in the moment of waiting
life and death hangs heavy on the 2nd floor
while right outside the clear glass pane
life goes on
the building of new houses
the preparation for moving storms
wind fills the waiting sail
the sun comes and goes
shifting easily moment to moment just like the tricky brain of the dementia patient
spaces of love held in careful prayer
music and forgiveness flow
full of light
cleaning the stagnant air
I have no control here in this radical space between worlds
angels fly around through the night
the reaper waits patiently in his corner
time slips freely through open hearts
gentle hands cup liquid grace
coaxing a smile here and there
the terrible beauty of death sits on gaunt faces
as a wavering query spills from dry lips,
Is this crossing over?
we, in a circle of three, agree that the crossing is near
it is well
it is well
The Wisdom of Death
Many years ago,
Around the autumn of my thirty-seventh year,
A woman , with wisdom written on her brow, woven into her long gray braid ,
came into my life, who would say these words
And a few more, for a short two years.
Her words would weave sorrow into joy,
She would help me see, feel and hear
What adoration was bound up in my deep pain
My body torn open and broken for God.
That by expressing the wound the healing would be born into Light.
“ Place me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
It’s jealously unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
Like a mighty flame.”
Song of Songs 8: 6
Her tongue was a cool burn
Through a steamy fog;
Her eyes deep blue
Taking the world in
Breathing holy flames that little dogs and chattering squirrels felt;
They quieted, to bow.
Her right arm, linked into my sweater as we walked through the park;
And it didn’t matter, if rain, or the wind of the Spirit God broke off orange and red leaves from the highest trees and threw them down onto grieving, gasping hearts
As perhaps for a second or three, the colors would transform into maybe a miracle or two;
For we were serving the angels
And leaning into the impossible abyss of death.
Facing scandals and refusing to pardon the emptiness that shatters the illusions,
Until there is deep rest…
Peace that passes all understanding,
Bearing witness to the beauty of the skies,
Reckoning with how small a casket can really get.
“ Many waters cannot quench love;
Rivers cannot sweep it away…”
And God holds all of the children
Whether man, woman or child
In a healing pool
Until the day when God captures the heart.
For the woman, who was carrying for this soul,
Had known of such deaths in her years on the earth,
And witnessed the torture and truth,
That within the wound and the loss of a child
Is the song that awakens the Birth
Rev. Donna Knutson