September 17th, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Sits like a bird, dances in fire

Today the entry in my journal inspired by a song. 


Our congregation makes a ‘Top 3’ of most loved religious hymns. I have chosen the song: “She sits as a bird, brooding on the waters”.

I do not think it will make to the top, but I wanted it be in the variety of what is most loved. The song comes from the ecumenical Iona community in Scotland and it is written by John L. Bell. Here are two verses of this hymn. 

She sits as a bird, brooding on the waters,
hovering on the chaos of the world’s first day;
she sighs and she sings, mothering creation,
waiting to give birth to all the Word will say. 
She dances in fire, startling her spectators,
waking tongues of ecstasy where dumbness reigned;
she weans and inspires all whose hearts are open,
nor can she be captured, silenced or restrained. 

John L. Bell
“Common Ground” Hymnbook 

The bird is an image of the Holy Spirit, the dove on our Ace of Cups. I wonder what the bird is waiting, wanting and hoping to give birth to at this moment, in our world or in my life?

The card that I have pulled as an answer to this question is the Page of Cups from the Tarot of Prague. 


There is a certain softness and otherworldliness in this card. The boy has a dreamy look in his eyes and the colors are pastel. It seems detached from our harsh reality. The card calls for emotions and for the release of emotions, and for softness. It is the birth of softness and of feelings, of waves of feelings that come up and go again, what the bird is brooding on to give birth to in our world and in my life.