Rekindling of Faith - Poem and Book
Rekindling of Faith upcoming re-release
Date: 12/22/2017 9:22:07 PM ( 15 mon ) ... viewed 338 times
Below is the title excerpt from one of Leslie's most well-known and well-utilized books. The poems from Rekindling of Faith have been used in numerous community rituals over the years.
The backstory of this book is interesting: While completing a PhD program in 1985, Leslie encountered a firm wall that wouldn't let him go further. The call inside said that he needed to dig deeper into himself and experience the source of his soul pain, to learn a more authentic level of communication and self-disclosure.
Along the way, he grappled with his mother's death from cancer when he was 12, his complicated relationship with food, which developed while growing up in an Orthodox household in Los Angeles, the unexpected mentors and teachers he met along the way, and the role that deep friendships spanning many lifetimes, play in our worlds.
We are working on unearthing and re-sharing this book's poems as part of compiling the Legacy Writings.
Do you feel like you have a cosmic job?
Do you sometimes lose track of your purpose?
You are invited to write your feelings of response and what comes up from your own life, in the comments!
* * * * *
REKINDLING OF FAITH
I left Kumran yesterday and crossed the Dead Sea
with my scrolls in my heart.
The years of training, the ancient kinship,
the love of community, the great books,
years of pure visions sent me out filled, a free spirit
wearing white, one knife in the weave
of my herringbone belt,
to slice freely-given fruit from trees
along the gardened path.
2000 years later, I still have my job -
to be a cosmic loudmouth rooting life,
a cheerleader for camomile's right to grow
and animals and people, the space to live wild
and untamed by the rules decreed inside themselves.
A PR stunt for the universe,
I chose a Humpty Dumpty body to inspire others.
A body that showed we didn't need a $49.95 paint job
to cover up our cosmetic dents:
We could renew ourselves through the simple
remedies Nature wrought.
As a storyteller, an endless supply of classic manuscripts
and poems were plastered behind my eyelids,
and messages for Broadway billboards, such as
“The Messiah is at the Gate, Open It!”
As scribe for eternity's central intelligence agency,
I was born recording the history of peace on earth
and commissioned to see it in myself and others;
Most of all, I was sent as a forerunner
for other little holy persons yet to come,
who would not be born to sell their sacredness
in trade for 9-5 souls.
God gave me an endless supply credit card pre-paid
for all the good works I intended to do,
and here I find myself at Roberto's after dark
in a drizzle, eating refried beans.
Watching December's cut trees going by
and feeding an emptiness no dinner plate can satisfy.
Where did I forget?
Where has the zest passed, that made me walk
as I have walked? What happened to the sun
that fueled me through winter despite clouds and cold,
and the power that put the twinkle in my eye,
the same that lights the earthly skies?
Oh Lord -
Remove the contempt that has become a part of me
for a gift as precious as life.
Heal the wound I have felt traveling
these foreign lands that have not discovered my name.
Mend the hurt that has cultivated me
as a stone builder of walls and boundaries
and judgments. Let me see innocence again,
my brothers and sisters as me.
Restore my faith that the grass grows endlessly
in each and every new moment
and seeds will come to pass into full-blown dreams
in their own time and flowering.
Show me the forgiveness to go easier on myself,
to live in the rhythm of my seasons.
Relight the candles.
Reaffirm the miracle of the holy lamp that is me,
that can burn brightly with oil for eight days
through only fueled for one.
Return to me the courage to plant again
that I might rebuild an Enchanted Garden
for all to visit.
Grant me the insight to rejoice future harvests
in the present.
As I work silently,
show me the stars that never waver in their purpose.
Remind me I am not forgotten or alone,
but richly felt.
Let me find the love of friends long passed
out of sight, in new faces.
Breathe into me the force that moves the pen,
returning all to you.
November 26, 1984
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