Tag Archives: cleaning out

A Sacramental

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It is Advent
and I am cleaning out the desk.
I find expired coupons,
obsolete proofs of purchase,
useless how-to manuals.

Beneath unopened instructional cd’s
and old, unframed photos
a gem is gleaming and I open it:

May Christ and all the angels linger long
in September’s slanting light;
gathering around your nebulous charity
that once again said ‘yes’
to becoming
the vessel for life
and loving those who become; 

May the days that seem impossible
be few and fleeting.
May the forgiving be creative!
The Beauty Immense.

These verses fall
out of the cardstock
and into my lap,
a precious gift,
a visible sign of invisible grace
carrying me through
another birth,
another recovery,
another disorienting,
treacherous leap into
motherhood,
God getting to me
through the careful crafting of words
and friendship,
his presence made manifest in love
shared and received
like the sacramentals of daily living,
the bread and wine, the coffee and cake, the letters and poems,
the words that feed and give, restore and reawaken.

I find jealousy, greed, and vanity,
envy, pride, and selfishness
stacked and piled high on this old soul.
It is Advent
and I am uncovering a gleaming gem.

 

About the Poem:

The letter in this poem is five years old.  It inspires me each time I uncover it.  My dear friend, Cynthia, sent it to me after the birth of my third child.  If you’ve never received a letter like this, write one, and send it out into the world.  If you’ve ever received a letter like this, write and send at least ten of them!

Cynthia blogs at The Mad-Eyed Monk.  Visit and be inspired!

Nature

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My soul must be crooked –
not curved – I mean. It must
have angles and open boxes,
not fissures, cracks, or splits,
but myriad unclosed cubes.

For as round as my universe is,
for all the atmosphere and vaporous aura,
for the spheres of planets and bright balls of gas
shining around my sky, my soul must have
corners.

My windows fit into hollow columns
in which they are slid up and down.
The columns allow for crevices on the sill
and there collect all the bits of ground and air
thrown at the house as it stands in the weather.

Over the years the dirty stuff turns to muck
and the muck hardens. So I soften it with water
and wipe out the black soil, brown pine needles,
white-ish bird droppings and iridescent fly carcasses,
flinging it all into the yard below.

This is stubborn work. I use a thick, strong knife,
and soft cotton swabs, and yet some triangles
of muck remain. The clean sill shines and looks like
beginning. The tiny corners look
suspicious.

There is a smooth, curvaceous love
inside my soul. Yet, it lives within
some flat walls, a free-will-construction
I don’t quite understand,
and even though I let
Christ’s waterfall
pour and power out
the muck,
and even though I shine
a new beginning,
and even though I take
knife
and
swab,
water
and
rag,
my corners
collect the muck
that divides,
and traps.

I know that smooth curvaceous love
is Christ’s. I must listen for it. Ask him to fill in my
corners, to round me out, make my soul spherical,
like the innumerable cellular structures of my body,
like the ever-advancing curve of time and space,

let my unclosed cubes take on
the elliptical pathways of planets,
protecting love from my mired,
messy corners, letting love sail
beyond my edges

and swoop back,
giving and receiving
in a bolstered, mysterious
free-will-construction
I will some day understand.

“Confession is a beautiful act of great love.   Only in confession can we go in as sinners with sin and come out as sinners without sin.” ~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta