From Exile to Hope: November 24, 2022

From Exile to Hope: November 24, 2022

November 24, 2022

Sharing life, beyond words

By: Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon

This is a bit of poem about how sometimes we know each other more in our shared silences and quiet observations of one another than we do in the ongoing chatter.  How that can be a deeply held way of knowing. How that can remind us of how God’s great silence wraps us in abiding love together through time.

Sharing Life, Beyond Words
Everyday there is wanting to tell you the story
that cannot be spoken, and to ask about your story,
the one that cannot be spoken, but perhaps,
these are too familiar. These are the lines and smudges
our skin is written with, the place where our eyes light,
the sound of the undersea inside all of us:
waves like loneliness, love, kindness, fear, intimacy
that break over the hidden shelf of shoreline
where our hearts gather, pick at the sand like pipers
on thin stick legs that never tumble in the surf. 
Everyday I have wondered about asking you
whether we could keep silence together,
like Quakers who forget how to use words,
who grow tired of sentences, and sit until they
quiver in their smooth, sweet bones,
the muscles and tendons speaking the language
of movement, the gentle vibration of every cell
voicing the true course, the way life is lived,
as though every gesture shakes loose a name,
a memory of being someone with someone,
a time when death came and stole who was needed,
a season when the children were born and the house
smelled of powder and soap and damp flesh,
the afternoon the car broke down
while the highway patrol man rested his hand
on the butt of his pistol leaning over the tire,
the way we rested our heads when stars
pillowed the black evening, and dreams 
imagined our lives as long summer drives in the country.
Everyday I have wanted to tell you the story that cannot be told,
sometimes urgently, and then, with deep aching, know
we are surrounded by extraordinary gifts of silence, 
of body, of words that say almost how we loved, how we cried,
how finally we must let go of trying and slide into the sea
where the pulse of the waves speaks of itself, and we with it,
and together, those who choose to move within it, no longer have to try,
or to worry about the tides, or to wonder about the arm’s quiver;
there is a change and our lives are widened, the hidden the only visible thing.
Perhaps in that transfigured sphere we see and speak a language of grace that heals and winnows. 

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