June 6, 2010
What lay this morning
On the wet sand
Was so ugly
I sighed with a kind of horror as I lifted it
Into my hand...
It had been flung out of the stormy sea
Into the world’s outer weather, and clearly it was
The sea still heaved, and heavens were dark,
The storm unfinished,
And whatever was still alive
Stirred in the awful cup of its power
Though it breathe like fire, though it love
The long of its own life…
It lay in my hand
All delicate and revolting.
With the tip of my finger
I stroked it,
Tenderly, little darling, little dancer,
Gray pouch slowly
Filling with death.
Today I preached at my congregation about how beauty can be found in the midst of ugliness and tragedy, such as in the oil spill. How appropriate this poem. At first glance the blobs on the beach, the Mouse or the tar ball, has no meaning for us. Both speak of death – and hence bring messages of life. Life fills with meaning as our life fills slowly with death. Still, if I could choose, if I had the power of the gods, I would have the mouse live and the gulf clean. I long to be awake enough to know when I do have a choice, to bring life if not to mouse or gulf, then to relationships and other beings in my purview.
Where do you have the choice to give life?