Cast Out into the Deep
Listen to the quiet voice: Cast out into the deep... deep... DEEP... Leave your striving on the surface hurry and stress worry and drivenness flurry and noise circular trying and trying pushing to exhaustion Let go, give up abandon that mad hope Sink into the deep like one almost drowned surrendering to a slow and silent descent entering a world apart alone with your truest self and the One who calls you thither Ah. Now in the stillness emptiness begins to stir with life the deepest treasure the truest, purest, most precious fruits that have been growing slowly, deeply, silently all these years through this troubled life Now. Now spread out your net rise slowly to the surface to share your riches with a gaunt world that seldom tastes a deeper nourishment
by Celeste Boudreaux, September 2015
When I was a kid, we spent our summers at a lake house, and every day we would go to the roped-off swimming area to swim. There was a little beach there and a floating raft from which we could do cannonballs into the water. It got scorchingly hot there in southeast Texas — so hot that the sand could literally burn the bottoms of our bare feet — so swimming was a welcome relief.
One of the things I liked to do was to sit in a cross legged position in the water, take a deep breath, then let myself sink in the water. I would let out my breath slowly, watching the bubbles rise up to the surface as my body lost its buoyancy and descended more and more. The deeper you went towards the muddy lake bottom, the cooler and darker and quieter everything became. All the drama and hubbub of children dunking and pushing each other, shouting for Mom to watch them, the splashes and car horns, receded until I was in a world all by myself.
When I started practicing centering prayer, an ancient Christian practice of silent prayer, this was the image that came back to me. I would just let myself sink away from the commotion of the surface world. When I would have the inevitable distracting thought, I would just release it to rise like a bubble away from me.
The poem, Cast Out into the Deep was inspired by the story from Luke 5:4-11 when Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Cast out into the deep and let down your nets.” Even though they had been fishing all night without catching a thing, when they were invited to try do so again by Jesus, they brought up such an abundance that it was more than they could even handle. This has been my experience with the practice of centering prayer. It may not have happened all at once or the first time I tried, but it has a cumulative effect when practiced regularly. It’s an effect of deeper peace and equanimity, perspective, connection to purpose, and creativity. It truly yields a bountiful catch.
Next post: The Raven