Sunday, June 7, 2020

Much is Holy

Reading Merton again, a guilty pleasure now, like John Denver songs and cannabis.

Crows fly over the pasture, three of them together, the fine black lines of their bodies blurred by snow squalls.

April always a month of waiting.

That line from - Isaiah? Jeremiah? - about how it is not by our wisdom that the hawk flies - to which one adds, nor apple trees grow, nor trout rise to feed, nor the black bear amble down hills towards the brook.

A little interior space in which one is happy, quiet, calm, unhurried.

Tides rolling gently over open beaches.

We whisper beside the fire - declarations, promises, questions - naked in old blankets, conjoined, moving in each other, sparks rising to stars a thousand light years away.

Willow trees along the road leading to pools in the river where I dream of falling in order to learn I am always floating in Christ Who is Love.

Slicing apples to dry, baking squash for bread and muffins, carefully measuring out chick peas to soak.

Meant to write "dead leaves" and instead wrote "dad leaves" and thought, okay, yes, that too of course.

Joe Roberts' oxen and how we walked behind them one afternoon, our roles (reporter/subject) blurred by our shared love of large quiet animals, dirt roads, local history, telling stories, et cetera.

We go slowly clearing the barn, sensitive to mice and rats who live there, skunks and ground hogs nesting in the crawl space, spiders and flies, coiled snakes awaiting June.

Half-smiles, hints of smiles.

What is after.

Hastily-poured tea carried to the fence line, gulped between sentences getting clear on how the goats broke out, crossed the stream, spooked the horses, trampled the spinach.

Uttering "peace be with you" like in the old days, but doing it rather as often as one remembers, exactly as if the church lived in you rather than you visit the church come Sunday.

Biography again, that old lie, that old dance by which the dancer forgets the steps but remembers the whole song. 

Late at night, everyone asleep, forcing myself to walk farther than I want, back aching, yawns that are practically gasps, the way I guess my dad did, and his dad too, going back God knows how far, all us men unsure what home is and how far away from it we have to get in order to repent enough to remember what is is and how to get back.

A juncture at which one realizes how "it gets better" is both a lie and the best you can do for the time being.

Yet this much is holy, for this much I know.

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