What are Angels?

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“Poets are born knowing the language of angels.” 

 Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light

November has turned over time to December, a month of deepening frost, and merry celebrations.  It’s the festive season when all the twinkling lights brighten up the city and give even a rainy Vancouver sky a mystical glow.  This is the time of year for joy, good-will, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and the appearance of an angel or two. Angels come in many forms and are found in shop windows, holiday cards, and frosted Christmas cookies.

Angels have been part of human history since ancient times, dating back to the long, long ago Mycenaean era (16th to 12th centuries BCE) Throughout the centuries and mythologies, there is a common theme of “messenger.”  Angels are intermediaries who have knowledge to share, teach, or warn. They bear tidings of destiny.

What are angels? I have the answer, or rather I was sent the answer by way of the marvellously gifted experts at The National Gallery, London.  I am learning that creative endeavour, whatever form it takes, whether it be art, poetry, music, dance, literature, oration, allows us to explore the unknown and make peace with the unknowable.

“If instead of a gem, or even a
flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a
friend, that would be giving as the angels give.” George MacDonald

Listening is a Creative Force

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Creative Force

“Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.” 

― Madeleine L’Engle, Swiftly Tilting Planet

Karl A Menninger, psychiatrist, once said, “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.  The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward.  When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

Listening is an act of life, of faith, of beauty, of hope.  It requires absolute mindfulness.

When we listen, we create.  It is our gift to our world.