A Secret Heart Broken

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…And I think
They know my strength,
Can gauge
The danger of their work:
One blow could crush them
And their nest; and I am not their friend.

And yet they seem
Too deeply and too fiercely occupied
To bother to attend.
Perhaps they sense
I’ll never deal the blow,
For, though I am not in nor of them,
Still I think I know
What it is like to live
In an alien and gigantic universe, a stranger,
Building the fragile citadels of love
On the edge of danger.
~James Rosenberg from “The Wasps’ Nest”

 

wasphive2

 

Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest.
~Pope Paul VI

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The nest was hanging like the richest fruit
against the sun. I took the nest
and with it came the heart, and in my hand
the kingdom and the queen, frail surfaces,
rested for a moment. Then the drones
awoke and did their painful business.
I let the city drop upon the stones.

It split to its deep palaces and combs.

The secret heart was broken suddenly.
~Michael Schmidt — “Wasps’ Nest”
waspnest2

It hung undisturbed the past few months as its busy citizens visited our picnics, greedily buzzed our compost bin, shot bullet-like out of the garbage can when I lifted the lid.  In short, their threat of using their weaponry controlled all our moves this summer.

This nest is their nighttime respite for a few more weeks before a freeze renders them weak and paralyzed in slow motion.  A thing of beauty outside harbors danger inside. I must not touch this tissue paper football nest with its beating buzzing hornet heart.

Let winter deal the devastating blow. As I am not in or of them, I cannot cast the first stone.

In a few short weeks, as they sleep, the north winds will tear it free from its tight hold,
bear it aloft in its lightness of being, and it will fall, crushed, broken, its secret heart revealed and all that stings will be let go.

 

 

waspnest11

 

waspnest10

2 thoughts on “A Secret Heart Broken

  1. As a city girl, I don’t see too many wasp’s (or honey bees’) nests. I do remember seeing them as a child though. Your descriptions of feelings, observations, especially about those things that most people barely notice, are so vivid, Emily. You have such a beautiful gift.
    Rosenberg’s thought re being …’in an alien…universe, a stranger, building the fragile citadels of love on the edge of danger” is almost prophetic. My first impression was that of those committed people who spend their lives trying to bring peace and justice and goodness to the world — a world that, today, seems all too often has gone mad with unimaginable cruelty and hatred.

    Like

  2. In response to yesterday and today’s posts,I am sharing a quote by Bethany Hoang from a Feb. 26, 2016 post about lament as a response to suffering as shared in Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Occupation.

    “Lament is prayer that honors the honesty of pain and anger while also honoring the truth that God is the one who reigns and whose love never fails.”

    Liked by 1 person

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