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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank God for Spring

A smothered sun rises in a damp, gray sky.  Trees bare but for the moss, shiver in the cold.  A tailless cat huddles on it's perch and makes disturbing, human baby sounds for someone to feed it.  There's no fire in the stove.  His lungs are filled with sticky, yellow mucous.  He rasps, coughs, sneezes and blows into one tissue after another while sitting on an unsympathetic oak bench.  Life is grudgingly starting another day.  It has to but it doesn't have to like it.

Thanksgiving.  2oo8.

As is his custom, he composes a letter.  A letter to whomever cares to read it.  An open letter to God his father.  A letter of thanks.  This year it will be labor.  That makes it all the more important.  To thank in times of plenty, on rosy mornings when health, wealth and love greet you with a kiss is instinct, reflex.  Easy.  To find the blessings in the ashes of mourning, in the abscess of despair, in the full realization of the Curse, there, there are the times when thanskgiving is not an option but a need.  A rope to cling to.  A denial of aloneness.  A reminder that the dark, stones of the cell are not the extent of the world but that somewhere, love is desperately longing to be with you.  And walls of stone or despair while impervious to gentle touch, can do nothing to keep out love.

So while cat clings to it's hunger pains and cloud suffocates the sky, he looks beyond his mouldering, ailing prison to golden streets, crystal seas, palaces warmed and lit by pure holiness and one is never alone, not in body, not in mind, nor in spirit.  One is fully, completely, totally known.

And loved.  For though the eyes may not see, that has no bearing on it's certainty.  He cannot see Tokyo but he believes it exists.  He knows that while he shivers in Pennslobovia, another sweats in Peru, though he has no proof.  So it is with the New Jerusalem.  The new Zion.  It is as real, if not more so than the pain in his joints, the cold of his feet and the emptiness of his cup.  Autumn is upon us.  The Jack O' Lantern has trumpeted Winter's icy vanguard on the horizon.  The siege is coming.  With it: famine and pestilence.  Hard times, dark times are coming.  Persecution.  Suffering.  Death rides in that vanguard.  Men will become children.  Their bones turning to water.  Mothers will eat their young.  It will be a hard winter.  There will be days where it will be near impossible to find something to be thankful for but that will make it all the more necessary.  Thanksgiving in trial makes hope and faith into fact and truth.  In the dark, thank God for light.  In the cold, thank God for heat.  In the pain, thank God for healing.  Alone, thank God for being there.  

In Winter, of season, soul or history, thank God for Spring.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quasimodo

Thanksgiving week.  Last year this time, i laid the tile floor in our upstairs bathroom.  Spent all weekend doing it.  Looked nice.  Was supposed to be the big push to get the bathroom done.  The last big hurdle.  

That bathroom has half-made cabinets in it with no sink, no countertop and incomplete wainscot half-way around.  Must have tripped on that hurdle.

Traditionally i try to think of things i'm thankful for this week.  Write some of them down.  Guess a patient, long-suffering wife is going to have to top that list this year.  

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Forgotten's Lament

"Once there were two boys
one big and one quite little
Rascal were
the little cur
Plump around his middle."
from The Ballad of the Ballyhoo Gang


All Hallow's Eve has faded to unhallowed dawn. Princesses have awoke to their chores.  Traded their gowns for aprons.  Traded their dreams for yours.  The Weird and the Faerie take refuge in dream.  Goblins to their ghastly home.  Banshee and siren choke on their scream.  Ghosts retreat to chambers of loam...

All save one.

A wee spirit still haunts.  Tinkling chains in cobb-webbed halls.  A lantern, a single spark that stabs the dark.  A keening.  A child.  He calls.

Where is my brother?  Where has he gone?
Run-a-long.  Run-a-long.
Where is my mother?  What'd i do wrong?
Run-a-long.  Run-a-long.
Where is my father?  Steady and strong?
Run-a-long.  Run-a-long.
Where is my night?  Where do i belong?
Run-a-long.  Run-a-long.