Saturday's memorial was a wonderful celebration of Julia's bright light and all the gifts she brought to us. The service included four readings, and a few people requested they be posted here.
Reader 1: from The Prophet:
"And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
'Speak to us of Children,'
And he said, 'Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
"You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."
Readings from Rumi:
For Reader 2: Moses and the Shepherd
Moses heard a
shepherd on the road praying:
"God, where are you? I want to help you, to fix your shoes
and comb your hair. I want to wash your clothes
and pick the lice off. I want to bring you milk
to kiss your little hands and feet when it's time
for you to go to bed. I want to sweep your room
and keep it neat. God, my sheep and goats
are yours. All I can say, remembering you,
is ayyyy and ahhhhhhhhh."
Moses could stand it no longer. "Who are you talking to?"
The Shepherd said, "The one who made us, and made the earth and made the sky."
Then Moses said, "Don't talk about shoes and socks with God! And
what's this with your "little hands
and feet" Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like
you're chatting with your uncles ...
The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed
and wandered out into the desert.
A sudden revelation came then
to Moses. It was God's voice saying:
"You have separated me from one of my own. Did you come as a Prophet
to unite or to sever?
I have given each being a separate and unique way
of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge.
What seems wrong to you is right for him.
What is poison to one is honey to someone else.
Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship,
these mean nothing to me.
I am apart from all that.
Ways of worshiping are not to be ranked as better
or worse than one another.
It 's not me that's glorified in acts of worship.
It's the worshipers! I don't hear the words
they say, I look inside at the humility.
And broken-open lowliness is the reality,
not the language!
Moses ran after the shepherd, and
Moses finally caught up with him.
"I was wrong. God has revealed to me
that there are no rules for worship.
Say whatever and however your loving
tells you to. Your sweet blasphemy
is the truest devotion. Through you a whole world
Loosen your tongue and don't worry what comes out.
It's all the light of the spirit."
For Reader 3: Each Note
God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.
Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.
Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!
Reader 4: A Great Wagon
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Instead, take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
A night full of talking that hurts,
my worst held-back secrets. Everything
has to do with loving and not loving.
This night will pass.
Then ... we have work to do!