Sunday, January 16, 2011
Belated Gratitude, for those small, enormous words
*Card from an announcement for an exhibit at Harvard University's art museum, Spring 1995. Found among some papers retrieved from storage, later buried in a closet. I used to keep this pasted to the wall above my typewriter, way back when. The adhesive tape's still affixed. It won't come off. I had long ago left the church that punished him for disobeying.
In our darkest times, we, too, dream of "flying over city walls and mountains." Passaging out of the darkness, love still intact, carried forward. The words of this artist, about a mystic poet, profoundly affected me at the time.
'Disobedient, rebellious, contumacious friar'  -
how dare you speak of reform.
Do not shake the foundation,
do not presume.
How difficult to be told what one must
or must not believe,
how, when, where, and of course,
The psychic with the wild hair and blinking eyes
described one past 'other' life
in the 14th century.
You were a monk who left the church,
You died of the plague.
And something about a green fountain pen
and chosen life-path.
How words from the past
from cardboard, or tellings,
from current scribblings on a wall,
or writings voiced out of context
can still hold you up,
take you forward,
make you fly again over mountains,
fill up with new air,
be what you are.
How does one thank a long-dead mystic
and the artist who spoke of him
in Those. Specific. Words.
for enabling you to soar
past, above, and beyond,
still carrying that love.