The Fall of Life

Sadly, the leaf clings,

clutching desperately

like an infant rooting for its nourishment.

Violent gusts slowly sever

beloved from limb

in the fall of life.

Copyright Shuana Niessen, 2012


Inner Sanctum

I dreamt of a lover

He  guided me into his bed chamber

–a softly lit private place, darkened hues of red, blue, brown, and amber, like an uncurtained scene in a Rembrandt piece–

talking all the while

pointing to this and that

he storied the room,

the meaning behind the objects.


that fashioned his identity,

artifacts reflecting values, memories, masculine ideals, spiritual longings…

Watching as I viewed,  he smiled his delight in my attentive response.

I suddenly felt sleepy,  as though drunk with ageless wine,

and lay down on the bed–

his words floating,


closing me in,

enfolded by a blanket of self-expression–

My lids so heavy, I surrendered to their gravity.

The air, too, was warm and sweetly scented.

Safety here, a longing for rest and peace, for such a place as this.

Alerted by his pause, an invitation to weave myself into his story,

I offered my heartfelt response, “You’re beautiful.”

Relief and gratitude softened his face, fears evaporated through acceptance.

For I had recognized, respected, valued, and understood

the sacredness of this space–his inner sanctum

and my sanctuary.

Psalm 61: 4

Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Gender and Spirituality

Here is a link to a very interesting article on gender and spirituality.

I like this article because it extends my understanding of gender code switching, mentioned in a previous post, into the spiritual world. It makes sense that we must develop both the masculine and feminine in our own spirituality, as well as within the established church. Certainly the church feels like a boys club in many ways, and yet the worship does often feminize the worshipper with images of surrender. This would, of course, mirror the analogy of the church being the bride of Christ. What are your thoughts about the article?