On a moonlit night in Springwater, NY snowflakes fall softly to the ground, each flake a unique wonder. One falls on another and then another joins until something new forms like some preordained plan. So graceful. When we humans come together it is perhaps less gracefully and that has been no more obvious than over the last year as we endured and continue to endure a global pandemic, political turmoil and racial tension.
Toni gave a talk during another tumultuous time on the first day of the November 2004 retreat after a particularly contentious election season in the United States. In the talk, Toni speaks about becoming aware of how we cling to “beliefs and assumptions about ourselves, the world, god and faith and religion.” She acknowledges the challenge of emptying the mind of these beliefs so that the truth and reality can be perceived clearly without distortions. Is it possible to see that what we cling to “throws a deep shadow of darkness on that which is here right now, in front of us, under our noses and eyes.”? We live in a world of images, she says, and clinging to and identifying in these images is a life of insecurity.
In upcoming retreats there is the possibility as we gather online to, in Toni’s words, not confirm or assert, but to wonder about all this in openness.