Pressing Pause

Editor’s Note: In the press to get there, Lynda Rush Myers reminds us through her art and poetry to take time for Sabbath rest.

By Lynda Rush Myers 

 

Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days because it liberates us from the need to be finished.

–Wayne Muller

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, &

Delight in Our Busy Lives

A Path to There: On Artists’ Obstacles to Pressing Pause for Sanctuary and Sabbath Stops

Even artists who pass through the narrow gate may bring a carapace along.

They hold to the crush of life where frenzy and violence offer no asylum.

These obstacles replace sanctuaries, usurp sacred spaces,

and mask the Spirit’s voice within the clamor.

 

Wondering as I Wander
Wondering as I Wander

Artists practice pressing pause, take Sabbath stops.

But, they often trip on time, wander from the path to seek other lights,

become prisoners of their own device.

 

We bring our millstones,

follow footholds to familiar paths or take other routes.

 

Some creators cannot release distorted lenses that skew the way.

Others scoop up cares like scales and coats-of-mail,

fetter plastrons in search of eschaton,

to drift toward an obscure destination.

 

Rush Myers 3
A Balm in Gilead

Makers sometimes forget the Source of seeds and lumen strewn along the path,

overlook the pearls and blooms and treasures hidden in the field,

miss the thin places or veriditas or respite for retreat.

Those who envision may invite the illusory and the noise;

allow the outward to crowd out what is waiting to be sewn,

or obscure the rock or flame or funnel cloud that reveals the there.

 

Burdened by the world’s dissonance,

artists waddle, wobble, stagger, scramble, stoop to gather idle encumbrances.

They strap on laden baskets and bowls to carry sustenance; pass markers left in trust.

Some trip on tangled threads that ensnare, wrench them far from there

or wallow in every wave that washes away small Sabbaths and dreams,

supplants sanctuaries.

We must press pause along the sacred path,

find a resting place along the still waters,

bask in small Sabbaths within green pastures,

hear the still, small Voice,

see the there in every here.

 

 

We are already and always on sacred ground.

  –Wayne Muller

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, &

Delight in Our Busy Lives

Pressing Pause for Sabbath Stops: One Artist’s Journey

Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life 2019
Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life 

I leave the urgency of my days and my studio,

but not the pursuit of eschaton, for travel to a distant city.

I pause from poetic lines and images, textiles and fibers, inks and ephemera,

to press through the unknown to there.

 

I look for pearls, treasures, lotus blossoms, companions, luminaria on the way.

I note and record each, as I travel by foot, subway, train, bus, friend, or Lyft.

 

The rear entrance to Russ and Daughters on Orchard Street, where I am assigned a reserved counter stool, a welcoming, smiling waitress, and a menu that touts pickled herring, matzo ball soup, and smoked whitefish chowder with espelette pepper; conversations with Marc and Carrie – the former a noted San Diego author; the latter, a Manhattan mother of three and homemaker – who flank me.  Over coffee with frothed cream, smoked white fish and bagels, we share anecdotes and concerns for children and spouses and trade wisdom, establish a kinship as though dates on a common vine;

 

Fine oil to dip my bread, a cup of ice water to carry out from Nam Son on Grand;

The joy of vintage photography and documents at the Museum of Chinese Americans, where I first hear the phrase, “Give audience to lions in the street,” and imbue my own meaning;

The late middle-aged European mother at LaGuardia, Terminal B7, who shepherds two bespectacled sons in black suits with payot, tzitzit, kippah, and Down’s Syndrome;

Sighting a toothless crone in her 80s, wandering in brimmed hat with withered bloom; homeless huddling, swathed, curled up in corners, doorway niches; or searching through a Penn Station trashcan for whatever can be found;

God’s messengers sent to help me with my untied shoe – Mama, your shoelace

My dropped Metro ticket retrieved by a dark-skinned man; the lady beset with barking cough; the Middle Eastern man who reminds me to run my Metro ticket through the reader at the #70 bus stop to LaGuardia in Queens; an unexpected Word from the swaddled, below-ground subway street vendor with skin like walnut ink;
Gratitude for “stops between creativity” and finding there everywhere.


Lynda Rush Myers publishes as Lynda Heatlie, her grandmother’s surname.  Lynda writes poems, prayers and essays, makes mixed media art, artist’s books, and illustrated journals.  She teaches English as a Second Language to refugees, immigrants, and international visitors, and presents workshops and seminars in poetry, prayer, and collage. Lynda lives in Durham, North Carolina, with her husband of nearly 47 years, and where she enjoys a profusion of new blooms!

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