The holiness of Santa, Merlot and angel pink spoonbill wings

Holy river of ice from sky

Holy river of ice from sky

I don’t know a lot.

Years ago–exactly at age eleven, sprawled out on the scratchy orange and black upholstered chair in our family room–I remember thinking very assuredly, “I know everything there is to know.”

That little preteen really thought she knew everything.  This 55-year-old mama, however, sitting on this velvet green upholstered computer chair, is more and more convinced that she knows very little.

She is convinced she knows one thing.  Well, she’s fairly convinced she knows one thing.  She’s almost certain that it’s true from what she’s glimpsed in deep meditation and when yellow and blue symphony skies  steal breath from the heart.

All of life is holy, my friend.  All of life is holy.  All of life is whole.

Holy sky with orb

Holy sky with orb

All of life is holy, even many of the parts that we disdain, that we analyze between here and sunrise.  Our confusion is even holy.  Our not-knowing is holy.  Even our messy inconvenient mistakes are holy, yes they are, although the internal judge is already sentencing us to a lifetime of hell for believing that last messy inconvenient thought.

I do not say all of life is wonderful, joyful, perfect, dazzling, preferable.   I did not say all of life is what our mind ordinarily assumes as “good”.  I suggest all of life is holy–as in “wholey”.  All of life is whole, complete, revealing itself as it is, whether we like it or not.

This kind of wholeyness does not have an opposite.  It embraces the fullness of our life in all its positive and negative, in all its shining glory and deep disappointment.

Holy is even someone murmuring, “All life is not holy.”  That’s how encompassing the wholeyness of life is.

The reason your blogger is only *fairly* sure that all of life is holy is because some acts seem too terrible to classify in the holy department.  She can’t type that rape and murder and pushing a fellow in the subway  are holy.  She can’t go that far, even though she’s suspicious that her view is still somehow too limited, too narrow to understand the Largest Perspective.  But she can say “all life is wholey.”  Why?  Because it exists.

When we’re viewing life from a much wider lens, a wider angle than our personal stories, it’s funny, isn’t it, dear reader, how so much ordinariness shines with the most beautiful holiness, the wholeness of it all?

Holy trees--like matchsticks

Holy trees–like match sticks

They say when we die we’ll look back in a flash as our life passes before us and we’ll see the holiness of offering a friend blue plums.   The blue plums themselves shine with holiness, as do our blue-stained fingernails, as do the purple gratitude shining from our friend’s eyes.

We’ll see holiness in a pool game in Scot’s Bar in 1983, the way the bar lights gleamed off the rainbow-colored balls.  The way the bar smelled of stale beer.  The way the drunk on the bar stool fell off, the way the people laughed, the way the waitress knelt tenderly beside him, brushing the stray lock of gray hair off his face, willing him to resurrect.

We’ll see holiness in the most ordinary of our actions.  The times Grandpa bounced us on his knee and crooned (off-key) Sing a Song of Cities and you felt more loved than anyone on the planet until you were thirteen years old and he announced you too old to bounce upon his knee and you locked the bathroom door and flooded cities with the tears of your weeping song.

We’ll see holiness in the time we wrestled on the carpeted floor with our younger brother, and the way you wanted to kill him, you truly did, you hated him with every precious ounce of your six-year-old self.  But somehow holiness shines through and embraces that memory and allows it and shines its light upon it.

Holy calendar

Holy calendar

Even the grunting and passion reveals itself as so precious that you want to weep at the beauty of this life which has been so full, so full of ripe sweet strawberries and deep maroon wineglass of Merlot and the smell of fresh-laundered sheets drying like sails in the wind outside your kitchen window.

We miss it, don’t we, we miss it far too often.  Our mind labels something “ordinary” and the magic of it becomes dead to us.  Or our minds don’t know how to truly hold our heart’s tears or appreciation and we forget, we forget, oh how we forget.

The holiness is not honored, not decked in laurel crowns of green and red holly, not delighted, not sung at family gatherings, not knelt before like the Christ child.

I don’t know how to make the holy ordinariness the sacred altar of this life.  The eleven year old child might have known, she who knew everything.  Every last bit of my energy kindles an inner flame that wants to sing “holy, holy, holy” when you comment here at this doorstep, when you read and shake your head in ambivalence, when you dance away and share your next moment of holiness with another sacred moment.

And yet, so often I seem to fail.  I do not notice the holiness of these typing fingers.  I do not notice the holiness of your wrinkled faces and hands, your kindness, your disdain, your next movement, your pink angel wings gleaming in the sunlight of your days.

Holy pink billed spoonbill.  Holy you.

Holy pink billed spoonbill. Holy you.

Perhaps that is holy, too.  Even our not noticing the patter of freezing ice-rain as the Universe’s gift to this moment of our wild and precious lives.

Even our blindness is perhaps endearing, forcing us to develop other senses of perception.  Even our confusion is song.  Even the way we don’t know whether to turn left or right, move up or down, stand up or be still.

Maybe it’s OK that we don’t know.  Maybe–in our not knowing–in our allowing ourselves to not know–Life in its preciousness moves through us like the “Ho Ho Ho” of Santa’s deep belly laugh reminding us “Holy, Holy, Holy” as we turn our cheeks toward the present of the next moment and open it fully with tears of gratitude blessing the soil of this open-armed green and blue earth.

P.S.  Please, my friends, if you have seven minutes of your life to celebrate the holy, please watch this YouTube video.  It sparked my heart into deeper holiness this morning as I wept in joy at this sacred sharing.  Don’t stop after one minute, or two.  Allow your heart to be broken open with what love wants to reveal to you:

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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29 Responses to The holiness of Santa, Merlot and angel pink spoonbill wings

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    I just can’t find words right now, and it’s good.

  2. Carol says:

    Holy is eyes that open in the mornings, sun that rises in the sky, laughter – whether from a child, a teen, an adult, or an old man or woman – tears, clouds, rain, and snow – and so very much more. Holy is being given life – to do with as we choose.

  3. susan says:

    Awesome, Kathy! Pondering holiness brings out the best in all of us and you, my dear, find the words for us all!

  4. Lovel this. A dreary day for me when I feel so awful and keep going back to bed, not once but 4-5 times before I finally turn on my computer and look for your post. In a way this new writing makes me sad but it has given me some push to get out of the doldrums and get on with the day. The young man narrating is good. He seems like a minister of a church. So maybe I need ministering this morning to shove me into gear. Yes, I supppose if you stop and think one might label every thing as holy but I must disagree and after all your column would not so interesing if there were not controversy;


  5. Heather says:

    I really like this, and I can’t find the right words to describe why. But you’ve hit on the everyday nuances that are sacred. And I think you’re right; someone, even ignoring the everyday mundane miracles of life somehow holds sanctity as well. Blessings to you Kathy for your open mind – and even for any instances of close-mindedness too. ❤

  6. Pingback: The Rivers Run Deep | Wanderings of an Elusive Mind

  7. Nothing much left to say after watching this ….
    Excellent seems inadequate.

  8. Oh me, oh my, that video clip on top of your already HOLY post was…

    …well; it was HOLY.

  9. Brenda Hardie says:

    Between your beautiful post and the incredibly moving video, I cannot even think of any words to add. Except that you touched my soul ♥

  10. Lori DiNardi says:

    We surely are standing … living on and in Holy Ground. This is beautiful, thank you for sharing it. Have you ever read the poem I Am There? This reminded me of it. Although, this beautiful video poem is a bit longer. I posted the poem on my blog in February.

  11. lisaspiral says:

    All too often we equate holy with perfection. I suspect that if we can consider something holy and yet still appreciate that it can be damaged or have some growing to do we’ll come a little closer to accepting horrible things as holy. I also struggle to see every action as holy, as I think intention does count. I think that’s why living with gratitude is so important. It wires us to take our actions to that holy place.

  12. Meg says:

    stunning poem. Your words, perfect. thank you!!

  13. sybil says:

    My daughter’s b.f. is a spoken word artist, so I am becoming more accustomed to having my world view challenged.. I often feel like I put up barriers to new ways of thinking. And here you are helping me find a “new” truth. Just wish I wasn’t so afraid .

    There ! Finally, an honest comment from me. 🙂

  14. Barb says:

    Often, I realize that the ordinary is the MOST holy. It’s what keeps me whole. I need reminders though – thank you, Kathy. Baby Sam came to visit us today – he’s 3 months. He looks at us through hazel eyes rimmed in navy blue – so unusual. I wonder what color they’ll decide to be? He seems to know something important, but he’s keeping quiet about it. That was my ordinary today.

  15. Lovely, Kathy. Thanks!

  16. I don’t know if everything in life is holy, but I certainly hear and feel the holiness of your words and feel blessed to be touched by them.

  17. Stacy says:

    I think of the “holiness” of life not as whole, but as filled with holes. As in, we don’t know everything. We can’t know everything. There will always be a gap in what we know and what there is. That in and of itself is holy. ❤

  18. john says:

    thank you

  19. Tammy says:

    Beautiful. I find as I age it isn’t so much about having answers as it is being okay with the questions.

  20. SusanDerozier says:

    Kathy – This is beautiful beyond any words I could find. I didn’t think anything could add to what you had written until I played the poem. My God this is truly stunning! Thank you once again.

  21. Robin says:

    My heart sang, “Yes!” while reading this post. And thank you so much for that incredibly beautiful poem/video. “The back porch of God’s summer home…” What a place that must be! I think I may have caught a glimpse of it once or twice…

  22. Alluvja says:

    Thank you Kathy dear. Priceless both your blog and the vid, the last got me teary eyes as well
    Deep bows and big hugs,

  23. Kathy says:

    Thank you everyone! You are all part of the holiness (wholeyness) of this sacred life. Much love…

  24. What a precious philosophy. We must look past the arguments, the hatred, the complaints and see the holiness of all life. 🙂

  25. Kathy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…the holiness of life says.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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