"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, May 6, 2016

Early Morning Poetry

My heart has been heavy lately. Weighed down by a multitude of circumstances surrounding me. No book or reading or prayer seems able to aid me in my quiet time just now. I try, but everything seems empty. I sit with my Harney and Sons coconut, ginger and vanilla green tea pressed to my chest warming it and my hands on this unusually cool spring morning ... and I watch. The holiness of the gaze,  as one author puts it -- allowing my eyes to bring everything close, intimate. Just being aware, for I have read that the loving eye can coax pain and hurt toward transfiguration and renewal, and I could use some of that. I watch the first rays of sun find their way through the white oak onto the grassy lawn just past the pine. The cardinals, wrens and dove vie for seed where the greedy squirrels cannot reach. A young hare hops across the backyard into the neighbor's azaleas, out of view of the hungry hawk. I breathe in and out slowly. In and out. "Yah-weh." And another. With each inhale and exhale: "Yah-weh." All is silent but my breath: "Yahweh." I sense His presence with me. It feels good. HE feels good.

After a period, I am led to pick up my book of Mary Oliver poems in the basket next to my chair at the window, and I turn to the page where I had last marked to begin again. I haven't always been a fan of poetry -- which speaks more of my lack of literary prowess than the poet's ability to communicate. I'm a wordy person. Poets are not. They know how to leave a page white with empty spaces. How to articulate silence. As John O'Donohue puts its, "In poetry, your language will find cleansing illumination and sensuous renewal." I'm learning that. Like now. I turn to Oliver's poem, "Summer Morning," and He reaches into my depth of being ... and speaks renewal.

   I implore you,
      it's time to come back
         from the dark,

it's morning,
   the hills are pink
      and the roses
         whatever they felt

in the valley of night
   are opening now
      their soft dresses,
         their leaves

are shining.
   Why are you laggard?
      Sure you have seen this
         a thousand times,

which isn't half enough.
   Let the world
      have its way with you,
         luminous as it is

with mystery
   and pain ---
      graced as it is
         with the ordinary.

Just a (not so) ordinary moment...