God knows we seek out light
these autumn mornings,
longing for rainbow colors to fill in the lines
beyond a blackened window pane
and in our prayers.Some mornings we can only see our own reflection mirrored by darkness, startled by time,
wondering what comes next.
Open the window, and let the air Freshly blow upon face and hair, And fill the room, as it fills the night, With the breath of the rain’s sweet might.
Not a blink shall burn to-night In my chamber, of sordid light; Nought will I have, not a window-pane, ‘Twixt me and the air and the great good rain, Which ever shall sing me sharp lullabies; And God’s own darkness shall close mine eyes; And I will sleep, with all things blest, In the pure earth-shadow of natural rest.
We humans contribute to the world’s gloom,
like dark shadows on a dark landscape.…
But now this man from Nazareth comes to us
and invites us to mirror God’s image,
and shows us how.
you too can become light, as God is light.
What is all around you is not hell,
but rather a world waiting to be filled with hope and faith.
This world is your home as surely as the God who created and wrought it is love.
You may not believe it, but you can love this world.
It is a place of God.
It has a purpose.
Its beauty is not a delusion.
You can lead a meaningful life in it. ~Jörg Zink “Doors to the Feast”
In this dark world we search for inspiration and a sense of purpose in the most unlikely places:
this past week, we were awestruck by the devotion of a mother killer whale in nearby Puget Sound who has carried her dead baby on her nose for over a week, unwilling to abandon the lifeless body to the sea.
There is tragic beauty in such demonstration of profound love, a recognition of our own losses and helplessness in the face of death.
We too are carried by our Savior through His relentless devotion and love for us, never to abandon us.
Even in the face of loss and consumed by the darkness of the world, we love as we are loved, body of His body.
HOW TO SWIM AN ELEGY
Lo, let that night be desolate;
let no joyful voice come therein.
Let them curse it that curse the day,
who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
Orioles live in the elms, and in classical verse the length of the vowels alone determines the measure. Once and once only a year nature knows quantity stretched to the limit, as in Homer’s meter. O this is a day that yawns like a caesura: serene from the start, almost painfully slowed. Oxen browse in the field, and a golden languor keeps me from drawing a rich, whole note from my reed. ~Osip Mandelstam “Summer Solstice” translated from Russian by Stanley Kunitz
Summer is a pause calculated carefully by the Creator — a caesura of daylight so long drawn out, luxurious and indulgent, we forget our need for darkness.
To sleep these short warm nights, we curve inward just as we curled in the womb, floating on the hope and relief cool mornings bring.
Rebirth into light is j.
This love is like the jade flower, A perfect, waxen curl, Embalmed by the sea, Blue-green, Succulent, Arrested in time and space, A swollen cesura Of hope curved back on itself Into fetal consolation. ~Serena J. Fox, “Jade Flower” from Night Shift
Each morning as I rise to let the horses out to graze for the day,
I’m once again that girl who woke early
to climb on horseback to greet the summer dawn,
with mist in my hair and dew on my boots,
picking ripe blackberries and blueberries as we rode past.
The angled light always drew sharper shadow lines as the sun rose
until I knew it was time to turn around, each hoof step taking us home
to clean barn, do chores, hang the laundry, weed the garden until sunset.
Have you ever seen anything in your life more wonderful
than the way the sun, every evening, relaxed and easy, floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills, or the rumpled sea, and is gone– and how it slides again
out of the blackness, every morning, on the other side of the world, like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils, say, on a morning in early summer, at its perfect imperial distance– and have you ever felt for anything such wild love– do you think there is anywhere, in any language, a word billowing enough for the pleasure
that fills you, as the sun reaches out, as it warms you
as you stand there, empty-handed– or have you too turned from this world–
or have you too gone crazy for power, for things? ~Mary Oliver, The Sun
On this day of transition
we stand together, wavering,
on the cusp of light and shadow~
this knowledge of a now diminishing sun
rests heavy in my bones as I struggle
with letting this glorious light
slip through my fingers~
I stand empty-handed
as I attend to less important things.
As darkness begins to claim our days again,
I seek to rise like a full moon
illuminating the long night,
burnishing my readiness for eternity.