The Bottom Line, by Glenda Taylor

You see, it’s like this, sort of:

Because I experience

Awestruck, I respond and
in so doing, I learn, and relearn,
deliciously, gratefully, that:

This Something-That-Is
transcends (but does not negate)
definition or description.

Knowing that is so, strangely
unable to remain fittingly silent,

I speak to whatever it is, saying,
“Ah, Spirit!!”

Spirit.  An invalid and misunderstood term
if ever there was one,

So that, again and again, I say, to myself
and to anyone who cares to listen:

The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) any defining nouns,
like Jehovah, God, Goddess, Allah;

The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) any pronouns,
like He, She, It, We, Them, Us;
The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) any adjective,
Like loving, wise, stern, judging,
almighty, or even all-inclusive.

The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) nationality, ethnicity, gender;
The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) religious divisions;
The Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) even time and space.

For, you see, the Spirit that I speak of transcends
(but does not negate) any word at all,
even the words “transcend” and “negate!”

So language stalls and logic stops, for, yes,
The Spirit-That-I-Experience transcends
(but does not negate) logic,
and is best described by paradox and metaphor,
and is best experienced in openminded

However (all that non-sense being said),
my experience has revealed to me that,

bottom line,

This Something-That-I-experience


And, I can only assume, is also
my present tense of the root verb “is,”
that is to say:

“To Be.” And is, in fact,
Beingness Itself.


This Beingness-That-Is,
however undefined or undefinable,
can be and is experienced,
in any moment, however transient,
in any activity, of whatever emotional content,
in any form, however small or large or shaped,
visible or invisible, here or there, any form,
(even my own),

Or also can be formless, especially formless,
like wind, or wondering, or prayer, because

The Beingness-That-I-Experience
does, I know from experience, have something
to do with, emits, and maybe even is

And evokes love in return.

This Love-That-Is,
while doubtless creating
and being the essence of
me and my thoughts, also responds
to my thoughts, actions, desires, prayers,
not robotically, on demand, but rather
quixotically, on its own terms,
and, while refusing to be caught
in any certain “way,”
responds in some way to every effort to relate,
to honor, to understand, to love.

And so, depending on these and endless other
equivocations and clarifications,

The Spirit-That-I-Experience does
and also does not
partake of ritual and ceremony,
serious or lighthearted,
life empowering or death defying,
intended or accidental, orthodox,
or not, but especially responds to the simple,
the innocent, the sincerely felt,
the open-hearted, open-minded, and any
inclusive evocation of wonder.

And so,
The Spirit-That-I-Experience surprises,
confounds, does not fulfill expectations,
but stuns with unexpected beauty, tenderness, truth.

Again I say, and again,
the Spirit that I arise out of, live in, dissolve into,
and am never separable from,
I experience, when I’m paying attention at all,
with utmost gratitude,
often with bliss, sometimes with peace,
occasionally with acceptance;
even in my deepest grief
or most horrendous nightmare,
I experience this profound authenticity
that equates mysteriously as Love,
and I can love this Something-that-All-Is,
named and unnamed, known and unknown,
sought and unsought.

So, always, out of necessity to communicate, endlessly,
I deal in metaphors, similes, poetic license,
equivocations, paradoxes, and presumptions,
trusting that those who listen will not ever, ever
take me literally, even if they take me seriously.

Finally, then, just so you know my shorthand,
here’s the bottom line: when I have to speak at all,

I will address the something I so profoundly experience
As “GREAT Spirit” and “Great MYSTERY.”

(Though when I say it, I tend to whisper tenderly,
“I know that’s not your name, Beloved….”)