Bright Berries, One Winter
Winter, three days before that celebration that marks a certain birth.
Et hoc vobis
signum: Inveniétis infántem pannis
involútum, et pósitum in præsépio.
Outside, snow, and a cold wind below a clouded sky - and, there, that
snow-covered bush of bright berries which hungry Thrushes eat to
keep themselves alive. So many Thrushes, in one place: nine, eleven,
gathering on the bare if snowy branches of a nearby taller tree, to
descend down to feed, three, five, four, at a time.
Et súbito facta est cum Angelo multitúdo
milítiæ cæléstis, laudántium Deum, et
Glória in altíssimis Deo,
et in terra pax homíinibus bonæ voluntátis.
Inside, musick - reproduced by some modern means. Musick over five
centuries old, bringing such a strange melding of feeling, dreams,
memory, and thought. Musick, by Dunstable - Preco preheminencie,
most beautiful pieces ever written, bringing thus deep personal
Now, I cannot seem to help the tears that seep slowly forth (again)
from closing eyes, as - far beyond such bounds as causal Time keeps us
moving - I am replete, overflowed by memories from such lifeful strange
lives as have lived me, here:
... there, as she my Sue lay so softly breathing in her
bed, my hand to her hand, to watch her sleep to seep hour-long-slowly
there past the ending of her life...
There, as another love from
another life that lived me ran, freshly seeping forth from train, along
that crowded platform to leap to welcoming arms while people stared,
some smiling, and the warmth of bodies touching announced the ending of
our exile, of that month of her travelling...
There, one monk - with such
profusion of faith as so infused me then - who knelt, kneels, after
Compline in that lovely Chapel before carved centuries-old statue of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, feeling such peace as led me back in such respectful reposeful
to that my cell to sleep dreamless, content...
Before other lives came to so
sadly betake that boyish man away, back to his addiction to such
suffering-causing abstractions as would, decades, later, almost break
him as she - my Frances of eighteen months together - so then suffused
with such tragic fullsome sadness-regret-despair that her slim
delicate fingers, no longer to tenderly warmly touch her lover's face,
became transformed: a means to betake her, alone lonely, past the
ending of her life after I had so selfishly left her that one
So many tears, each some memory seeping sadly joyfully poignantly forth
even as so many wait, waiting, ready to heave forth; dormant, seeds
needing to bring hence new life as each new Spring becomes some
youthful ageing deedful wordful presencing of this one life which is my
life until such Time as this emanation also passes beyond that fated
Ending who lies in wait to take us all.
Thus am I
humbled, once more, by such knowing feeling of the burden made from my
so heavy past; so many errors, mistakes. So many to humble me here,
now, by such profusion as becomes prehension of centuries past and
passing, bringing as such a passing does such gifts of they now long
beyond life's ending who crafted from faith, feeling, experience,
living, love, those so rich presents replete with meaning; presenting
thus to us if only for a moment - fleeting as Thrush there feeding -
that knowing of ourselves as beings who by empathy, life, gifts, and
love, can cease to be some cause of suffering.
For no longer is there such a need - never was there such a need - to
cause such suffering as we, especially I, have caused. For are not we
thinking thoughtful beings - possessed of the numinous will to love?
But my words, my words - so unlike such musick - fail: such finite
insubstantial things; such a weak conduit for that flowing of wordless
feeling that, as such musick, betakes us far out beyond our causal
selves to where we are, can be, should be, must be, the non-interfering
beauty of a moment; a sublime life seeking only to so gently express
that so gentle love that so much faith has sometimes so vainly so tried
to capture, express, and manifest; as when that boyish man as monk past
Compline knelt in gentleness to feel to become such peace, such a human
happiness, as so many others have felt centuries past and present, one
moment flowing so numinously to another.
No need, no Time - before this one weakful emanation ends, in ending -
to berate, condemn, such love, need and faith as may betake so many in
just three days to celebrate such birth as touched, touches, them, and
others still. So much good, gentleness, there, and from; and so much
suffering, caused, while the centuries past, leeching, meshed one
suffering to another.
Does the numinous, presencing, there, now outweigh such suffering,
caused - as I, my past, might must outweigh what wordful presents Fate
begifts me, now?
I do not know: only see the emanations, nexing, melding: a bush of
berries to keep life alive through Winter. Our choice, our need - here,
now; as the Thrushes there have no choice, now, as mid-Winter came to
bleaken with snowy cold that world that is their world.
For it is for us, surely, to treasure such gifts, given - to feel then
be the gift, given.
22 December 2010
Image Credit: Botticelli - Madonna del Magnificat