Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Cracked Pot Fable & Ebb and Flow

This is one of my Morning Glories from last year. They're pitifully thin this year, I guess from the drought.

This cracked pot fable and the ebb and flow prayer have been on my mind all week. I tore my house up to find the Henri Nouwen book from which the ebb and flow prayer came, but I finally found it. I don't know, maybe someone needs to read it. It always lifts my spirits.

I'm hunkered down under the a/c trying to stay cool. The heat index here is 109 and it already feels like it. Even the locusts are singing with a slow southern drawl today in this heat and our family of raccoons who we usually only glimpse at night just now came to the back door to get a drink of fresh water from the gallon container I keep for the wild cats!! Stay cool, peeps........Blessings! ~Marion

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"

"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."

"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell and enjoy the flowers on your side of the path.


A Prayer to the God of Ebb and Flow
From: "Seeds of Hope" by Henri Nouwen, page 37

Dear Lord:

Today I thought of the words of Vincent Van Gogh, "It is true that there is an ebb and flow, but the sea remains the sea."

You are the sea.

Although I experience many ups and downs in my emotions and often feel great shifts and changes in my inner life, you remain the same. Your sameness is not the sameness of a rock, but the sameness of a faithful lover. Out of your love I came to life, by your love I am sustained, and to your love I am always called back. There are days of sadness and days of joy; there are feelings of guilt and feelings of gratitude; there are moments of failure and moments of success; but all of them are embraced by your unwavering love.

My only real temptation is to doubt your love, to think of myself as beyond the reach of your love, to remove myself from the healing radiance of your love. To do these things is to move into the darkness of despair.

O, Lord, sea of love and goodness, let me not fear too much the storms and winds of my daily life, and let me know that there is ebb and flow but that the sea remains the same. ~Amen~



Margaret Pangert said...

oh, marion, thank you. this is a lovely, lovely post. the perfect morning glory! all rivers eventually get to the sea. and i needed to hear the crackpot story. accept. let go. detach. 109! holy cow! We're lucky if it reaches 70 here. Strange summer. Luv.

Kelly said...

This is wonderful!!! I've always loved that fable, but I REALLY love the ebb and flow prayer!!! I've read many quotes by Henri Nouwen, but I've never seen that prayer before. Thanks for sharing it here!

Karen said...

Both of these are beautiful, and I thank you for both reminders.

Marion said...

Margaret and Kelly, I'm so glad y'all enjoyed today's post. Both of those stories demanded this space today!! LOL!

If anyone would like the Nouwen book, it's "Seeds of Hope a Henri Nouwen Reader" edited by Robert Durback. I saw at Amazon that there's some used copies for a penny! Blessings!!

Marion said...

Karen, thank you for stopping by and I'm glad you liked the post. Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Thank you, Marion. The beauty of The Cracked Pot story is the sheer acceptance of some things in life in spite of our imperfections or shortcoming and those of others. (I must admit, however, that I am she who forever seeks to be better and looks at shortcomings as opportunities as a means to improve. It's never about perfection, but about continous growth.) I LOVE the insight of she who carried the pot faithfully inspite of the flaw to be inventive and not discouraged. Love not only covers a multitude of faults, but find creative solutions and causes us to bloom and grow right where we are if we would only accept others in love. Thanks again, Marion. Peace and love...

Judith Ellis said...

What a beautiful Van Gogh quote and what a most beautiful reading. Thank you, Marion. I would personally conclude that I am the ebb and flow and He is the sea. But with faith the connection is virtually inseparable. So, from this understanding I can indeed say that I am the sea. Also, there are other natural externals that cause the ebb and flow of the sea, but its great vastness and healing virtue remain. Many blessings to you, Marion.

Marion said...

Judith, I can't tell you how much I appreciate and value your generosity in sharing your knowledge and wisdom with me here.

Your take on the cracked pot fable gave me new insights that I had not seen before! I've learned so much from you about "being" in the short time I've been reading your blog! I appreciate you! Blessings, Peace & Joy to you!

Rikkij said...

Marion-I've tried to leave three comments, don't know if any went thru. Loved your story and lessons about leaking pots and grateful wildflowers. That was it wasn't it? sorry. really tired. I'll check back tomorrow and see if this made any sense. -if this one goes thru! ~rick

Delwyn said...

Hello Marion

the fable was lovely. I tend to want to improve myself and people but need to look at the benefits of the cracks too.

and the Henri Nouwen - (another new person to me)just lovely. It reminds me of the verse
" Behold I stand and the door and knock...and if any person hear me...

It is us who need to open the door to joining with the universe. The opportunity is always there.

thanks for the meditations...

Happy Days

Woman in a Window said...

Crackpots...heh heh. What a wonderful story. Looking now for flowers...

I don't have that singular belief in God, but still the second speaks to me. I have mighty faith in the sea.

Marion said...

Rick, sorry you're having trouble posting. I hope my blog doesn't go all Jackie Chan on you, kicking your ass off and all (no offense, I had antoher blog that went crazy like that....LOL!) You're one of my favorite writers. Wait, are we writers, or are we bloggers. Is writing different from blogging? Nevermind......Don't give up!! Blessings!

Delwyn, I love that Bible verse, too, about knocking. I study world religions and find the Bible is too often overlooked as one of the most beautifully written (and also enignatic) books in the world, just overflowing with wisdom. I read it straight through when I was twelve years old and have now have 10 or 12 translations. I love what your said about the door to the universe! Blessings!

Erin, I, too, have faith in the sea, and the rivers, lakes, streams. (That Van Gogh quote has had me going ever since I found it. I'm working on an ebb & flow poem right now but am having a problem getting it to flow....Tee-Hee.) I guess because I'm a water sign, I'm drawn to them. I thought about you when I posted the cracked pot story because you note 'crazy as bat shit' often on your poems. I can relate to that. LOL! Thanks for stopping by....blessings and joy to you!