Anthony lived alone. And because he lived alone a while he became the father of many alones. It was the early 3rd century. He heard words of scripture, and then he heard the silence of scripture, finally settling into word-made-Anthony, a new dwelling place of scripture and silence.
Walking path after 3:30am silent sitting back to brook with pre-dawn snow falling as stillness over everything, the thought occurs to dedicate the cabin on the feast of the father of monastic dwelling. Earlier in the darkness of cushion and flicker of vigil candle the thought occurs from wall next to window -- from framed icon of Mary and Child -- to name the cabin MoGLIAD. It sounds Celtic. Even Semitic. It might even be a transliterated Japanese word from a Waka by Dogen in his poem, There in midnight water, / Waveless, windless, / The old boat's swamped / With moonlight. But it is not any of these. It is the acronym of the words below the icon, Mother of God, Light In All Darkness. The Iconic Image was issued by the Bishop's committee a few years ago in honor of those living-passing-serving with AIDS. Drawing from that originating issue, portrayed is Madonna holding child who in turn holds lighted candle in its hand.
None of us are immune. No longer. Not just AIDS, but terror, and the ordinary but often ignored reality that we too pass -- pass on, pass away, pass by.
Mother holding child holding candle also suggests the Zen story about the abbot at night handing a visiting monk a lighted candle at the door of the darkened corridor telling him to come to the meditation hall after he is settled in his room. Before departing down the darkened way the abbot blows out the candle and disappears in an extinguished swoosh of fading sound down the blackness -- leaving the new arrival in darkness -- leaving him astonished and unseeing in his own riddle. How become lights unto oneself? How not need the light of another's way? How allow the inner light of True Presence to shine from within, thereby lighting the way as inner emanation?
MoGLIAD might be the name of the Meditation Chapel/Zendo. Or it might not. The dedication, however, will take place tonight at the hermitage after Christian Contemplative Studies at the shop. Already a single candle has burned this morning alongside a smaller icon holding the place for MoGLIAD.
Yesterday at the shop an afternoon full of laughter and conversation about buying a local Inn and transforming it into a Pension/Small Hotel for the many who frequent Meetingbrook to live in a consolidated yet autonomous community of artists, poets, musicians, monastics, contemplatives, seekers-of-the-way, transients, retreatents and other questionable accomplices-of-lightheartedness. We know the site -- we'd like the Camden Harbour Inn -- so now we have to hone the sight, (or, bring the vision home.)
Perhaps our earlier notion of a SCHOLA needs modification to become SCHOLA LUMEN-- that is, A Light Conversation!
These days we pray by head-shaking desperation and laughing-imagination. Anthony would understand. He was a fool to abandon all his land and possessions to live alone with others. Fools understand a fool. It's an understanding born of desperation and laughter, love and surrender. Today is his feast. We note the day -- we note his way.
There are so many of us waiting and watching for the light -- to show forth and be seen from within each one of us.