May 27, 2007

"So limping, my soul, we will together go..."

(Thoughts for Sunday)

What are you, my soul, you lean and bloodless thing
Like a withered fig that has survived the winter?
In youth it was so different: then the blood
Sang along the veins and it was easy both to love and welcome love.
But when you are old grace conquers only by hard victories;
You are stiffened, crusted by the salt spray
After the long sea voyage.

The lanes of memory may be as green
As in the year's paradise of spring.
It is the immediate present that slips unremembered,
Yet in love's presence there is only this one moment—
A question not of time but of understanding,
As when beauty seeps through the crevices of the soul
Burning the dead wood and illuming the self's verities.—
This, only after a long journey.

So limping, my soul, we will together go
Into the city of the shining ones,
Of those whose crutches have been cast into the sea,
Whose love is garlanded across the festal stars;
And we with them will bow before the sceptred wisdom of a child.
The trembling broken years shall be restored
And these shall be our offering; for by them we shall know
Love has travailed with us all the way.
        ML., A nun of Burnham Abbey
Posted by John Weidner at May 27, 2007 6:15 AM
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