Saturday, March 15, 2008

A poem for the beginning of Holy Week

I don't think Kathleen Norris wrote this for the occasion, but it seems apt, as we stand on the threshold of Holy Week this evening.

It is one of the poems, prayers, and spiritual exercises at the end of each chapter (in this case the chapter on the inability to pray) in When in Doubt, Sing.

The Companionable Dark

The companionable dark
of here and now,
seed lying dormant
in the earth. The dark
to which all lost things come – scarves
and rings and precious photographs, and
of course, our beloved
dead. The brooding dark,
our most vulnerable hours, limbs loose
in sleep, mouths agape.
The faithful dark, where each door leads,
each one of us, alone.
The dark of God come close
as breath, our own companion
all the way through, the dark
of a needle’s eye.
Not the easy dark
of dusk and candles,
but dark from which comforts flee.
The deep down dark
of one by one,
dark of wind
and dust, dark in which stars burn.
The floodwater dark
of hope, Jesus in agony
in the garden. Esther pacing
her bitter palace. A dark
by which we see, dark like truth,
like flesh on bone.
Help me, who am alone
and have no help but thee.

****– Kathleen Norris
******(from the collection Little Girls in Church, 1995)


pj said...

Beautiful. (Sniff.) I needed that.

johnieb said...

So did I. You are such a resource; I am continually delighted and amazed.