Author Archives: Betty McGuire

cocooned

by Debbie Stevenson

In spring 2018 I was on a personal silent retreat. It was one of the last steps before graduating from a 3 year spiritual direction program. During those 3 days of silence, I discovered a desire for expression. I first began to notice this desire during my spiritual direction training and it also arose in sessions with my spiritual director. When I allowed myself to be silent and sit in centering prayer, I noticed a natural creativity flowing within me. I never knew I had any creative abilities. Others have that gift, not me. Or so I thought.

It was after one of those periods of silent listening that this poem came forth. As I live and move as a contemplative in the world, stillness shows me that there is something waiting to be expressed. This poem articulates my experience of discovering, exploring, and expressing a new life as I move through the transformation process. A transformation from closed to opened. Everyday I am more open to all that God has for me as I take flight into wherever that path leads me.

Cocooned By Debbie Stevenson

I have been Cocooned for most of my life,

Dark

Contained

Narrow space

Something is happening in

This space.

Wings form

A light shines

I push to the light

Like an infant pushing

from the womb.

Its wide open here

Spacious

Bright

I feel wings that as I move

are infused with energy,

Ready for flight.

I look back

that cocoon now a tomb

were I to stay any longer.

I look forward

Lift to fly in the direction

Of the one who has called me forth

To this wide world of adventure and love.

I was born again, and again, and again…

 


Debbie Stevenson serves as a School Nurse for a private christian school. She is a recent graduate of Audire The Central Florida Foundation for Spiritual Direction, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. Debbie also serves on the board of Fresh Oil Ministries. Debbie’s many roles include wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoys sharing contemplative practices with others. Debbie resides in Merritt island, Florida with her husband of 37 years.

born again.

by Kevin Eicher

Many years ago I was deeply involved in what I will call “the church of my youth”. One day a friend asked me a question about my beliefs. That question lead me to other questions and I soon found myself, as I put it then: “lying on the valley floor” beat up and bloody without a single belief I could really hold on to. Over a period of time I developed new beliefs which lead to new questions and new valley experiences until eventually I came to a single unshakable belief: There is a god, and a single question: What’s he like? I have a real heart for the many people I meet that have asked the “questions-that-must-never-be-asked” and found themselves alone and hurting by what they found. I want them to know it’s all part of the journey, and it’s okay. This poem is about the journey of transformation. Transformation…it is painful …it is confusing …it is necessary, I hope it never ends. 

Born again. By Kevin Eicher

I was born into an understanding, of the world around me, 

and my place within it. 

I tried, very hard, to fill that place, in that world. 

 

One day while enjoying the view from the pinnacle of my understanding, 

I caught a glimpse of a distant peak, and the earth moved, 

and I fell, crashing, to a new understanding, with a new place within it. 

I was born again. 

 

One day while enjoying the view from the pinnacle of my new understanding, 

I heard music, and as I listened , my heart broke, 

and I fell, crashing, to a new understanding, with a new place within it. 

I was born again. 

 

One day while enjoying the view from the pinnacle of my new understanding, 

I heard a voice, and my mind doubted the voice, and darkness overcame me, 

and I fell, crashing, to a new understanding, with a new place within it. 

I was born again. 

 

One day while enjoying the view from the pinnacle of my new understanding, 

I felt the waves of the ocean break upon my soul, 

and I was swept away, to a new understanding, with a new place within it. 

I was born again. 

 

One day while enjoying the view from the pinnacle of my new understanding, 

I leaped, heart, mind and soul,  into the view, and the music, and the Word, and the water, 

and I was carried away, to a new understanding, with a new place within it. 

I was born again, and again, and again…

 


Kevin Eicher is a spiritual pilgrim, a thinker, and a creative. He and his wife have used their careers in long distance trucking as an impetus to a simple life and a gateway to relationships and adventures in areas they would otherwise never have encountered.When they are not running the roads or exploring the world, they live in Council Bluffs Iowa with their children and grandchildren. 

metamorphosis

by Allison Cloud

One summer day last year, while repeatedly surrendering to the unraveling of mid-life, I found myself caretaker of two caterpillars, one monarch and one black swallowtail.  As they munched and grew on my screened porch, I was able to watch them molt to their pupa state, the chrysalis.  Did you know that a caterpillar must break itself open to become the chrysalis?  So they can become less themselves and more themselves at the same time?  It was incredible to see.  This liminal space, this in-between became a powerful image to me as I waited and watched throughout the day, meditating and praying with the chrysalis in front of me, but also in my heart, spirit and mind.  I researched what happens to a caterpillar while in the pupa state.  I found scientists who have been able to record the sounds from within a chrysalis.  It is heartbreaking to hear.  Nearly two weeks later, I watched the monarch emerge (I missed the swallowtail, sadly).  The slow and painful process of exiting the chrysalis had me mesmerized.Finally, after the wings had dried, stretched and strengthened, the monarch butterfly took short flights for another hour, then was gone forever.  For my birthday that fall, my husband planted a butterfly garden in our backyard so that I can continue raising them.  Currently, there are hundreds of caterpillar eggs covering the milkweed plants.  I can’t wait to see it all unfold again.

Metamorphosis By Allison Cloud

break me open
wrap darkness around

descend to

despairing

depths
til I

dissolve.

do you hear?
anguished moans
unbearable cries
desperate pleas to

cease

save

still
my suffering.

for I am being
undone
unmade

as I
unlearn
unknown
inside my tomb-womb.

where on the outside all is
jade-green
glittered gold

my tragic beauty

where darkness must become
as light to me

where I must embrace the torment

I consent!
I surrender
to this, my chrysalis.

 


Allison Cloud is a creative and contemplative from Kansas City, who enjoys roles as teacher, leader, wife, mother, gardener, lifelong learner and community theater actress. She serves as Assistant Director of a large KC-area homeschool academy in order to provide them with enrichment and social experiences. When not pursuing these endeavors, Allison raises her four sons, plus butterflies on her porch.  She is beginning spiritual formation and spiritual direction certification through Souljourners and the Benedictine Sisters at Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas this fall.  Connect with her on Instagram @alcloud.