Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘annunciations’

Many thoughts are swirling in this season of Advent and Christmas, informed by prose and poetry, by hymns and carols, words stumbled across and words given.

I return to an old favorite to read and ponder and respond:

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason,
There’d have been no room for the child.

—Madeleine L’Engle

Well…

I am a very rational person. That is, I can rationalize just about anything.
—Me

Rational with my reasons;
rationalize my excuses;
ration my time, myself; 
rash decisions, made in haste.

Mary decided almost on the spot, yet
avoided rationality, 
		the this-makes-no-sense-just-now,
avoided rationalized excuse, 
		the yeah-but and here’s-why,
avoided rationing her body and belief, 
		the I-have-other-things-to-do,
avoided rashness, 
		the knee-jerk hell-no-you’re-crazy!

 
And then I read Denise Levertov (from “Annunciation,” A Door in the Hive):

We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
	almost always a lectern, a book; always
	the tall lily.
			Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
	the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
	whom she acknowledges, a guest.

	But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
	courage.
		The engendering Spirit
	did not enter her without consent. 
					God waited.

	She was free
	to accept or refuse, choice
	integral to humanness.

	[…]

	This was the minute no one speaks of,
	when she could still refuse.
	A breath unbreathed,
				Spirit,
					suspended,
							waiting.
		_____________________

	She did not cry, ‘I cannot, I am not worthy,’
	nor, ‘I have not the strength.’
	She did not submit with gritted teeth,
						raging, coerced.
	Bravest of all humans,
				consent illumined her.
	The room filled with its light,
	the lily glowed in it,
				and the iridescent wings.
	Consent,
		     courage unparalleled,
	opened her utterly.

 

How many times have I failed to consent? How many times, driven by fear or reason, have I missed out? In another section of the same poem, Levertov asks, “Aren’t there annunciations / of one sort or another / in most lives?” She proceeds to catalog our possible responses: consent…but in unwillingness, sullen pride, incomprehension; or turning away…in dread, weakness, despair, relief. And when we say no, when we turn away from that road, “Ordinary lives continue. / God does not smite them. / But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.”

Oh my God, how many gates and pathways have I willingly slunk away from? Thanks for not smiting, but oh, what might have been!

But then Aslan replies to Lucy, when she asks what might have been, “Child, did I not explain to you once before that no one is ever told what would have happened?”

And St. Benedict reassures, reminds, challenges—for it is all three of those in one message: Always we begin again.

May I learn to recognize annunciations when they are proffered. May I consent in courage.

Read Full Post »

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

A crime-fictional blog...

Envisioning The American Dream

A visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid Century Media

A Bit to Read

From quick ideas to full books, have a bit to read.

ipeniwrite

Insights, poems, inspirational words and dailies are contained in this blog

angieinspired

In Ordinary Language

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

Reality Research- The Opulence

Writer, avid reader and loves to travel.

rhondastephens

To Catch A Falling Cactus

lizbrownlee - poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

John Blase

The Beautiful Due

THE FIFTH SEMESTER

The Fifth Semester

A Reading Writer

I write because I read. I read because I write.

A Whispered Wind

The Works of Lori Carlson

mindfulandwell

Just another WordPress.com site

Darkland Poetry

Writings from Rachel Firmin

Promptly Written

Fun with Prompts by Lori Carlson

Heartstring Eulogies

Conjured by Sarah Doughty

| writing & rhythm |

solving world problems, one cup of tea at a time.

Is It Drafty in Here?

A Private Blog for Drafts and Feedback

Self-Care With Writers

this is our story

Live & Learn

David Kanigan

High and Low

An exploration of fine art, media, pop culture, and the world

Study. Read. Write.

Studying, blogging, reading and writing with a large cup of coffee nearby

olibtom

Alternative Views. Truths for a Better World.

theGoodVader

Growth, together

Walk the Self-Talk

Breathing Life into Thoughts

4'7" and Under

Conquering the world one inch at a time.

an [extra]ordinary life

what really happens between the status updates

The 2015 Writing Conference of Los Angeles

Get Your Writing Published: October 10, 2015

The Reading Zone

I am a reader, a teacher, a writer, a thinker, a reviewer, and a dreamer of dreams.

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

teacherhead

Zest for Learning... into the rainforest of teaching and school leadership

One Bike, One Year

a solo trip with a focus on storytelling, water, and climate change

The Eternal Traveller

Remembering past journeys, recording current trips and planning for the next one!

Coffee Shop Talk

I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say. --Flannery O'Connar

daystarr365

Just another WordPress.com site

Mostly True Stories of K. Renae P.

My Adventures in Teaching and Learning

Part-Time Monster

I eat books for breakfast.

IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE

LITTLE ANECDOTES FROM THIS DATE IN HISTORY

Hannah Reads Books

"To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." -Neil Gaiman