Our theme for January, Finding Our Center, makes me think of dance. Dance was the best teacher for me in learning how to find my center. And the most important thing I learned about the center in my body which is dancing is that my center is constantly shifting within my movements and my stillness. My center is the space, the core, that enables my dance.
t.s. eliot wrote,
“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”
Ask any dancer about the difference between holding still and being still. They will say holding still means no movement, like holding your breath. Being still is full of breath and infinitesimal movements that keep the body (and soul) centered. My wish for you this new year is that you find the still point from which your life, your motion radiates. My wish for you is that stillness and rest find you. My wish for you is that your center moves with you and that you find returning to it an endless joy.
I will be away from church and email January 2 – 29 on winter study leave and vacation. It’s earlier than usual this year to accommodate Jennifer’s sabbatical in February. She and I will have plenty of overlap upon my return to finish our preparations and pass the baton. Be well in your center, First Church, be well in the new year.
Rev. Dena McPhetres, Associate Minister