Thursday, 31 March 2011

Spirit of Earth, Root, Stone and Tree

In her Wednesday round-up Lesley made a link to Angela Maher's Live Unitarian-ly blog entry (of some time ago, I might say) about the difference between theist and atheist, and its lack of tension in the Unitarians (and she would expect more tension). I met Angela at Great Hucklow a month or so back, and there was one of these late night sessions, and she said there that she is atheist. She led a presentation on target audiences and creating phantom friends as a marketing tool.

Perhaps one reason for an absence of tension is the place of the poetic (especially when non-credal) and also alternative theisms. At the moment I am transcribing a tune for use in a service called Leaving of Lismore, and to this Lyanne Mitchell, of Glasgow, also present at Great Hucklow, wrote this hymn now in our supplement book, Sing Your Faith, at 147, and we sang it in an evening worship with Lyanne at the piano.

Spirit of Earth, Root, Stone and Tree

Spirit of earth, root, tone and tree,
Water of life, flowing in me,
Keeping me stable, nourishing me,
O fill me with living energy!

Spirit of nature, healing and free,
Spirit of love, expanding in me,
Spirit of life, breathe deeply in me,
Inspire me with living energy.

Spirit of love, softly draw near,
Open my heart, lessen my fear,
Sing of compassion, help me to hear,
O fill me with loving energy!

Spirit of nature, healing and free,
Spirit of love, expanding in me,
Spirit of life, breathe deeply in me,
Inspire me with living energy.

Spirit of life, you are my song,
Sing in my soul, all my life long,
Gladden and guide me, keep me from wrong,
O fill me with sacred energy!

Spirit of nature, healing and free,
Spirit of love, expanding in me,
Spirit of life, breathe deeply in me,
Inspire me with living energy.

It's one of those hymns that implies some sort of theism, indeed panentheism, but it can be interpreted as a process without theistic implication - the language makes the process into an object, or say a verb into a noun. The third verse makes that 'force' more sacred and existing, but even then can be interpreted as a process to be celebrated.

I particularly like the hymn; it is nicely Pagan and well focused and it does have this generosity of interpretation. This is something I look to do when writing services - making the language deliberately ambiguous and to bring as many people in as possible.

3 comments:

Nixon is Lord said...

Why are church ladies so fat?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Because that's what happens when I draw them. Mind you, 'Rachel' had a thin middle, the one that took me to the evangelical meeting.

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Actually, now I look again, her stomach does somewhat overhang her trousers.