Monday, March 31, 2008

Artful, Colorful, Alive

It is a pleasure to have words before me as a potter has clay. I passed a glorious hour and a half this afternoon lost in my attempt to shape the vocabulary that had poured onto the page. Matching syllables, sounds, ideas, testing out the rub of words together... And then I thought about a conversation I had this past weekend about my never having had the desire to be perfect...only to be fully me...and to be happy with that.

That, in some ways, is my approach to poetry too... not perfect, but please, grace me the gift and insight to let the words be fully what they are meant to be, synergetic when combined, artful, colorful, alive. Funny, isn't it, that the same can be said of us, too, when we are in right relationship-- artful, colorful, alive. In the beginning was the Word...

Easter Flowers

I can't help but think
of those fortunate, fortunate bees...
vibrating with the communal instinct
to be baptized botanically-
with pollen and petals
and the one glossy drop
of earthy-sweet chrism
a flower has nested
in the offering bowl of its heart.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Things are Beginning to Bloom

After Reading Poetry in the Springtime

My office, the satchel
boldly slung
across passionate, thought-filled,
writerly me.

My desk, the table
on an uneven floor,
tucked into the corner,
though facing the world!

My muse, the Spirit,
swim-dancing in women
and men and the whole
of what fills my senses.

My joy, to sing out
with pen in hand, Amen!
Bring on love and life
in abundance, Amen!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter, 2008


Lifting arms bedecked
with prismatic sequins,
droplets of joy from
a rain of tears,
I bow and breathe deeply
in the fresh garden glory
of diaphanous petals
open to taste new Spring,

I dance with creation
to the music of birth!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Mutual Iconography

On Friday of this past week I had a chance to preside at a Lenten Reconciliation service at my parish. It was a most intriguing experience, actually. People asked afterward-- how was it?? How did it go?? I can say this-- People approached me afterward and spoke of how moving and meaningful they found it; people thanked me. So, the answer to the "public" side of how it went is "Apparently, pretty well." The other question that interests me, however, is how it went with me.

I wore an alb with a Guatemalan stole as a sash around my middle for a bit of color. This choice was decided after I had a conversation with one of the priests on staff who is a liturgist. He and I had the most wonderful conversation about "mutual iconography." There is a need for a presider of any liturgical ritual to necessarily stand out from among the many. The presider provides the focal point, the place from which the many draw what they need to draw to go where they need to go, led by the gentle hand of the Spirit. He and I spoke of my hesitation to wear simply a white alb because of how stark that seemed to me and how removed. Was there a way to add color? We went to the sacristy and looked around until hitting upon the idea of the sash. It did provide the color I wanted and also finished the alb in a way that distinguished it from either priesthood or the diaconate--something else I desired.

The inital ritual was not absolution, as I clarified for a woman who approached me, but rather the ritual was designed to help ready us for absolution. It included a laying on of hands.

As we prepare to seek God’s mercy
let us bless the goodness of our senses,
pathways by which we come to know
of God’s presence, care, and love.

Bless our vision, that we might behold the glory of God.
Bless our hearing, that we might respond to the cry of those in need.
Bless our smelling, that the perfume of grace may enfold us.
Bless our tasting, that we may delight in the sweetness of God’s mercy.

And bless our sense of touch, that through it may pass
the warmth and steadfast presence which reminds us
that we are never alone.

Gentle God,
through your son Jesus Christ you forgive us our sins
and send us your healing mercy.
Hear us as we pray to you in faith.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us, who is our helper and friend.

May your blessing come upon all who are here gathered
to free us from sin and make us heralds of your mercy.

Then the congregation came forward to have hands laid briefly upon their heads. It was here that I began to let go. Here I was free from script, notebook, and the need to attend to anything save the person in front of me and the presence of God that lives in us and draws us together in moments like this.

It was an honor, a profound honor. To demonstrate and realize that we are never alone, to see the capacity in each one to be a herald of mercy, and to have a flicker of insight that I have that capacity as well.

Will I preside again, if asked? Yes, I think so. Eventually, I imagine that I will not have to pay quite so much attention to everything which will leave some interior space for me to feel the Spirit dance. When she's dancing, she is the one who captivates. She is the one that lives and moves and has being in me. I want to be able to notice her with awe.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mini Memoir

Friend heard NPR piece: six word memoirs.
Same friend challenged.
Writer, ruminator, passionate knower, encountering God.

Now, you?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Primordial Language

I was at a meeting this weekend when the term "primordial word" came up while speaking about the heart. "Heart" is one of those images, those words, those concepts, those symbols, that, for lack of a more technical term, twangs us inside. This idea, that there are those innate concepts/images that evoke such a manifested reaction, fascinates me. The language can change...and does change depending on culture, etc. The language gives expression to what is a common species-connection -- the internal resonance. The broadening impact this has, then, on the Prologue to the Gospel of John, thrills me! In the beginning was the Word. The Word! Not the Language. The Word. I find myself now thinking of Word as the dimensional aspect of Language. Word, the air, Language, the balloon? Different, but also dependent on each other for significance.

Something to tuck in my pocket and mull.

Primordial Words

Resonances of a mystical past-

a convergence of syllables,
of blood and of bone,
and the rhythms of need
that must be met
for the reverberation
of glory within us
to fill past full and
so intone the air
that breath itself
is singing.

A convergence
that both is and was
our becoming.

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