Thursday, October 7, 2010

Logan International

In the city called Wait,
also known as the airport,
you might think about your life --
there is not much else to do.
For one thing,
there is too much luggage,
and you're truly lugging it --
you and, it seems, everyone.

What is it, that you need so badly?
Think about this.

Earlier, in another city,
you're on the tarmac, a lost hour.
You're going to miss your connection, and you know it,
and you do.
You're headed for five hours of nothing.
And how long can you think about your own life?

What I did, to save myself,
was to look for children, the very young ones
who couldn't even know where they were going, or why.
Some of them were fussing, of course.
Many of them were beautifully Hispanic.

The storm was still busy outside, and snow falling
anywhere, any time, is a wonder.
But even more wonderful, and maybe the only thing
to put your own life in proportion,
were the babies, the little ones, hot and tired,
but still
gurgling, chuckling, as they looked --
wherever they were going, or not yet going,
in their weary parents' arms (no!
their lucky parents' arms) --
upon this broken world.

Mary asks what is it that we need so badly. I desire that children would not be looking upon a broken world. Yet, if the world is such a bad place how is that that gurgling, wondrous babies came into being? Airports are such places where we look at the baggage of our lives, open it up, and perhaps leave some of it behind. Or take home more to ponder at some later date.

A few years ago I was in a busy airport when I saw a bat flying at people level on the walkway between gates. People were ducking and darting. I set down my baggage, took of my jacket to use as a net, and set off to catch the bat. I was not having much success when one man took a swipe at the bat to harm it. I told him that I would catch the bat and let it go outside. I almost had the bat when the same man took off his shoe, threw it, and the bat fell to the floor. I just stared at the man. Why would he kill an innocent being when he knew that I would take care of her? I scooped up the bat, still alive, and went to the airline attendant at the gate and asked if she could let me outside so I could let the bat die in peace, or perhaps recover. She just started at me and asked, "What are you, a veterinarian?" She did let me out side and I placed the bat on the connector walkway on the tarmac.

Returning inside, many eyes were on me. I wanted to shout, "What are we, humans?" In that moment the world indeed seemed so very broken.

When have you experienced "brokenness" and what reminded you of wholeness?


  1. I love looking in the eyes of a newborn, so close to the unknowing, knowing place.

    Your experience in the airport, with the bat, is disturbing. Combined with MO's poem . . . What is it you think you need so badly . . . I feel such a sadness, at this state we've come to.

  2. I appreciate you reading this post so that I have someone to share this with - though the sadness is palpable in this moment, as I'm guessing it is for you.

    What would happen if were has babes, in that knowing/unknowing place?