Friday, December 11 – “imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty”
November 29 was the anniversary of Bill Pauly’s sudden death at 59, 2006, of a heart attack. That year Bill played inside a lovely sabbatical after years of demanding pastoring on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in western South Dakota. Before Pine Ridge Bill had been pastor in a South Milwaukee Hispanic parish. Bill is a soul friend and I miss him at especially at this time. He loved beauty, and hospitality, and play, and sacred stillness. Partly because of the date he died and partly because of the way he lived, Bill stays in my memory and imagination as an Advent figure. He did not fear grief or fatigue. Bill also introduced me to the poet Mary Oliver. There’s a lot of him in today’s post, “Wage Peace,” and a lot of Advent too. Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.
Have a blest weekend when the weather looks to be teasing winter from a safe distance.
Today’s Post – Mary Oliver – “Wage Peace”
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and fresh mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.
Advent Angel, Hummel; Lakota medicine pouch, Don Montileaux; Celtic cross, Waterford