It's 5am and I've got a few songs, a few poems and a few posts rambling around in my brain. On my blog dashboard there is a "Quick Post" to just write something fast and send it off with all the preset formatting, even attachments...but I am stopped short, just for this moment by the big green PUBLISH button. The old adage "Publish of Perish" automatically comes to mind." If I don't publish something here within a reasonable amount of time there is a good probability (though there has always been some) that I may have "perished". Thoughts of mortality become like the tides...responding to the magnetic pull of the moon. But this moon takes more shapes...like the big green rectangle of the green Typepad publish button.
It's been a long time since I have been able to write. All the false steps, the fears of unintentionally leading another down a blind path, making more mistakes, ending up in a place where you have to throw it all in and say "well that didn't work out so well...what's next" have paralyzed my fingers literally as much as the Bell's Palsy has paralyzed my face.
A confession. I have always been a vain person about my looks. I have always looked 10-15 years younger than my age. I have been "blessed" with good genes in the anti-aging area; but irony always comes to the rescue to say...too bad your genes don't match...your face may look like 40, but your heart looks like it's 80.
But the thing that bothers me most about the Bell's is not that I look 'funny' or 'lopsided', but the fear that I will no longer have all those 'micro-expressions' that communicate to people things like love, care, sadness, amusement, sarcasm...
It's a taste, a small taste of what it feels like to be one of the people society, organizations (churches) have pushed so far to the margins that they become, if not invisible, at least not worth looking at because whatever they have to say has been deemed 'nonsensical'.
What life is for them is so far from what the "powers that be" is so incomprehensible that all the things that allow us to communicate as one human being to another, all the communicable commonness has been frozen out.
Pain, sadness, joy, grief...all the things that make us alike become incomprehensible. Not because they are not being communicated (which might be a problem for me), but because the other side has chosen to be blind to all the little things that work to bind us together.
Theologies, ideologies aside, if you cannot look into the face of another and SEE that they love, laugh, break, hurt, wound just like yourself...the only thing that has the power to bring walls down has already been tossed aside.
I always thought that Christ's words about THOSE WHO HAVE EYES and THOSE WHO HAVE EARS...were just sort of some Hebrew punctuation to drive a point home.
No...THOSE WORDS WERE THE TRUTH...the other words around them were just something speaking to a particular occasion.
Just the fear of losing the ability to be heard and seen is like a little death...and gives me some insight into the thousands of little deaths those on the margins are forced to endure everyday of their life.
Photo: Helsinki, Finland...just snapping architectual detail while walking knowing that the photo will always have more to say later
There are legitimate experiences of absence within this ever-present world of God's grace,
but they are forms and modes of love.
Such were the experiences of the prophets of the Old Covenant, of the Son of God on the cross and in the darkness of his descent into hell;
Such are the experiences of all those who, in their several vocations, follow the Son.
These are the redemptive paths of love as it traces the foot-steps of sinners
in order to catch up with them and bring them home.
I have been reading letters written by my father describing the summer ritual called 'haying'. Even after he left home as a young man, like a bird driven by instinct at the changes in the light, he would make the return to his home, the farm where he was born to cut, gather and bind the hay that would feed the cows over the long cold Northern Michigan winters.
My father was an artist, a poet, a writer, a musician, a composer; but he was also a worker in the field: tilling. Planting, harvesting. I don't think he would have drawn any distinction in what he did in the field, the studio. The concert hall or whatever flat surface passed for a writing desk.
Every human action is incarnational. Every human action can be holy...or not.
Everything that proceeds from our body, mind and spirit makes us holy...or not.
We need to heed the words of Christ about what proceeds from each of us is the is what makes us holy...not the place we park our bodies on Sunday mornings, not who we allow to sit next to us-and who we don't.
And at the risk of being accused of blasphemy, it's not even what or Whom we consume.
I happen to think Christ was very clear that its not what goes in or what deprive others of consuming that makes us holy.
And can we also drop the 'pretentious' and obfuscating words 'by their fruits you shall know them'?
Plain speaking it's whatever you DO or SAY.
People speak of 'fruits' as something that might be a banana or an apple or a poisonous berry...gotta watch it develop and maybe need some high-faulting botanist to actually classify it.
It's not that complicated.
Christ's words rarely are.
I think it's kind of humorous that people claim he spoke in parables to make his lessons and teachings clear; I think he told those for people who didn't want the simple answer, the simple word.
It was usually the thick headed or equivocators that had to be hit over the head with a bigger blunt instrument that got a parable.
'Who is my neighbor?'
Really? That from a man well educated in the Law, the Torah?
Bet he had today's equivalent of a gay person or another person he thought NIMBY and had justified a loophole to himself, but would never admit to it.
POEM Twilight: After Haying
Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?
The men sprawl near the baler,
too tired to leave the field.
They talk and smoke,
and the tips of their cigarettes
blaze like small roses
in the night air. (It arrived
and settled among them
before they were aware.)
The moon comes
to count the bales,
and the dispossessed--
--sings from the dusty stubble.
These things happen. . .the soul's bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses. . .
The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field
grows wet with dew.
Did someone say that there would be an end, an end, Oh, an end to love and mourning? What has been once so interwoven cannot be raveled, not the gift ungiven. Now the dead move through all of us still glowing. Mother and child, lover and lover mated, are wound and bound together and enflowing. What has been plaited cannot be unplaited-- only the strands grow richer with each loss and memory makes kings and queens of us. Dark into light, light into darkness, spin. When all the birds have flow to some real haven, we who find shelter in the warmth within, listen and feel new-cherished, new-forgiven, as the lost human voices speak through us and blend our complex love, our mourning without end.
I want to tell you a gentlest thing. Like light to you. Like old faces being fed a good memory from inside themselves. Like eyes that do not watch but slowly meet across a room in which everyone is, and no one need hurry to what he is sure of. I want to say before we run out of rooms and everyone that I am slowest, surest, gentlest, too, across whatever room I look at you.
Until today I have never seen a picture of my Aunt holding baby Jody. I didn't think any existed. Jody was very sick as a baby and I thought pictures were the last thing on their mind.
TODAY a pile of these pictures literally fell into my lap while going through some boxes and papers.
Stories go on and on.
Today I also found out for the first time in my life that my aunt's husband had been a prisoner of war in a German POW camp in 1944-45. Another thing that 'fell' into my lap today. There is even a picture of him in the striped clothing behind barbed wire.
I am left with abosolutely NOT A SINGLE relative left alive from that generation to tell me why I did not know this, why it wasn't even mentioned.