Book of Kells
The text of the day is open to Luke, chapter sixteen,
verse ten. The initial N, made up of blond men
facing off, grappling and tugging at each other’s beards,
becomes the first word in the section that warns us
that no servant can serve two masters. Irony intended.
Later, in beautiful insular majuscule, the open letters filled
in red and blue, we read You cannot serve both god and money.
I wish that these words would rise off the page, a swarm of bees,
become honey to spread on our daily bread. When the scribes
made an error, in a world before white-out, the correct word
was inserted in a box of red dots. Aren’t there words today
we’d like to amend like that? In this dimly lit room, circling
glass cases, I return to view the same vellum over again,
Twelve hundred years later, clear as the day it was written,
I think of Henri Nouwen: The word is born in silence,
and silence is the deepest response to the word.