Peace be upon each thing my eye takes in,
upon each thing my mouth takes in.
- Carmina Gadelica
the neatly folded fresh towels placed
like a tower leaning askew on the coffee table the night before.
the crumpled quilt covering the leather seat of the couch,
protecting my backside from winter's chill.
the cat curled round on the crumpled quilt,
whose snore I hear even now - a half-room away.
this cup that holds morning coffee,
and the rich brown liquid that warms my throat and my hand as it holds that cup.
the windows in this room that open
to the light and brightness of each new day.
the old trees across the creek
dressed in the youth of Spring's verdent green.
the dove that sits on the deck's banister
singing its mourning song.
the rich aqua walls that envelop my soul
and my physical presence,
words of poetry spilling off the pages on my lap
and bathing my heart.
my feet flat on the floor
rooted and ground in Love.
Each morning's stillness,
all this and more -
gift after gift.
I've provided links below to some of the poems that Andy used last week - the one's that spoke to me particularly. But I want to give space here to one that moved me to tears this morning. My own images of God have changed over the past 10 years, so much so that I seldom perceive of God as Father anymore. And because of my own struggles with religious abuse, dogma, and doctrine, I've struggled too with memories of my dad, who I loved dearly, but who, while thinking he was doing good, put me into a box so small I almost died.
This poem opens my heart again and softens it to both. I am grateful.
by Denise Levertov
A scholar takes a room on the next street,
the better to concentrate on his unending work, his word,
his world. His grown children
feel bereft. He comes and goes while they sleep.
But at times it happens a son or daughter
wakes in the dark and finds him sitting
at the foot of the bed
in the old rocker: sleepless
in his old coat, gazing
into the invisible distance, but clearly there to protect
as he has always done.
The child springs up and flings
arms about him, presses
a cheek to his temple, taking him by surprise,
and exclaims, "Abba!" - the old intimate name
from the days of infancy.
And the old scholar, the father,
is deeply glad to be found.
That's how it is, Lord, sometimes:
You seek, and I find.
Agnus Dei, Midnight Gladness, and On a Theme from Jilian's Chapter XX - all of these spoke to me profoundly this morning. I think perhaps the thing I love most about Levertov's poetry is the tenor of doubt and faith in her struggle to believe in God and to give room to the church. Her struggle has held my own. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.