"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

12 June 2012

"Giveaway" (Kathleen Norris)

I've been savoring a couple books of Kathleen Norris' poems over the past couple weeks. I loved the rhythm of life reflected in this one.

It reminds me to be thankful through the seasons.


In the desert
dryness promotes the formation 
of flower buds. This is not aesthetics,
but survival.

In the cancer ward, we laugh.
Solemnly attentive as a deacon
at Mass, a nurse prepares an enema.

Serena tells stories: Mrs. Long-Nose,
a childhood invention,
who moved by farting
in her voluminous skirts. The nurse laughs, too. 


There is a flame
at the center,
gold center
of each bud.
Sometimes we see it,
when blooms are spent.

For three nights I have been sleeping
in Serena's star quilt,
wrapped in a daughter's song of needle and thread,
a song the color of parched grass. 


Joy at the heart of things:
Serena in the home, sightless at last,
asks to sit by the window
so she can watch the moon rise.

Serena with her daugther,
spending the last money 
on bingo, and blankets for the funeral giveaway.

"Did you have fun?" a nurse asked.
"As much fun as you can have," Serena replied,
"playing bingo when you're blind."  

Speaking of thankful, at dinner tonight, Nich quoted something he heard on NPR today: "Food tastes better when you're grateful."

What truth.
Art Credit: With Needle and Thread

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