Friday, September 14, 2012

First cup—poetry day

erratum: I have always been "calendar challenged," just ask my students who keep finding syllabus mistakes. Yesterday's blog entry on Holy Cross Day should have been today's entry. Today is September 14; today is Holy Cross Day....

Friday will be poetry day.

Yesterday in Rel 320, Spirituality, Character and Service, we were considering Parker Palmer's thinking about life as pilgrimage to "our true selves" and how that pilgrimage is not only a personal journey but also a social and political one. In that context, we were thinking out loud about time (kairos and chronos) and liminal space--the space in which, I think, pilgrimage occurs.

That conversation reminded me of this poem, written earlier this year:

“These Others”: On the verge—to verge*

(verge: the point beyond which something happens or begins
a line, belt, or strip that acts as a boundary or edge
the edge, rim, or margin of something)

What does it mean to head out, to move in directions
you may have traveled often (or not), but this time with others?
New or old way, either way, a whole new journey begins with these others.
What does it mean to live on the verge with these others—
to live with and in a place that, because you’ve never traveled
with these friends before, becomes fresh terrain?

Pioneering. Heading west or east or
north or south. Or in... Like climbing into Conestoga. Like boarding
a ship and heading where no one
has gone before. Like Lewis and Clark heading to the Pacific—
only rumors guiding them, the sun, and the woman.

Except it is different. Because this verge you cross is the
soul’s land. A strange land, familiar and peculiar, known and not.
This land is personal, sometimes private; sometimes you expect and
find posted “No Trespassing.” (Do I ignore?) A terrain sometimes full of
inexpressible fears and inarticulate joys. Death walks this
path with you in the bodies of friends where mortality wears
liminal and stares through and we want to run but
instead draw closer—around the bonfire and wait out the night


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