Sunday, December 4, 2016

it's still winter in Narnia

but we are pressing North.

we are not alone, though we are lonely. we are exposed, wet, we crave warmth. we leave room at the table for the most crowded empty chair, upholstered with a whole entire pillar. of cloud. of witnesses. behind and before. we are afflicted and perplexed and struck down. we are assembling and retaining only the most irrational team of baffling idiots, unafraid of nothingness. meek, oh my, weak, oh why. a band of fools, an orphan train. a shanty town on the move with love to gain and nothing to prove.

we work with blunt tools in fallow fields, we spill our blood and sow our tears, and all the while, joy rises and rises. these heavy crosses would crush us, but an alien lightness keeps invading, and lifting us up and up and up.

It is cold. the night is long. I had good shoes but walked a long way now all seven of my toes are frostbitten. I need rest. will I wake if I fall asleep in the snow? It would be a gentle way to go. I have kept my eyes open in an unseeing world so long, my eyelids fall.

and I am too small to know and too tired to ask for what I want, the helps and comforts for which I wish. but for what I need, I simply say, Lord have mercy and it all rains down to wash away my delusions of Lack.

winter isn't over. but neither is Advent. take me to a window, help me see. o Lord who changes not, abide with me.

the constellations bring tiny consolations at the end of a long day of longing, to the messenger in Sandburg's poem. the poet so ruined and pregnant with visions that he is moved to speak truth to power. to those privileged enough to be blind and deaf, unless they choose divine condescension. unless they stand in cramped footbeds and lie in mangers.

Give me hunger,
 O you gods that sit and give
 The world its orders.
 Give me hunger, pain and want,
 Shut me out with shame and failure
 From your doors of gold and fame,
 Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger! 
But leave me a little love,
 A voice to speak to me in the day end,
 A hand to touch me in the dark room
 Breaking the long loneliness.
 In the dusk of day-shapes
 Blurring the sunset,
 One little wandering, western star
 Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
 Let me go to the window,
 Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
 And wait and know the coming
 Of a little love.

// Carl Sandburg, "At a Window"

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