Awakened by the alarm-radio all seems as other yesterdays and the ebb of tide, your absence, the grains of sand beneath the foam, slowly, revealed. This now of morning asks for a response and I have none.
In the realm of nothingness there are no boundaries. Circumferences do not exist, there is no middle. Horizons are broad, never reached. The stillness frightens yet calmness abides. Unheard—harmonic sounds linger, echo-like, sensed as an undertow in an ocean's depth —a Siren's call. In the realm of nothingness there are no boundaries, It is a birthing place.
Some things he will see again and again. From car windows, rows of corn, their strobe a flipbook in which nothing much ever happens, and stands of white birches, fistfuls of lightning dropped, then turned wooden.
And other things, not again and again, but at least again. An adolescent rolling a barbell home from a garage sale. A dead snake the color of toothpaste and mermaids. A sassafras that laps sun, and, under it, dozens of gray mittens fuddling applause.
Not, though, the sky from the kitchen sink, where we bathe him. And not the parishioner who patted his ribs, birdcage that breathes, and she all wonderment despite the century that shows in her rouge. And in her eyes, blue and weeping as sores weep.
would you please rise for the reading of the Gospel?" is what the lector forgets to say before she begins
reading the verses from Mark this second Sunday after Easter. A few of us who are paying attention to tradition
or to the asterisk in the bulletin begin to wobble to our feet. Maybe one goody-two-shoes stands up strong to
make a statement, but most of us wait, chagrined by the sliding eyes and wavering postures around us and in us, by our
failure to remember, until we rise together in honor of the resurrection.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).