That’s what it’s called the men tell me after our discussion of Matthew Five and what it means to turn the other cheek, or not, the latter being the path that brought them here. But what, I wonder is a “natural life”? Isn’t it, really, the life led by everyone, those behind walls and those without, each of us living the one life given which is to say there’s no parole for anyone. Yet listening to the men describe how they found Jesus, or rather He found them despite everything, or maybe because, I think of Paul on the road to Damascus, the sudden light, blinding, transforming, reforming, or then again this, a slow inner revealing, the shy gift of sweet snowdrops
This is the season, trees stripped clean and what was hidden now is seen, the path that leads into the woods, the littered leaves, the crooked walls that once marked fields where grass grew tall, remnants of a time long past, reminding me that nothing lasts.
Will death be like this, do you think, the day the breath does not return, will our true nature be revealed when stripped of memory, heart, bone, sight, will we, too, open to the sky, and, like the forest, fill with light?
"More later" ends her every note but "more" or "later" never comes so what is more I'll never know though later I can understand as weeks and months and years go by with many things still left unsaid as we creep closer to the edge, and after that who knows what's next? Though she might say oblivion, the body buried, dust to dust, I believe in things unseen, the mystery of something more, the thin place where two worlds meet, the numinous in roots and wings.
Kneeling on Boston Common it's this foot, naked, resting in my lap with clean towel, socks, warm water waiting, that tells me this is what happens after a cold winter of deep snow when you're homeless in dirty socks and cracked shoes that don't fit: this foot, bloody, swollen, toes deformed, I wash gently, first one, then the other, and never have I felt so close to Jesus, his feet, bare, pierced, bloodied, nailed to the wooden cross.