Friday, March 29, 2013

Holy Saturday

Hope, like a mustard seed, is dead
and love alone remains.
Love, and the unremembered stains
from where love bled
when all the lesser loves had fled
forsaking hope and all its pains.
Watch now; beneath the first spring rains
the buried seed lies dead.

Blown on the wind to the ends of the earth
where truth grows up between the lies
and certainty lies buried with its doubts,
white as the labor with which a girl gives birth,
the mustard seed is dead; before my eyes
I see the resurrection's first green sprouts.

Monday, March 18, 2013


We're beset--long beset--by the gifts of many gods;
many fine gifts, but who would choose them?
Deathless, deadly gifts, but still we use them.

The grey-eyed goddess takes her father's shield,
from hatred crafted, flashing with deceit;
ambiguous thunder that makes men yield
their senses to her reason, melted by the heat
of sea-grey eyes all shining and hard
beneath a lustrous sky, but dimly starred.

Who can withstand Athena's bright blade
that turns sturdy souls into gibbering shades?
Hers is a game that they wisest have played,
winning the garlands of fools.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Just a minor grocery list mishap. Such a little thing, the sort of thing that I ought to have no problem adjusting to, but I'm so busy adjusting to the big transitions that even tiny changes are suddenly overwhelming.

I'd planned on taking everyone to the arboretum if everything went well and I was up to it, but now I throw all my plans to the wind, and load everyone into the car. We're going to the arboretum anyway, precisely because things are not going well, because I'm not up to dealing with anything at all.

The children frolic on the playground, the baby nestles against my chest, and I breathe.

The wind blows against my face, crisp and fresh and bracing.

It's a cliche. I know.

But sometimes cliches are the deepest kind of truth.

Everything worth saying has already been said, but still the wind blows, stirring my stagnant spirit, and God's mercy never changes, precisely because it is new every morning.

We change.

Our hearts beat out their steady restless rhythm, and we breathe, in and out, in and out. We cannot stop moving, and the moment we do, another sort of change will take over, and our bodies will decay, skin tinged with the green of a different sort of life.

We change, automatically and against our wills.

Time washes all things downstream, and you have to swim hard against the current just to stay put. Chesterton's fence post needs constant repainting in order to stay the same.

But here's the strange thing--even our attempts to keep from changing don't stay put. They stagnate, decay, and take on a grotesque life of their own.

There is nothing for it but to confess that our lives are like grass. Dust of the earth, animated by the breath of God, we are suspended between heaven and earth. There is nothing stable in ourselves, and it is sheer foolishness to pretend it.

We must keep repainting the fence post, and also our vision of it, over and over again, returning our eyes to the one who never changes.

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
 It is good that one should wait quietly
 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
                        ~ Lamentations 3:19-26, ESV