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Thursday, January 24, 2008

poetry party 11: what I've found

invitation to poetry icon

tell us what you've found...Christine explains,
at Hood CanalThe photo was taken at my hermitage on the Hood Canal. Whenever I take the ferry out there I am reminded of Jane Siberry's lyrics "Will you sail cross the water and tell us what you found" and so I thought today I'd make that the loose subject of today's poetry prompt.

loose subject—indeed it is, though still I'll pick up on the lovely boat on the lake and add an image of my own.

I love water imagery, and have a persistent habit of connecting water to baptism. I'll begin by paraphrasing from a couple of my own blogs; the first is from a post I did way back in August 2002, shortly after I birthed desert spirit's fire, that today I pretty much reserve for my more formal theology: Jacob/Israel; and more recently, River on Fire! Both times I included a passage from one of my all-time favorite songs:

"The Ark," from Gerry Rafferty's City to City, (1978)
See, the dark night has come down on us,
The world is living in its dream,
But now we know that we can wake up from this sleep,
And set out on the journey…
We'll take the road that leads down to the waterside…
We'll meet out on the water,
Where all strangers are known
The truth is there to set you free...
River so often in Scripture is boundary, border or barrier – for Israel, the Jordan was all three, as it was for Jesus, as it is for us...We baptize within the context of the gathered community, which represents the whole People of God in every time and every place; as the waters of the baptismal river embrace us, the separations, distinctions and distractions that once were barriers become the boundary and border of our new life together. Baptism's waters carry us home to a place, an attitude and a condition of safety and embrace, where "I" and "me" become we and us. Later on I wrote, "I've been thinking so much about the fire of the Presence of God we find throughout scripture, and in our lives today. Pentecostal fire?" In my sermon on Advent 3, 2006 I challenged, "Today I'm asking you if the waters of baptism quench the Holy Spirit's Pentecostal fires? Think about it!" sea cools glowing edges

Although each of us *should* discover a physical, emotional and total place of belonging anywhere we find the people of God, that theory often doesn't play out in reality; for too long I've been dismayed and disappointed that my expectation I'd find community and identity hasn't been happening, but now back to the party! Christine asked what we've found out on the water; forever I've been a visual person, and in the quiet tranquility of Christine's photograph I see assurance I'll find stuff of life and stuff for giving life that will settle my heart, renew my body and rebirth my soul, while my own intensely colored and energized "sea cools" reminds me of the Holy Spirit's pervasive, irresistible, oftentimes healing and frequently re-forming fire that water cannot quench or destroy. God baptizes us with water, with spirit and with fire, all of which freely interplay, while paradoxically and beyond human logic together bestow life to us and prepare us to be God's life-giving, life-sustaining presence in the world. Amen? Amen!

1 comment:

Abbey of the Arts said...

Thanks for these soulful words Leah, I hadn't thought about the water and boundary connection before so thanks for that nugget.