“I am a Seeker, a vessel empty and useless, a bad seed fallen by the way” —
These are the lines from a Dolly Parton Song – titled I Am A Seeker.
An empty vessel, a bad seed, the song carries a message of where we have been or where we maybe at this moment in our life. A soul without light and purpose, where every footstep we take is backwards, when every path the wrong direction. The song continues, “ you are the teacher, you are the keeper.” Who and where is that teacher, the keeper of keys to our soul? That is the journey the journey we all must take – we are all seekers.
And within the soul of that seeker there sits a flame – awaiting fuel for it’s fire. That fuel is found in many spiritual places, writings and words of great teachers. As the seeker continues his quest for truth, truth will reveal itself in the words and writings that sit before him. A book here, a scripture there, the voice in a song set to touch the heart and soul.
A writer I came upon a few years ago at a bookstore in O’Hare Airport is a man by the name of Parker J. Palmer. It was in the from a little book entitled , Let Your Life Speak. This was my first encounter with a Quaker writer and I was so taken back by the its content of this little book I forwarded it on to my brother who is a Catholic deacon and a Chaplin at a recovery center. I then ordered another of his books, A Hidden Wholeness, the title he took from the monk I wrote about prior. In exploring Palmer’s beliefs I had come full circle to that of Merton – what a hidden wholeness just in that experience, but Palmer had more to teach me. In both Let You Life Speak and in A Hidden Wholeness, Palmer talks candidly about the shyness of the soul, a creature who if in our current social circle should attempt to reveal itself is subject to ridicule and question that too often sends the soul retreating from the worlds storm clouds.
And in this I must ask myself, – Am I a Shelter or am I the Storm – for the souls around me? How can I fill my vessel as a seeker and help others fill theirs in this world without the fear of ridicule and retreat? To say I have the answer to these questions I would be speaking falsely – for it is a daily journey and the steps I take are often times backwards.
Parker Palmer writes in A Hidden Wholeness :
“The soul wants to give us life and wants us to pass that gift along, to become life giving to a world that deals to much in death.”
May the path you walk in the world be one that is life giving and receiving, and may it feed the flame of your soul in all you choose to do.
… signed bkm