|Girl on a Swing by Winslow Homer (1879)|
Crying for hours with nohope of rescue createdthe river I neededto swim out to sea.Who knew what blessingsyour absence would bring?Now that I have descended cliffs,leapt into currents, breasted wavesand tasted the sea, your littlerope swing and your cautionhave no more appeal for me.
1. Situation of the crying: Pain. Spasms with follow up burning and inability to escape into sleepAnd there is a 5: Waking refreshed and changed with the sensation of love and possibility. Spending the day working on my body lovingly with each exercise. Writing this poem. Creating my notebook and calendar gifts. Talking on the phone to Avis. Talking in person to Nancy. Rounding the day with sleep.
2. Calling Nancy and asking for her company. Being turned down.
3. Crying actual wet tears. Not being able to stop. Calling out "O God!" and realizing I wanted God's help--a God I tried to visualize but could not. Perhaps that is the cliff that needed ascending/scaling descending, but what are the currents andthe waves? What is the experience of letting go and riding naked? Of trying not to?
4. Going there anyway. Crying in that place. A vast sea of Godness expanding me-ness, removing the boundaries of me-ness, absorbing me, rocking me to sleep. My cat was present.
And there is a 6: In a phone call Helene asking me to talk about "going to that place"--literaly and figuratively her call was a wake-up call. This is something to spend more time with.
|Pendle Hill above mist photo by Dr Greg|
In 1652, during the early years of the Quakers, George Fox claimed to have had a vision while on top of Pendle Hill:
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast
|A partial image of Dr. Michael Baden's preliminary autopsy report |
obtained by NBC News from attorney Anthony Gray,
who represents Michael Brown's family.
An SUV blocks my drivewayan obstacle
to the ease of getawayfrom my house and garagenear a busy churchin a gorgeous black suburb.Call the police anddon’t wait, interrogate
everyone and the flowers toowhite rose of the churchred rose of mine and
one stubborn navy SUV.Stewardship and right-of-wayentitlement with mortgageand school tax andinsurance and interestwith no parking no trespassing—or else why bother?
Such an asshole, I sweartoo close to a church member’sdaughter and whoa!
colors swirl around memuddying the red rageflowing from my ears.I am white andmy house is brickas the church andmy car is Koreana robin’s-egg bluestick-shift standard.The day is yellowand redder than redas frustration growsI cannot remember why
I wanted to get out
just the inconvenience.Offensive to defensive
my fence protects allbut my driveway andI don’t even wonderhow privileged I ought to
be because I am me andLucky living in this localethat uses words instead ofbullets even when I amthe mean one and—lookingaround— see nothingbut kindness and thoughtfulness.Calming down, calmdown the lady, calm—and as if on cuea neighbor woman emergesand drives her car away whilewe—them and me—wewho look on are speechless.She had no right! We reachconsensus without even tryingas the red rage retreats to my earsand I see through clearbrown eyes so when someonelaughs I sit near and smile too.
By Prayer, you mean memorized ones with
institutional seals of approval
and I admit—as warm ups and stretches—I
find them to be openings as useful
as candles in flame and windows ajar.
After such warm-ups, prayer for me is
opening my heart to God, spending time
in relationship with It. Words come from
gratitude and need, intercession and
sorrow, forgiveness and discovery.
We dialogue in liquid silences,
wait for more there-ness, expectant but un-
knowing whether God will respond today—
that is, if It will answer directly—
though It speaks through others, even you, now.
I know you laugh off this prayer from non-
monkish lay persons like me, but I have
strained to gain this presence minute by inch,
drop by second, trial to success all
these years, intentionally reaching out.
So I "waste" my time planting flowers in
vegetable gardens and roadways, a
dialogue with holiness, replacing
death with life and plain with ornate beauty
simple in its gratitude and welcome.
I cannot remember why I was thinking of questioning prayer's growth-inducing properties or thinking of prayer as a flower or as an elements needed to support the life of flora, bees and anything that grows. I cannot remember why I stuck to 8-foot lines that have no metrical integrity.
I don't have a next line; I have no experiment or experience to suggest. One or the other or both would save this would-be-poem from extinction!
Note: As we write this poem, help me by visiting more than once!
One solution, Thursday at 7pm:
But I still want to try character as suggested below!
|For Children The Gates of Paradise|
Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast