I have been rather silent these days, despite my desire and promise to blog more, because God is digging out a canker in my soul. If you are the praying type, you might pray for God to have mercy on me and that I would have the strength to make needed changes. I am always afraid that if I say something like that, people will take it more seriously than they need to. That your curious imaginations will assume terrible things about some hidden sin I am harboring. But we all struggle daily against sin and flesh and devil. This particular instance is neither exceptional, nor remarkable. Only let us pray through the watches of this night.
In the mean time, a poem, (after T.S. Eliot's "East Coker, III" in The Four Quartets, alongside an image from Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Renasence," if you like to know these things; I always find Eliot so inspiring). By me. For you.
Advent 3: The darkest day
A lament on the death-day of St. John of the Cross and those lost in Sandy Hook
The year is dark. The leaves dead
and rotting in the gutter.
The light is weak and short,
the bleak night long and cold.
Sickness presses deep in the chest,
fogging brain and laboring breath.
Head aches and body groans,
cold and stiff. The persistence of
dull pain presses us down
into the dark rot of the year
where all the filth of existence smears us.
Earthen walls crawl with the unknown.
Hemmed in on every side
by the darkness of God, we hear:
The screams of the violent and the victim.
The lament of those who sit alone.
Our own voices’ echoes
in the hollow, grey chambers of the skull.
Water drips down our bodies
like a spider’s crawl. It pools in the darkness,
breeding darkness. Dank breath
reeks, laden with pestilence.
Ashes and moulder burn the tongue.
Until everything is darkness and quiet,
and stillness becomes a pressure around us.
Our muted senses lie flat
as though in the mud under a lake
until lungs are fit to burst.
“Move!” cry out our limbs,
“or lie in the dark forgotten forever.”
Yet still, eyes closed,
we roll the boulder of hope
and false-hope from our chests.
Lungs gasp into the expanse of the darkness.
We cut the iron band of love
and false-love from our hearts.
Their beat fills the silence
like the inexhorable footsteps of a jailer
strolling slowly toward our cell.
In the mind’s eye, a tiny seed
reaches one pale hair’s
root into rich, black soil.
Here we wait
in the shadow at God's back.
December 14, 2012