christmas

Apartment #304
a Christmas of beginnings
I studied Psychology
you stood in the kitchen stirring
chicken noodle soup
we ate by candlelight.
No TV, no phone
just Judy singing
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".
We walked late at night,
Kong by our sides,
woolen coat collars snug around our necks.
We slaved all night
hanging ribbons of pasta
from the few pieces of furniture you had,
watched "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at the
Broadway Theater for ninety-nine cents,
lines from "About Last Night" dancing in our heads.
No Christmas tree--
just a
Christmas branch
strung with silver beads
sprigs of holly
we cut ourselves.
Who'd ever have dreamed
that simple
luxury-free season
would someday be
the one I remember

Jean A. Miller

The following is an excerpt from "A Course In Miracles", a text of study and prayer and wisdom that Marianne Williamson lectures on. I had seen Ms. Williamson on Oprah one day about a year before Roby died. Something about her resonated with me - her concern for the world, her perspective on the United States and the state of humanity. I sought out her book, "A Woman's Worth" and then began listening to some of her lectures on tape. I'm not a religious person, but I believe in spirituality. I don't necessarily subscribe to "A Course in Miracles", but at the time, it was immensely helpful to me in coping with Roby's illness and my fears of death. I was looking for something and I found solace in her teachings.

One thing to know before you read this is that "A Course In Miracles" uses traditional Christian terminology in very non-traditional ways. When I read the excerpt at the memorial, I eliminated some references, but I thought it was important to talk about LOVE to mitigate some of the shocking and unpleasant messages the preacher gave in his sermon (Yes, sermon...not supposed to happen at memorials, but it did...). Some people tried to impose their views on how I should grieve, "You were just friends...". I thought this message captured an idea I wanted to convey.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 127

"There is no love but God's"

Perhaps you think that different kinds of love are possible. Perhaps you think there is a kind of love for this, a kind for that; a way of loving one, another way of loving still another. Love is one. It has no separate parts and no degrees; no kinds nor levels, no divergencies and no distinctions. It is like itself, unchanged throughout. It never alters with a person or a circumstance. It is the Heart of God and also of his son.

Love’s meaning is obscure to anyone who thinks that love can change. He does not see that changing love must be impossible. And thus he thinks that he can love at times, and hate at other times. He also thinks that love can be bestowed on one and yet remain itself although it is withheld from others. To believe these things of love is not to understand it. If it could make such distinctions. it would have to judge between the righteous and the sinner, and perceive the Son of God in separate parts.

Love cannot judge. As it is one itself, it looks on all as one. Its meaning lies in oneness. And it must elude the mind that thinks of it as partial or in part. There is no love but God’s and all of love is His. There is no other principle that rules where love is not. Love is a law without an opposite. Its wholeness is the power holding everything as one, the link between the Father and the Son which holds them both forever as the same."

If you want to read a transcript of a Marianne Williamson lecture, this is a good place to start:

cover of "A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson

Probably more than you wanted to know, but there you go. I will post my song list for the memorial, too, but I have to find it first.

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