About david brazzeal

....encouraging those who are creative toward deeper spirituality and those who are spiritual toward heightened creativity

Walt Whitman quote

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After the seas are all cross’d, (as they seem already cross’d,)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the
   geologist, ethnologist,
Finally shall come the poet worthy that name,
The true son of God shall come singing his songs.

– Walt Whitman, Passage to India

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A Key Moment

At the recent Cache-Cache in Amsterdam, I had a wonderful little experience that I though I thought I’d let you know about.

We started the morning with a walk in Vondel Park. Everyone received a paper with three random assignments…things like ‘search for a metaphor for the Incarnation’ or (my favorite) ‘touch something that touches you’. Well, I had done a good job with my questions…had written down several thoughts to share with the group at lunch, when, walking back to the meeting point, I spotted something in the dirt. I thought it was a powerful metaphor for something, but it didn’t fit into my questions. I passed it up. As I walked a bit further, something compelled me to back up and pick it up anyway. I did. While waiting on the group to assemble, my mind was racing to think through the implications of the little metaphor in my pocket. I jotted down a few notes, even though I didn’t think I would share it with anyone.

A few minutes later at lunch near the Central Station, we divided up on the two ends of our long table to share what the park experience meant to each of us. Eventually, the young Dutch woman next to me shared that she had no problem with the first question but the that she found the second one quite troubling. It was something like “Find a metaphor for what you want to do with the rest of your life”,  the very question that she struggles with daily. So she related that instead of creating a nice meditative time in the park, it sent her anxiety in to hyper-drive and couldn’t at all respond to the question.

It was at that point that I told her that I had found her metaphor. She understandably looked at me with a question mark on her face.  The interesting thing was that I found a metaphor that I didn’t need and she had a question without a metaphor. So I reached into my pocket and pulled out the key that i found in the dirt a few minutes earlier.

A key is a really strong metaphor. Jonathan Safran Foer wrote a great novel about a boy who searches for the purpose of his key. (You may have seen the movie Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close). The first thing I thought of with the key was it’s purpose or function. It is suppose to unlock something. But then I thought how there is inherently a partnership involved with a key…it belongs to something and something belongs to it. A key is also rather unique. It may look like other keys but the system of jagged edges make it uniquely suited for one lock (or a least we hope).

I thought further about the key…that it could potentially liberate something….or protect something. And at that moment, my new friend said, “or it could lead you to home”. I laid the key on the table and said it is yours.

Not only is the key a strong metaphor but this story is a strong metaphor for the way God works in community. Quite often when you have a need, he doesn’t just give you the answer to your need, he may give it to someone else, who is suppose to give it to you, and thereby creating a strong triad of relationship…or trinity, one could say.

So the thought has passed my mind…what else have I been given that I need to pass on to someone else?

– David B

A few days after cache-cache….

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….I wrote these words…

May gratitude walk beside you
May kindness swarm about your head
May wonder be your inner child
May transcendence visit often

May joy dance upon your shoulders
May love be your closest friend
May peace remain beyond its welcome
May laughter keep your cheeks in shape

May sun shine while you’re in shade
May clouds paint your sky with fun
May rain fall once you’ve returned home
May night send you pleasant dreams

May color startle you
May smell remind you
May touch warm you
May words encourage you
May music inspire you

And so may God be kind to you

Saying grace

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Author G.K. Chesterton wrote: “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

Poem from Cache-Cache in Paris

Paris
Marais
Small park
Green bench
Loud ado boys
Pink Barbie bike
Breast-fed baby
Good books read
Boy’s first scooter
Preteen girls giggling
Friends sharing lunch
Graying couple still in love
Multi-color kids on playground
Yellow leaves on still green grass
Lonely man with all his belongings
Baby evoking laughter from strangers
Wobbling toddler with smiling grandfather
Although few realize his presence, God is here

Inner Solitude

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“Spirituality is not to be learned in flight from the world, by fleeing from things to a place of solitude; rather we must learn to maintain an inner solitude regardless of where we are or who we are with. We must learn to penetrate things, and find God there.”
– Meister Eckhart (from – On Detachment and Possessing God)