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Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

 

Holy Week always brings up for me a mixture of feelings.  I feel a call to silent contemplation.  Years ago I offered a Good Friday meditation.  It originally came out of a prayer vigil from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.  I had signed up for the 6 AM time slot and was moved by the rising of the sun as I sat alone in the quiet church.  We don’t have a vigil anymore, but the idea of sitting in quiet meditation early in the morning of Good Friday is still something I want to experience and share.

With four of us in the sanctuary, I read aloud Mary Oliver’s poem “I Happened to be Standing.”  Mary Oliver is a favorite poet of mine.  I love how simple and profound her poems are.  I searched for this one.  I remembered how it looked on the page, but I didn’t remember the title or which book it was published in.  I located five of her books around my home, none of them placed together.  Finally, A Thousand Mornings sang to me from the living room shelf, and there it was in all its humble glory.

I Happened to Be Standing

I don't know where prayers go,
     or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
     half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
     crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
     growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
     along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
     of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can't really
     call being alive
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
     or does it matter?
(Read and listen to the complete poem here.)

 

As I sat, I recalled Psalm 22 from the Maundy Thursday stripping of the altar. I wanted to respond to this psalm with my own psalm. I wrote:

Deus, Deus meus

My God, my God, why have you forgiven me?
The toll of the cardinal song
echoes You are my child.

Long ago, I carried a child in my own womb
felt her heart beat with mine,
felt the soft body roll inside.

Is this how you love me, God?

I held the hand of his father
as he passed into your light.
I let go of his quiet strength.

Is this how you love me, God?

When I think on these things,
I can know kindness.
I can hear stillness in the noise.
I can feel love in the bird’s song.

When you are near me, God,
My soul lives for you.

–Margaret Simon (c) 2018

Happy, Happy Easter! May you find joy in the quiet and love in the sounds of the birds!

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for March Slice of Life Challenge.

roses 3

Today is Good Friday.  For me, it’s always a day to be quiet.  We don’t have school today, so I can take my time waking up (I still wake in the dark.), sip my coffee slowly, and sit with these roses.  Our local grocer sells roses for $10.99 a dozen.  Every once in a while, I buy them for myself.  I bought these over a week ago, and they are still bright and blooming.  Flowers can make the saddest of days seem brighter.  So in the glow of roses, I contemplate a poem.

 The yarn is a tangled mess.

I could have taken the time
to prepare, rolled patiently
this thread into a ball
the needle would glide
smoothly through.
But I left out this step.
Now I am struggling with knots.

How in our daily haste to get started,
to make something new,
we make the process harder.

Yet, as I sit and detangle,
my mind unravels, too.
I release the struggle
into my fingers
let go of the tangles,
knit a prayer.

–Margaret Simon

 

Poetry Friday round-up with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

Poetry Friday round-up with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

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30 Day Poetry Challenge  Day 6: Write a poem of any length incorporating every word from your latest Facebook status update in any order.

It took a while to find my last real post.  My posts have been my blog, so I kept looking.  I passed over the post about Berry Queens, not really that poetic.  Then I came to this post: With this little extra day, I was able to finish The Hunger Games just in time for the movie. I resisted and resisted, being encouraged by my student to keep reading. I hated the violence, but now I am intrigued to see the movie.  Too many words to work with, but I took the liberty of picking out some that fit with my thoughts on this gorgeous Good Friday.

In the Springtime, our yard becomes a jungle
growing vines cling to brick
resisting my pull, my tug
my violent raging against invasion.

With time, I am able to clear a path
follow it to the water’s edge.
In this silent game, I keep
tending and trimming.

Today is the day of hunger;
In passion, he gave up his life.
I walk through the mud
plucking the weeds.

How can I know such hunger, such pain?
I didn’t see the movie avoiding the sight
of violence on my Savior.
Yet, the story intrigues:

A crown of thorns–
betrayal–
Here is the man you call
King of the Jews.
It is the law
He should die. Why?
For me? For my clutch of weeds?

I look up into the strong arms
of grandmother oak and notice
the resurrection fern
open, happy, and green.

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