Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wishes with borrowed words

For a change, this year I am going to use someone else´s words to express my Christmas wishes. This is a unique time for me, a learning time for me, a journey time for me, a deep and enriching time for me... Oddly enough, in some ways, those feelings make me feel more in touch with what must have been a disconcerting, world upheaving, all is uncertain, all is wonder, the future unknown and more than a little amazing... time a couple thousand years ago when a baby was born. A baby who added stars to the heavens and hope to Earth, a baby who would grow, change world history irrevocably, love everyone infinitely...

Peace to all who visit these pages. May we take on the mantle of this wonder filled child and have the courage to walk out of darkness and witness to the light by making manifest in our actions and being love, justice, courage, respect, dignity, and joy.

Christmas thoughts from Karl Rahner...

"And now God says to us what he has already said to the world as a whole through his grace-filled birth: " I am here. I am with you. I am your life. I am the gloom of your daily routine. I weep your tears. I am your joy. Do not be afraid to be happy, for ever since I wept, joy is the standard of living that is really more suitable than the anxiety and grief of those who think they have no hope. When the totals of your plans and of your life's experiences do not balance out evenly , I am the unsolved remainder. And I know that this remainder, which makes you so frantic, is in reality my love that you do not understand. I am present in your needs.

This reality--incomprehensible wonder of my limitless love--I have sheltered safely in the cold stable of your world. I am there. I no longer go away from this world, even if you do not see me now...I am there. It is Christmas. Light the candles. They have more right to exist than all the darkness. It is Christmas. Christmas that lasts forever."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Two for Advent/Dos para Adviento


The star-

The robes-
bedsheets and dirty cord.

The kings-
dethroned and sun leathered.

The baby-
oh, the baby was wailing real

and seemed to know
that his life would be
with the people of the streets.

c. MperiodPress

Adviento IV, 2009

Oro, Incienso, y Mirra

Cuando yo les encontré,
tenían regalos para dar.

El cantante borracho del calle
que besó mi mano.

La abuelita sin dientes
que besó mi mejilla.

El hombre que dió un guiño
mientras tomó mas pan
para dar al perro.

Gaspar, Baltazar, y Melchor
están en camino.

Guarde unas comidas
para los viajeros reales
y unas cascaras con mantequilla
para el perro.

c. MperiodPress

Advent IV, 2009

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

When I met them,
they were laden with gifts to give.

The drunk street musician
who kissed my hand;

The toothless grandmother
who kissed my cheek;

The guy who winked
when he took extra bread
and fed it to the dog.

Gaspar, Balthazar, and Melchior
are on their way.

Save some food for
the travelling royalty

and some buttery crusts for the dog.

c. MperiodPress

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adviento III / Advent III

En castellano, luego inglés...
que estén bien, queridos amigos.
en paz...

Adviento III, 2009

El humo del incienso
que te llevo como ofrenda
huele de las especias
comunes y cotidianas
que han dado sabor a mis pasos recientes:

la amistad, el pan;
el polvo, la orilla;
la esperanza y la pobreza;
el sol que impregna
mis sábanas limpias y secas.

c. MperiodPress

Advent III, 2009

The smoke from the incense
I bring to you as an offering
is scented with the common,
daily spices that have flavored
my recent days.

friendship and bread;
dust and the shoreline;
hope and poverty
and the sun that permeates
my clean, dry sheets.

c. MperiodPress

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quiero que vengas

From the Virtual Heart of RevGals...It´s Friday Five!

Please share five ways that God has come to you (your family or friends, your church or workplace, our world) in the past year, that God is coming to you right now, and/or that you are longing and looking for God to come.

Before I begin, I must say that I chuckled when reading this one... read my previous two blog entries and you will understand why!

1. God has come in a young girl with sticky, wet, grimy, loving, cheek kisses for her beloved ¨tías¨ (The rscj who live in her public housing sector). This child with a fungus on her cheeks from malnutrition, this child whose mother has no kitchen or any other means of cooking a meal, this child with light and depth and too much age in her eyes.

2. God has come in the grandeza and profundidad of both the Pacific and the Andes. Such amazing, amazing, images of God for me. Talk about offering a perspective far greater than the personal. When I have a chance to be by either one, I simply can not stop staring with a longing in my heart.

3. God has come in visitations...with my grandmother and grandfather (89 and 92) before leaving...with two chances to see dear and loving friend I have known for twenty six a surprise phone call here in Chile from another wondrous time spent with friends before messages exchanged de lejos tan cerca (from a far away that is so near).

4. God has come in silence. In finding places where my mind and body and spirit can give in to a desire for resting in silence with God...without a need to think, a need to speak, a need to read. Simply a need to be.

5. And I am pretty sure that was God in the form of a butterfly who landed on my jeans while they were drying on the line in our back yard.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Una respuesta/A response

Again, first in Spanish, then in English.
Otra vez, primero en castellano, después en inglés.

Como he tenido unos que me han preguntado después del poema Adviento II--¿Lindo, pero no te crees que la llegada es ahorita y siempre ahorita? quiero tomar un momento y explicar un poco mi motívo...

Sí, creo que la llegada es ahorita y siempre ahorita, pero por un razon--o mejor, por multitudes de razones, este año tengo ganas de decir explícitamente que tengo el deseo, tengo la necesidad, de su presencia. Es algo diferente expresarlo tan directamente para mi. Significa que estoy hablando desde mi profundidad, tocando o sentando en la piedra bien calentita en el centro de mi ser. Estoy hablando sin pensar en mas que la necesidad de decir una cosa. Siento honesta con este poema. Bueno, siento la honestidad de todos--si no, no los escribiría. Y cuando digo que quiero que Jesús venga, es venir a ese mundo que le necesita tanto. Este mundo herido, bello, increíble. Y como parte de ese mundo, estoy sintiendo la necesidad de expresar mi deseo, aunque creo con toda mi corazón, mi mente, mi alma, mi fuerza, que está siempre-- en todo, por todo.

As I have had several people write and ask after Advent II -Lovely, but don´t you think Jesus´arrival is now and always now?- I wanted to take a moment and explain my impulse a bit...

Yes, I believe the arrival of Jesus is now and always now, but for some reason-- or better, for multitudes of reasons, this year I had the urgeto say explicitly that I have the desire, the need, of his presence. It is different to express it so directly for me....I am speaking from my depth, touching or perhaps sitting on the warm stone in the center of my being. I am speaking without thinking of anything beyond the need to say a thing. I feel honest with this poem-- well, I feel honest with all of them--if I didn´t, I would not write them. And when I say that I want Jesus to arrive, it is to arrive in this world that needs it so much. This wounded, beautiful, incredible, world. And, as part of that world, I felt a need to express my desire--though I believe with all of my heart, my mind, my spirit, my strength, that Jesus is Always, in all and for all.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent II, 2009

Primero en castellano, después en inglés. Así fue el proceso de escribirlo, y por eso, el proceso de ponerlos aquí también.

First in Spanish, then in English. Such was the process of writing them and so thus is the process for putting them here too.

Adviento II, 2009

Soy de pocas palabras
durante estos días de esperar;
estas noches de gloria fresca.

Por eso, digo en forma sencilla,
en palabras humildes como
la llama que baila por las sombras

quiero que

c. MperiodPress

Advent II, 2009

I am of few words
these waiting days,
these glory tossed nights.

So I say simply,
in words humble as the flame
that dances for the shadows,

I want you to arrive.

c. MperiodPress

Friday, December 4, 2009

Won´ts and Wills

From RevGals...

List Five things you won't be doing to prepare for Christmas.


1. The tin soldiers will remain unpolished
2. The goose is on a diet, but I promise to still put a peso in the old man´s hat.
3. The one horse open sleigh ride is just going to have to wait. Sand in the runners, salt water in the horse´s eyes... not a good scene.
4. The open fires I have seen lately are rubber tires burning, so I´m thinking chestnuts are not an option either.
5. No muzak renditions of wilting holiday wishes here!

Five things I WILL do... (I know, not part of the play, but in the interest of balance...

1. Continue the series of Advent poems I have composed now for ten years.
2. Participate in Navidad en las Calles--Christmas in the Streets...celebrating the holiday with homeless people in Viña del Mar.
3. Light a candle for all those I love and miss...
4. Read the Midnight Mass Isaiah reading (9:1-6) and likely weep. I LOVE that reading.
5. Give thanks for Mystery in the Midst.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Matisse, my camera, and Inner Ah!

I have never been much for taking photographs. Once I read an article by Alice Walker, author, about the fixed nature of pictures versus the roominess of the written word. It was fascinating and helped me understand why I preferred to write in the place about being in the place rather than take what I assumed would be a static snapshot.

This habit served me well when I went to England with a group of students in 2003. Everywhere we went, I had my notebook and would write first impressions, things I thought important, time of day, weather, where I stood, what I was seeing, what was going on around me. I lost all of the pictures I took in a developing accident, but had this marvelous record that I was able to share with friends.

With that as a preface... several years ago I went to an exhibit of Matisse paintings and the material that inspired the patterns he used within them at the Metropolitan in NYC. A number of things stay with me from that exhibit. One, everyone in the room was smiling. It was a place of joy--to see the brilliant colors, the contrasts, the textures, the play, of threads and patterns and then notice how he encorporated what he experienced in the particular cloth into a certain painting. Another thing I recall is that while I was walking through, I marvelled that I understood what he was doing with colors and textures because I hear the same thing with language! The rub, the blend, the contrast, the pleasure of texture, the evocation of feeling simply by how you place a brushstroke or combination of letters. The intentionality of each element in order to evoke response.

Before coming to Chile, I bought a digital camera. I knew I would need to take pictures and would want to be able to share visuals with friends, so as to invite them virtually tap them on the shoulder and say HEY! Look at THAT! Hey! Doesn´t that tell a story? THIS is part of my daily reality and I wanted you to know it too... Somewhat reluctantly, I bought this camera. Functional, not flashy, no bells or whistles, one button and voila. I knew I would need to remind myself to take pictures and not simply take up my pen and write.

It did not help my motivation that for a while there seemed to be no way to download the photographs I had taken. Why take them to keep them, I thought. If I take them, I want to share them. Funny, that. That thought should have been my first clue...because while I do write for myself, there is also a large part of me that writes knowing that she will share the results with others. Particularly poetry.

Several days ago, I found a way to download those that I have taken so far. A significant help in the motivation to take more. In looking at the snapshots again, I realized that I really must enjoy composing the shots...thinking about the colors, the patterns involved, the shadows and lines. In the days since--now knowing a sure method of sharing what I see--I have walked and walked with my camera in my bag and have found myself truly enjoying putting together a picture--nothing too constructive--perhaps simply putting a leaf against the pattern of a chairseat.

I find it truly satisfying and pleasing and evocative to notice the textures, the angles, the light. It is an unexpected gift, that.

And as I was writing about it this morning, I realized it is not a new interest that is blooming. No, instead it is another way of expressing a long held joy and intuition. That to draw a person in and invite a person out, one must pay attention to silence and spark, to meaning, to context, to movement, to music, and to integrity...

I suppose it is a desire to explore, to probe, to suggest, the fullness of a thing...knowing that in the entering, there is so much more. In that is the Ah!

(In a funny irony, I am not able to upload any to the blog at the moment! Augh!)