Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bring me to the Waters




A friend of mine shared this with me a couple of weeks ago.  For those of us in the tug of war with time and memory, it is especially beautiful.    

“We usually think of time as a river, a river like the Nile, with strong, swift current bearing us further and further away from what we have been and towards the time when we will be not at all . . . But perhaps we should think of time as a deep, still pool rather than a fast-flowing river . . . Instead of looking back at time we could look down into it . . . and now again different features of the past—different sights and sounds and voices and dreams—would rise to the surface: rise and subside, and the deep pool would hold them all, so that nothing was lost and nothing ever went away.”

-written by a scholar of ancient Egypt, source not stated, included in The Long Goodbye: A Memoir, by Meghan O'Rourke


I wrote this prayer in response:


God, bring me to the waters.

God, make me look down within them, without the crane of my neck, leaving a lonely trail of lost moments. 

God, make me look down within them, without the squint of my eye, so eager to sharpen the unformed and blurry image ahead.

And God, make me look deeply into the waters, into the blacks and blues that remains from wounds that have yet to surface.

Make me look deeply into the waters, when the white life growing within the blacks and blues seems too bright to bear. 

God, where the waters are cold, let me shimmer while I shiver, because God, I will not turn to ice.

God, where the waters are hot, let me melt within them, because God I will not turn to fire. 

As I look deeply into the waters that time has pooled, make me dip my toe to stir all that has settled, to bring to the top all that remains unseen. 

And God, when I am ready, when You are ready, may it be me who floats to the top—my hair loose in freedom.

God, bring me to the waters.
Amen. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring's Footsteps


Yesterday I heard the gentle footsteps of Spring approaching.  I saw her peering out through the clouds, all dressed in yellow. 
   
I felt her in the soft rocking on the front porch while sipping white wine with an old friend, shoes fallen off. 

I lay down in the grass next to the stone cross with my son’s name carved deep into marble, and even at the cemetery, Spring sings of glory on the rise. 

I don’t know how she does it, but Spring can paint the whole world into sanctuary.  She touches the walls built up in the winter and turns them to glass stained in color. 

I saw the weather reports yesterday and knew, on that blessed first Sabbath in March, that this Monday afternoon would be cold and wet, even threatening of snow and ice.  And sure enough, the umbrella is turned upside down by the front door and the school painting hurried into the house from the car is now drying on the kitchen counter, edges curling.  

The footsteps I heard yesterday have u-turned.  I can hardly hear them now.  Doesn’t it seem like it’s always one step forward and two steps back? 

But then again, yesterday I felt the shine in the cemetery, and I tasted the wine on the porch.  And today I don’t believe in one step forward and two steps back.   

Because I have never gotten anywhere worth being by walking a straight line.