“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved ” Psalm 104: 1-5
This past weekend I went up to Concord, New Hampshire for a Catholic Literature Conference at Christ the King Parish. The speakers and their talks on Walker Percy, CS Lewis, Gerard Manley Hopkins and JRR Tolkien were brilliant and quite frankly blew my mind in a wonderful way. It made me want to write poetry again. Though I sometimes dabble in it from time to time I really haven’t been serious about it in years.
But what I really treasured from the conference was a memory it dredged up. And the memory made me realize that God was working ever so subtly in my life back when I wanted to have nothing to do with God or church. The three poems of Gerard Manely Hopkins that we reviewed opened this door to my memory. The lines “Glory to God for dappled things…” and “The world is charged with the grandeur of God…. because the Holy Ghost over the bent world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.” These odes to God’s beautiful world made me think about the time back in the mid 1990’s when I was walking on Malibu Beach in Dorchester, Massachusetts (Savin Hill, near the gas tanks). I was walking my American Bulldog Daisy along the shore and the tide was low. It must have been fall because the sea grass, if that is what it is called, and other vegetation on the beach were muted autumn rustic colors: reds, tans, yellows, oranges. I remember thinking that it was beautiful and I remembering thinking at the time that I didn’t normally think mundane things like this were “beautiful.” That small, insignificant memory stuck in my head… a very normal everyday happening…nothing wild or wonderful or unusual… just another ordinary boring day. But it stuck in my head. I now know I was seeing the world through God’s eyes… He was showing me something beautiful in the ordinary. How His world is amazing and filled with wonders and that “Grace is everywhere” (a line that was said more than once during the convention). He was there, back when I was far from Him… he was nudging me …showing me… what a wonderful world it is … because back then I was the moody, obnoxious foul-mouth b*tch who almost saw nothing good in the world… It was nice to know that He was there… speaking to me…
Inspired… today I wrote a poem~
God Speaks/ So Subtle/ do we hear?/when down a leaf/floats/falls/flutters/as/the wind sighs/moans/barely utters/secrets of a simple smile/warmth of a quiet hush/rush by/do we stop brake breathe and beat the riot/or do we spittle and bicker and banter and bother?/the sunlight motes so full of Him/watch them dance laugh twirl and spin/eyes tastes smells sees feels the pull/of nothing sweet nothing pregnant lull swells/He breathes us in/deep and full/and smiles us out/a day/ a moment/a firefly shout.
I would like to give credit and thanks to Mary Lynch for her beautiful picture (up top).