Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hungry Heart’s Game Changer

The prodigal pilgrim sailor packs away the scrolled maps he bought long ago that promised a course to a supposed hidden treasure somewhere on some uncharted island .He blows the dust from his passage trusted weathered weary compass securing her in a box for storage wondering if the stars lied. Forty-eight months have passed at sea since his vessel about to be lost unrecorded wreckage was graced with another chance by great-unseen hand.

What seems to be an obscure lost dream in the blink of an eye the cracking open of his chest as if he were some about to be consumed lobster was what a member of the band would label a “game changer.”  The light at the end of the tunnel continues to slowly increase in size as his vessel proceeds in becalmed and stormy seas alike. The passage continues as he grows in acceptance of the impermanence.

The priests say it is their prayers and his attempt at faith that healed and saved him. The sisters of the Holy Trinity believe it was their love that kept him on course. The member of the band protests the proposition of any role in feeding the pilgrim’s fire.

The pilgrim sailor’s journal scribblings attempt to articulate the confusion of new labyrinth meanderings and concern about the possible lack of progress. Recent readings provide some elucidation while meditating at dawn the comings and goings and songs of the birds of the first light and how the great mother sun gradually illuminates everything without judgment. He does not command - his heart to beat, his blood to flow, and his lungs to breathe. Somehow they know their purpose. 

“Something bigger than everything is at work here.”

It is the wonder-filling peace and mustard seed rooted gratitude that begin to flourish around, within and through him as he tries just to be. The fog that encompassed the affirmation that he was not here for himself was burning away.

[On July 31, 2008 the family enjoyed an evening of celebration of hope in the “land of giants” by the Boss. The program’s tee shirt with the three swords and a heart was an appropriate garb, as the father would have a CABG (coronary artery bypass surgery) at dawn on August 4, 2008. That celebration was part of what promoters called “Magic Tour”…. and he believed.]


                        Epitaph on the gravestone of St. Ignatius of Loyola

     “Non coerceri a maximo, contineri tamen a minimo, divinum est.”

(Loose translation…. Not to be daunted or held back by the greatest challenge and yet to      be concerned with the nitty-gritty, that is the path to holiness.)
Autumn Poem

In the last jovial, clear-sky days of autumn
the mockingbird
in his monk-gray coat
and his arrowy wings
from the hedge to the top of the pine
and begins to sing — but it's neither loose, nor lilting, nor lovely —
it's more like whistles and truck brakes and dry hinges.
All birds are birds of heaven
but this one, especially, adores the earth so well
he would imitate, for half the day and on into the
its ticks and wheezings,
and so I have to wait a long time
for the soft, true voice
of his own glossy life
to come through,
and of course I do.
I don't know what it is that makes him, finally, look
to the sweet spring of himself, that mirror of heaven,
but when it happens —
when he lifts his head
and the feathers of his throat tremble,
and he begins, like Saint Francis,
little flutterings and leapings from the pine's forelock,
resettling his strong feet each time among the branches,
I am recalled,
from so many wrong paths I can't count them,
simply to stand, and listen.
All my life I have lived in a kind of haste and darkness
of desire, ambition, accomplishment.
Now the bird is singing, but not anymore of this world.
And something inside myself is fluttering and leaping, is
to type it down, in lumped-up language,
in outcry, in patience, in music, in a snow-white book.

                  -  Mary Oliver


Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery.
  - Shakespeare in Love




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