OCEANS FLOWING IN YOUR BODY A Communion Hymn January 3, 2021

A Communion Hymn

James Ishmael Ford

Perhaps you’ve noticed. It’s all falling apart.


The Republic has been shredded.

The Empire is quickly overtaken. (You might want to brush up on your Mandarin.)


Of course, we know this. No center holds forever.

The sages sing: everything changes.

Icecaps recede. Seas rise.

We know the planet doesn’t really need us.

And somewhere along the way we all will be a lost mountain’s dream.


The Buddha sang into our hearts that terrible secret.

Everything made of parts will come apart.

And others echo that truth.

Poets tell us even stars die.


And. Of course. All that’s just beating around the bush.

Waking from the dream of forever. Mine. Ours.

Unvarnished. What we’re really being told is you will die.

I will die.


It all changes. Everything changes. Including us.

Of course. No surprise if you’re paying attention.



Perhaps despair whispers. Cold hands caress your cheek.

Cold as in fear.


And. And.

Perhaps as our friends in AA say, that’s the bottom.

Death comes to us all. Everything. Everyone. You. Me.

The bottom that allows us to open our eyes to new eyes.

To let go of stories of past and future.

A turning of our hearts.


To see as if for the first time. To listen. To touch. To smell. To taste.

To open our minds beyond the otherwise endless play of should and should not.

Raw. Present. Presence.


To find our place somewhere inside bones. Inside marrow.


Wonder beyond wonder.

Mystery piled upon mystery.

Clouds colored by the setting star.

Or perhaps its rising.

Letting go of the stories, remember?


A silence. A surrender.


But when named. Love.


Love. Consuming worlds after worlds.

Just love.

So terrible. So wonderful.

All so intimate.


Like a meal for the first time.

Tasting bread before it has a name. Before wheat. Rice. Maize. Potato. Soy. Tasting before words.

This is my body becomes the ancient and future truth.


Sipping wine your tongue knows.

This is my blood sings oceans flowing in your body.


Beyond dreams of this and that. Dreams of me and you, separate.

Instead. Intimate.



Find this.

And you will know what to do next.

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