Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Poet's Gift

The clouds gather slowly, first in pairs of scouts sent out front of the armies amassing in the rear of the front. You can hear the rumbling of the chariots. The sky grows tinted with the billowing dark dust of the horses as they strain against their harnesses. Their etched muscular bodies, white with sweat, every sinew exposed, race frantically trying to be free of the weight that is restraining and chasing them. As they draw nearer the tinted sky grows darker. The energy seems to collide and roll over itself gathering all in its path like a rolling tympani in a syncopated beat overshadowing the woodwinds and the brass. The darkness, like paper, is torn by the flash of Arthurian swords lifted and clashed sending streaks of sparks tearing across the blackened sky.

The armies collide, pressure and force against pressure and force. One must be strong to wield such a sword and stand face to face with your own fear, mortality, hopes and destiny amidst the noise and screams of battle. Your neck becomes a swivel and your arms no longer have bones as they twist and turn to meet every blow struck against you. Your shield cuts into your hand and forearm as you deflect the blows. Your ears no longer hear the sounds of battle, long deafened by the sound of trumpets, metal against metal, and, perhaps, your own cries of fear and victory.

Suddenly a trumpet in the distance is heard. Or, is it a flute? You stand poised for yet another blow. In the midst of the orange dust of battle, you look up and see the blue you know. The clouds have passed and the blue sky above you looks like a lake shimmering and beckoning. You drop your arms, your sword and shield. You stand, with your back slightly arched, head tilted staring at the lake, the sky. Your body releases its hold of reality. You fall into the lake above you, feeling the water crash against your skin, the force of your plunge cleansing all signs of battle. Your momentum carries you deeper. At last your body slows and your hands and feet can feel what is either the bottom or just a shelf. You can breathe in this lake. You can see everything in this lake. Laughter erupts from your heart sending currents throughout the sky. Those unreleased and still in the field of battle, think more thunder is heard. You see the treasure that was waiting for you. Grasping it in your hand, you stretch your arms upward and thrust your body through the lake, the sky, and return to earth.

Celtic, ancient and modern songs of dance break out upon your return. With the motion and joy of one throwing rose petals into the wind you set free your treasure. The winds of battles, still raging, carry the gifts like little kisses which lay themselves upon the shields and swords of those still in battle. Your gift, claimed with your own sacrifice, quiets the battles within our own souls, calling us to likewise come and dive into the lake, the sky, and answer our own calling.

Time and distance forbid we know you. Yet through your gift we meet another, ourselves.