Thursday, April 8, 2010
Two days ago Johanna read aloud:
The barn creaks.
Swallows nest in the rafters
and fly overhead.
Fat hens cackle over newly
Red and black pigs
squeal and fight.
And I take the hay
from my hair--
That you put there.
The poem was written by my Mother. It is sweetly sexual and my four year old daughter reads it clearly and seriously. I sit next to the love of my life who gives my hand a quick squeeze. He needs to tell me that the poem is very good. I know that it is. He knows more than that though. For in these eight year he has journeyed with me he has relentlessly sought to discover the Mother who gave me dear memories of deep snowed winter walks, of picnics in all seasons, of waking in wonder in the morning to greet small chicks and budding Trilliums. That he was always able to see the Mother that I loved--despite her very serious illness-- was his victory, my victory, love's victory, and ultimately my Mom's victory.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
My mother wrote a great deal. Eventually, I would like to share some of what she wrote. Indeed it occurred to me today that eventually writing about my Mom might flow naturally from commentary on her poems and short stories. Johanna has taken to reading Grandma Mary's poems recently. I am undone by them. In essence I am not sure how things so utterly beautiful can be described with no flourish. When I am "on," I am almost metaphysical in style and my Mom is working through the simplicity of the haiku. I wish that I could have known her sooner before mental illness robbed her of so much. But, the poems. These poems are worth sharing. I will bring some here.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
"Redeeming love has been my theme and will be 'til I die..."
The line is found in a hymn--There is a Fountain Filled with Blood. I have every theological reason to hate the hymn. Yet, I was listening to a wonderful arrangement of the song by the husband and wife duo Welcome Wagon. The line, familiar once, blew through me like an updraft in a hollow barn. So that's it! There it is stated simply enough. It captures that Les Miserable moment; the one where the priest forgive Valjean setting his redemption in motion and the redemption of a myriad of others.
If I haven't been in a depression since my Mom died, I have certainly been in a recession. I have stood on Dover Beach. Writing a Palm Sunday sermon was a struggle. Proclamation was a struggle. It is not that I have stopped believing. Those closest to me know that I still believe it all. It is just that uncertainly sucks the life out of me. This line reminded that the centre does really hold. I believe that people can change. That I can change. That love can change impossible situations. God is redeeming love and I can, by God's grace, be transformed into it.
This I believe today and I will believe tomorrow and I will believe it until this poor, lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in grave.