Sunday, March 10, 2013

Working at Celebrating

No, wait a minute. That's not right. I want to say that if one has to work at celebrating, then maybe it's not really celebration. Celebration is - or really needs to be - spontaneous. It flows from the heart and soul that has been opened to new possibilities, new opportunities, new insights and directions. It comes from experience.

We can create an atmosphere for celebration, however. Put the right music together with the right people and celebration can ensue. I guess we'd call that a party, which can be a celebration. But parties can get out of hand. They go over the top. Celebration is different.

Sitting out in the woods on a spring morning and discovering a tiny flower, the first of the year. Can you feel the celebration? Does it take others to be with you to share it? Well, no. But what can it do for you if that's where it stays? What can you do to make it more accessible for others? Does it change your soul- and therefore your relationships? I have a hunch that when we put celebration into daily lives we will soon be different. And others will notice.

That's what I am beginning to discover in this Attention and Interpretation Therapy course I am in. To consciously get to the 6th day each week and say the theme for today is celebration is to open my life up to put together what the week has given me. From the acceptance of life on life's terms on the first day to giving compassionate thoughts to family, friends and strangers on day two. That sure leads to a lot of gratitude on day three and an awareness of deeper meaning on life on day four. Forgiveness then flows and I feel lighter, free, open. What else can one do then celebrate.

As I looked up quotes for this week I found one that talked about celebration from a different angle. It is from one of my favorite authors, Episcopal priest and theologian, Robert Farrar Capon from his book on Good Friday. In the quote he ties the deeply mysterious and essential idea of grace to celebration.

Grace is the celebration of life, relentlessly hounding all the non-celebrants in the world. It is a floating, cosmic bash shouting its way through the streets of the universe, flinging the sweetness of its cassations to every window, pounding at every door in a hilarity beyond all liking and happening, until the prodigals come out at last and dance, and the elder brothers finally take their fingers out of their ears.
― Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law and the Outrage of Grace
Grace if, of course, a free gift. It is given with no expectation of anything in return- not even gratitude. It is a radical, revolutionary, life-changing event. Grace is, says Capon, the call to celebration and the heart of celebration- the celebration of life itself. Even after five days of daily themes, I cannot earn the celebration, it flows because, simply, I am alive and part of the world.

Wow! Meditate on THAT for today.

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