Balanced in your open palms
my light burns.
You hold me in precious asylum
for the world to see, not me
but the light, your light.
Infused in me, we are one.
In the gentle curve of my two hands
pressed tightly together,
I hold you in resolute sanctuary.
My paradigm enfolding us
one into the other, we are ablaze.
This path we illuminate, intertwined,
unable to be sieved apart,
we travel as lovers impassioned.
An offering of one soul kindled
enflaming the world.
Monthly Archives: June 2014
Sweet Peas, Part 2
In March I promised myself I would finally plant sweet peas. I wasn’t going to let anything deter me. Well, everything did and they didn’t get planted.
Along about the first few weeks in June I saw an interesting little volunteer popping up. It looked just like sweet peas. I moved a trellis to have something for it to climb. Then I remembered. A few years, that’s maybe five or six, I gathered some seeds from Vickie’s, my sister-in-law, garden off of her sweet pea plants. They grow wild there, year after year.
Just like Janice, my mother-in-law, iris, I set them aside for the summer and said I would plant them in the spring. (I’ve moved the iris from house to another, from one bed to another, and they grow like crazy. Do you want some?) But I didn’t plant the sweet peas. That fall I decided to throw them in some soil, “Just to see what might happen.” Nothing. For five or six years, nothing happened.
This june they sprouted. I guess my moms, who have been gone now and are dearly missed, got tired of my promises and took things into their own hands. If you follow my pictures of my garden, you know how prolific the iris are.
Now, I have sweet peas. Thank you, Mom.
Here is the poem I wrote earlier this year. Silly me.
Lent and Sweetpeas
I’m going to grow sweet peas this spring
I won’t allow the busyness of the day to interrupt
I won’t let the excuse of sultry spring sun
and red clay soil divert me from my plans
I can’t remember now
and being there is no one to ask
when I was young
or maybe it was eight
planted sweet peas in the backyard for my birthday
Were they to be in bloom by my birthday
or did she plant on my birthday
always a few days either side of Mother’s Day
Edging a small patch of grass squared by
Gus’ gas station
my father’s television repair shop
and Washington Street
she knelt on red clay soil
already sprayed for bugs and weeds
my father’s madness
I now understand
maybe to forget
mostly to make something pretty
almost certainly to give me hope
To my surprise
surely not her’s
ruffly pink flowers on twisting stems
twining their way around a chain link fence bordered by
and thirsty bistre grass still in winter slumber
I’m going to plant sweet peas
in my clay soiled garden
My Silly Cold Toes
It is almost the end of June
our nightly storm has passed
a regular visitor this summer
barefoot I venture out
my toes splash in tiny pools
here and there
cool, almost cold air teases my cheek
reminds me the storm
has only just passed
I take a deep breath
rain scent lingers, delights my nose
a merry little breeze
shakes raindrops from leaves
plops onto my outstretched palms
a trickster’s game
an attempt to convince
the unaware to be aware
of storms brewing above
I am smarter than that
to fall for such foolery
the storm is gone for now
I am a child again
I tap one foot, then the other
I search for bigger and bigger puddles
to entertain my toes
my silly cold toes
the locust tree shakes
in laughter at my antics
I am wet
how can leaves so small
captivate so many raindrops
I listen to the rumble now far
what was once overhead
consuming the night has passed
I am a child again
surrendered to wonder
drenched and enraptured
When she finally took the step
she thought nothing of it. No bridge
to keep her aloft. There was no
rope or hand to hold her tight.
She had to take the step. The climb
was arduous. Dark nights, cold.
Voices echoing behind in the canyon,
taunting, losing their hold over her.
Up top silence was as wide as the sky
while noise slumbered deep inside.
Not to awaken it, she softly breathed in
the beryl blue stillness enfolding her.
She searched. She lifted each layer,
peeled back one after another,
trails of faded petals marked her
journey, but she wouldn’t let go.
When the layers were no more,
no petals left to drop, it was there
she was forced in the nothingness
to divine the Antiphon left bare.
She braved the step, undressed
her fear, found more than her
counterfeit view exposed.
She surrendered from hurtling
voices and pain. From stuff she
built to keep her safe, explain
rules, make sense, find answers.
She surrendered to the deep calm
Peace that awaited her. Acquiescing
she could rest, be swathed in His care,
unravel all would be well…
I let go. I step from frenzy wrapping
my days. I trust and surrender to You
who are there. You who love me with
abandon. You who have always been.
Understanding can come sometimes so quickly, it takes your breath away. The challenge was simple. If I am truly honest with myself and really look deeply, will I allow myself to see that tiny, small bit of insecurity I’ve held onto of what I fear as God? Or will I surrender to our Precious One and accept how much I am loved without condition?
Thank you, Fr. Scott Jenkins for continuing to gently challenge us with your vision on the Feast of Corpus Christi. You bring your family at a Church of the Holy Family, ECC into the light of our Beloved.
It was a small crack that ran
up the side of the cup. It no
longer held matter completely,
it was no longer perfect.
The beauty of the cup was not
tarnished though. No. The
treasure was transformed.
The crack was there to let in
light, you said. To illumine
splendor deep inside. You
could see it.
In Japan they fill cracks with gold.
Once damage is done, history is
fashioned. Filled with tenderness
it becomes precious anew.
You fill my brokenness with Your
grace mending it with Your light.
More beautiful than before I am
made whole once again.
I wrote this last evening and didn’t get it posted. I was off to a Celtic retreat today. Sometimes Spirit shows up before you expect it.
Today a friend posted this song, I Don’t Think About You Anymore, But I Don’t Think About You Anyless by Hungry Ghosts, on her Facebook page. I was drawn to the simplicity of the tune, the accordion, and the absolute melancholy of the piece.
So I decided to play a bit and write something poetically melancholic. Seems like I need to get back to writing a little fiction.
Start the song and wait for the accordion to begin playing. Enjoy it for a bit and then read the poem out loud, of course, with a heavy heart. Enjoy.
Thank you, Christine for the fun!
At the table a long thin taper set askew in an empty bottle
illuminates what the slight moon cannot. Under stars beneath
tree’s umbrella music from accordion and violin swirl around
her head. Veiled in melancholy’s shroud she gazes at fireflies
fluttering about her adding their glow to the deep night’s sorrow.
The slide of feet tangled in tango scrape ever so gently in lover’s
embrace, one in which she will never again partake. If she listens,
ignoring the music, the dance, she can hear the river, the thief,
curdled with his blood. She drinks the last drop of the deep red wine
as she has each night, every night since he left. Placing coins on
the checkered cloth, she rises in time to the beat, not of the tango,
but her heart yearning for his touch. Stepping through the dancers,
breaking their hold, she crosses into the calling night. Letting the
shawl fall from her shoulders, then her hips, finally onto the ground,
cold rises from the rushing waters to caress her bare arms,
a reminder she will never again be warm. Sure in her steps, steps
taken each night in dream, she moves to the edge of the river near
the willow bent in shame unable to help. Removing first one, then
the other, slippers worn on her wedding day, she places her bare
feet on rocks smoothed from the flow, slick from his blood. One step
and then another, tangoing in whispered sighs with the whelm. Deeper
and deeper, her skirt catches the fluid brimming, pulling down with
grace. Over and around she moves to the now distant tango waiting,
watching for his hand. And in a breath, a gulp grasping at air, she
opens her eyes to the new day’s dawn. Pulling her feet from the bed,
she waltzes into white satin slippers ready for another day.
Iris and Fred Astair
Iris laughed in the wind today,
heads bobbing with rippling petals
sweet scent carried far away looking for
you since you were not near.
I want you to know I love to laugh,
to bob my head and ripple with joy
like purple iris in the wind reveling
in your cheer.
I want you to know I love to hear
your laughter rolling through
your office door making me smile
even though you didn’t know I heard.
I love to feel laughter furrow down to my
toes from silly puns and stories
and Fred Astaire who had a stand-in
for tap dancing.
I sat in the rain. It was a pouring cold rain
that was much too cold for this June day.
I wanted to feel this June’s deluge so I lifted
my face and tears from the sky poured over
my despair. I wanted to feel the pouring cold
rain, June’s deluge washing me of my sin.
Thunder rolled by and over my bearing. It filled
my ears. I cried out in tandem. I released my pain
to the pouring cold deluge, much to cold for
this June day. My tears were diluted with fresh
new water as I sat on a step under trees bowing,
unable to balance, not one extra drop, no longer.
My breath almost drowned, flowed out and down
until the lawn could hold no more. So I walked with
the deluge along bulging gutters, feet submerged
in June’s cold rain. I kicked at rain waters and
stomped on the waves rushing into the deep black
gash. The day’s deluge gulped down by the sewers
took my crimes and washed them away on this
cold June day. The deluge slowed. Streams turned
into drops. Then droplets. Then nothing at all. I raised
my face up to June’s grey day in gratitude of its
cleansing. I know that from rain green grows lush
and glorious, blooms arise with colors to adorn.
The deluge always cleanses. Pouring cold rain,
much too cold for this June day.
I was recently introduced to the lament. In a Celtic Spirituality retreat with Stefan Andre Waligur, I experienced the call and response of the lament. He spoke of how in our Western culture are afraid to let go of our emotions, especially in community. And subsequently we do not heal. We have lost a togetherness that only this opening of oneself, this free flow of emotion can offer.
Today as I sat waiting for tornado sirens to silence, listening to the relentless rain, I felt as if the world was in lament. I know this rain, once the damage from the hail heals, will bring new life to my garden. Much like a lament.
Thank you, Stefan.
Although this is not a lament, it is a lovely example of the kind of chanting we experienced at our retreat.
She was vulnerable when she took off
her coat to dance in the midnight sand.
Man and woman delighted in one another
till the sun beckoned them home once again.
Weary in her revelry she slept through
the exodus, her selkie coat well hidden above
in a shield of long straw shadowing the sun
keeping her safe, well protected from love.
She was faithful where she was led, not her
choice to be, a new place and way to serve.
She was true and devoted to word, spirit, creed,
even though she ached deeply for another.
She longed for water without knowing why
yet steadfast in her journey well run.
One day making bread, her food for the living,
from above selkie hide came undone.
A single drop, only one, oil glistened a call
to return to the shore of her yearning.
Her long slender finger lifted oil to her lips,
a recollection, a scent still languishing.
This woman of fidelity finally tasted and smelled,
remembered the raw deep sea of her beginning.
She walked to the sand without a look back and
slipped into her soul wild.
I am that woman of faith on my journey
from a life safely thatched and shielded.
I am grateful for Your grace, drop of oil,
passion in me, anointing a new life wild.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a retreat, Heartbeat of the Beloved: Exploring the Beauty and Power of Celtic Spirituality, by Stefan Andre Waligur, Marcy Baruch, and Steve Bross.
We sang, chanted, drummed, heard stories, and broke bread together. It was an amazing time getting to know a group of strangers pulled in by the same Spirit.
Stefan told a story of the selkies of Irish lore. And although his point for telling the story may be a bit different from what I gleaned, it was a powerfully moving story for my faith journey.
As I step to the edge of the water, toes poised to take
the plunge, I see my face reflected, not clear as in a
looking glass, but rippled, a bit shimmery in the sun.
Not a perfect reflection but something more real
than a mirror could ever offer. I am coaxed to bend
closer, tilt my head to remember, see more deeply
into the pool. Through quivering water I divine to
find me. I look past snide remarks that cut quick
to my soul. Push back gloated smiles gashing spirit
set free. I see me. One who is beloved. One with
gifts tendered to share. One waltzing lightly into
water with delight in discovery of Him in me.