17 December 2008

some light

Today was an industrial day. All gray and brown and melting snow. Driving on Page there are only the low-lying brick buildings and bread-box houses with dingy siding, there is the smudge of salt and ice on everything. The brown grass peeks out from under the snow. Bits of pale blue sky come through the heavy clouds. This day needs to give in to night and be covered over in a more forgiving darkness. It makes me feel like I am in Detroit or Minneapolis, makes the song "Life in a Northern Town" play in my head.

As dusk falls I find myself on the couch looking at the tree & listening to a nice mix of Mindy Smith, Sufjan, Charlie Brown and Over the Rhine Christmas albums. I just finished my first fun read, The Great Divorce, I'm making plans to go to U City library to find Animal, Vegetable Miracle.

Night has come and I am in against the cold, thinking about this: "So far from sitting on clouds playing harps, as people often imagine, the redeemed people of God in the new world will be agents of his love going out in new ways, to accomplish new creative tasks, to celebrate and extend the glory of his love." N.T.Wright. If you haven't read Surprised by Hope, do so. You will not regret it.

The lights are strung around the evergreen tree. It is in these quiet moments that I find myself thinking about those times when the sun breaks through the clouds, about being surprised glimpses of things that are far too bright to be of this world. I find myself thinking about how learning to see makes your heart ache more, not less.

I found this over at oakies. It is too lovely to not share as we all here, we all here are waiting. And yet to some who waited long ago, there was tangible fulfillment of promises in some of the most unexpected ways.

All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe in you,

There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams.

Short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.

They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.

The voice — no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draw near
another one
do what you can.

- Czeslaw Milosz

O come.
O come.


Anonymous laura said...

peaceful advent to you, angela! i am so glad you like this poem, too. czeslaw milosz is one of my favorites: sometimes grumpy, sometimes tender. i hope you have a wonderful christmas.

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Animal Vegetable Miracle" will change your life! Hum, I still have Sarah's copy-not so good with returning books (as you may recall) ;)
Hug to you and you sparkling mind.
Heidi V.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Neil E. Das said...

V. nice post Angela. Did you like "The Great Divorce?" I think it is pretty amazing.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

that was lovely!

and I also liked The Great Divorce.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Thankful Paul said...


11:25 PM  

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