Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mercy Seed

If you know the snow seed, plant the fence around the spare note, the pick up note, left behind that grows into a farmhouse in the middle of the white space, five lines grouped on the sheet of paper.  She holds a girl, six, in the single bed her mother bought after she moved out, when she lived in the basement room of an unknown house because she needed to be loved gentle and right.  Her granddaughter falls asleep, and her daughter plants the kiss on the nose that's still growing.

This is not meant to romanticize a life lived for real.  But it is the same kind of thing you find in a shoebox made into a Valentine mailbox.  If you will but slip the note into the box and let it read:  I have been looking for you because I saw you forever.

It's easy when you move into it and speak from within it rather than about it.  


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our Hands

Lined maps of all that has passed across the outstretched vista.  You see it was not your future written there but the lines of your past traced deep to reveal your work and your love, canyons carved by the waters of life's precipitation and participation.  How you allowed yourself to be moved, to be changed, is recorded there in the fissures.  And all that was held heavy, that cut deep, can be released, so you might hold them out now, holy palimpsests awaiting the arrival of your Beloved's own difficult and beautiful maps, the two finally folded together as you walk the rest of the way Home.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Refresh Me

Morning:  The space is both barn and ark, the ceiling high and made of wood slats stained dark.   Nora sits quiet beside me as the woman in front speaks of advent, the coming, and explains the candles and tree, the banner that will rotate for the next three weeks until it reveals the arrival of Light in the dark world.  Every Wednesday, I join the kindergarten class for chapel.  I'm the tallest one in the group by far.  Later, I join the folks at Concordia for communion.  I leave my coat on because I'm uncomfortable with my body lately, a winter pattern.  I make a note of it, this desire to hibernate in large pieces of fabric, to hide and burrow.  I sit down and close my eyes.  The people around me are singing hymn 349.  I keep my eyes closed and ask to be refreshed.

Afternoon:  The wind blows my earrings around, so I take them out and shove them down into the pocket of my jeans.  The route I take from my office and into the woods is as direct as possible, a slight turn around the art building and a few yards across the track.  I make a note of the way others engage motion:  one man walks in circles with his hood pulled up, the other runs.  I realize I'm not a "track" person.  I keep walking up and over the rise and down a steep hill until I reach the trail.  Supposedly there have been mountain lion sightings, so I stick to the concrete part.  Mountain lions hate concrete.  That's a fact.  I keep my eyes open and ask to be refreshed.

Early Evening:  Nora and I finish her birthday poster, she eats, and then it's straight to the bath.  Hair is washed and braided, fingernails clipped, lotion rubbed into little feet, stories of snow bears and kissing frogs are read, and she is refreshed.

Late Evening:  I stretch and move this body, unwrap the fabric, and after thirty minutes, I can feel oxygen in the blood stream again.  I hear from Tom who has been in NYC for the last few days.  I miss him constantly, running my hands through this time apart, trying to untangle the distance.  I need to be brave enough to feel how much I miss him, and when I hear his voice on the line: