Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lines from the months of this last year: March


"Falsehood is never in words; it is in things."
-Italo Calvino, "Invisible Cities," p. 62

"There is no language without deceit."
Ibid., 48

Wisdom calls from the highest point in the city. Proverbs 9:3.

A truth beyond the language of the skin, of which skin plays a part.
Today: mercato, lower Orvieto, kissing the kind nun, playing futbol. Drawing Heather at the Duomo.
You have an original face.

Lord, please bless my cashier today, who allowed me to go back for another yogurt after I dropped my first one, trying to put it in my bag.

"It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear."
-Italo Calvino, "Invisible Cities," p. 62

Nine days!
It feels like three weeks in some ways. Time is heavy here, heavy from richness, from movement, from growth. It chokes me a little sometimes. I can get into the rhythm of the swirling water, and I can seem well. But eventually I must stop. And as I stop, the movement pushes against me, inertia, and the forcefulness required for stillness overwhelms me...
But here, in this rest that You have allowed me, help me to be truly still. Still enough to feel Your gentle ripplings over the surface of my thoughts, from within my soul.

A new thought: how terrible it would be
not to be able to worship You,
respond to Your beauty,
or give You pleasure.

Fragrant with mint and rosemary. Gently, gently, breathe again.
Say, "This is not for nothing."
Believe in beauty. Believe in the fecundity of darkness. Rich soil, birthing.
Beating drums.
Pulsing and rippling muscles beneath my skin, soft and taut as camellia petals.
And now I long for a purity beyond safety,
a joy beyond laughter.
Belonging in a place is a delicate state of being.
Pressed against these pillars, these daughters, I, Caryatid,
strong in an ageless being.
Decorous is not a word to describe me. Intent on truth,
but let propriety die when it kills the soul. Be whole,
be very good. Allow yourself the terror of a conscience,
allow yourself the comfort of a rule.
Be queen, be fool.

These strange textures of beauty in the knuckles of my hand. Crevices marked out in charcoal black.
I could believe the best of you, for you. You are capable of a great beauty, a great truth. Quietly expressed in a stack of logs, a drainboard, shared fruit in a basket. Lagging behind, and we talked and you wanted to listen. What a gift is given in listening. Tell me your story. Tell me your loves. Trust me with your thoughts.
I will lie beneath this rectangle sky, on the ground. Sparsely grassed and pebbled. Hear the cats whisk by or pause to eye my long red woolen coat. Hear voices passing, pray to be alone.
Lonely is dangerous, lonely is safe.
Like the woods, where I loved while I shrank from the human face.
Clothe my eyes. Robe me in a sacrifice of furs,
and burn my leaves.

Too large to throw my arms around. If my love is unresponsive, tell me why.
Are you alive?

It is not about me.

Push darks and lights, variation. Everything is important. Allow yourself to enter the objects, to know the character of each.
You cannot erase it, but it adds character.

Tear down all idols.

I startled myself singing "Lev Tahor..." tonight; didn't realize until I started it that that was what I really meant. I hunger and thirst. Blessed are those...
Help us see each other. Help old ways of seeing to fade. Wean us off the internet nets we've woven for ourselves. Help us rest in You. Help me.

Just let my life be a prayer.

Oh Jesus, You dismay and delight me.
You do not thing in halves.

And when did I become afraid to say what I really think? Dear Jesus. Help me be fearless again. Modest without being ashamed. Totally free, totally secure, totally alive. A life-giver. Make me more accepting of myself, of everyone. Without my own silly ideas interfering. Give me a love like Yours.

Which way is a worse regret? Or, which way leaves more room for You to work?
Which speaks most loudly of love?
Show me what to do. Loving is not so different now from what it was then.
That one umbrella pine bending out so pugnacious.
What old gallantries are still true in all of this?

Merciful One, have mercy on me. Whistle for me. Wrap us in a blanket by the gray sea swells, and give us bread and wine.

Thank You for the words that have which have stung and churned and uprooted and spurred me to come to You with greater humility, greater need.
Help me be a true lover and a lover of truth.

There is no separation.
Our God reigns, saves, loves.

"Even in darkness light dawns for the
for the gracious and compassionate and
righteous man."

-Psalm 112:4 NIV

When your sleep was so fragile it could be broken by a shaft of light.

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