The birettas of dead cardinals. We move the Christmas tree outside, leave it where both shade and sun will find it, and carefully tend it that it might serve us another year.
Here where there are no bluets.
Here where the righteous are bound up in planning, here where apostles are never caught surprised.
Spring starlight, shivering in darkness a little after three a.m., the river a softness off to my right. Word by word, poem by poem, relationship by relationship. It's like we are hellbent on finding a way to keep things going.
I have three chess sets, including my late father's, and I don't even like chess! Chickens visit from three houses over, nestle under the front porch, lay eggs, and move on. I fill in groundhog holes, level the earth, but toss no grass seed, preferring to let the wind and rain bear what living gifts they will bear.
We walk together along the river, watching ducks float in the shallows. At dusk you know yourself in a way that's close to how the Holy Spirit knows you. Pink blossoms on the apple trees out back, a desire to give her head beneath them.
Those who miss the confidence - which arises in the earned clarity - of Thérèse, including that dumb fuck Thomas Merton.
After a while it stops mattering what you know or what you do and you just float - neither living nor dying - through the cosmos like a happy neutrino, a neutral angel. Trees bending in hard winds like the rest of us. Somebody didn't read their Plato!
Oh let me be a sunbeam, a sunflower, a chickadee, a smooth stone in the river, oh let me be that which knows the sunbeam, the sunflower, the chickadee, the smooth stone in the - oh right - that's what I already am, thanks Jesus!
Fixing the plumbing, planting potatoes, walking after dinner, driving together to the food pantry to help fill shelves, sometimes going to church and sometimes not, waking up when it rains to check on the horses, praying on a child's rosary, making coffee, forgiving my dead father, replanting strawberry plants, dressing for funerals, remembering dead dogs and horses, et cetera.
This is how I understand love, this is how I pray.
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