Seeking Mystery


The Mysteries of Mary Magdalene, painted by Andrea Solario, Piero do Cosimo, Domenico Fetti

I have been pondering the first and last lines of my Magician poem all day, and thought I might try to make something patterned and structured and rhymed, but the day has gotten away from me, and free verse is easier for the riff. It means that I do not often try my hand at more challenging forms during April and November, because I am caught up in the dailiness of school and grading. I’ll have to give myself some formal poem assignments for the summer.

Listen to the wisdom of the sage.
“What is language, but a kind of magic?
Here am I, in my own organism, my tower of Self,
and you there in your own lonely keep,
and how shall we bridge the gap between us
but by language? These webs of sound
we string together, we cast them through sky,
drawing out threads of meaning,
as with a wand, fiery threads of sense.

“We build this bridge on air,
scratch symbols on a page with feathers,
and stories flow like water between us,
borne on gossamer strands
of word on word on word.
We manage and tend our loneliness
by weaving cloths of language.
How can we find each other in the shadow
but for the flow of speech we offer
and the magic of these words upon the page?

TOMORROW’S PROMPT (April 4):
Today the Fool met the Magician, a mentor who taught her something of the nature of illusion and magic, of her power to work with the elements of earth and air and water and fire. Tomorrow, she will meet another mentor: The High Priestess, who will invite her to learn of the Mysteries. Perhaps this is Mary Magdalene, contemplating the skull, or offering the grail, or reading her book. The priestess is the keeper of the doorway of the most sacred of the mysteries, and so she is a challenger as well as a mentor. The Fool must prove herself before she enters the realm of the priestess. Tomorrow’s poem will be about Mystery.

Gratitude List:
1. Refried Beans. Such a basic comfort food. Add salsa, hot sauce, and a little sour cream, and it’s a delightful bean porridge for a chilly night.
2. Feedback. Sometimes it just nice to know what other people think. Not to validate, but to get a sense of whether people perceive me as I perceive myself.
3. Thoughtful guidelines for living more deliberately and authentically with our technology. That was a good chapel this morning.
4. How language links us.
5. Seeking wonder and awe. Preserving the mystery.

May we walk in Beauty!

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2 thoughts on “Seeking Mystery

  1. The High Priestess of Social Media Laments Her Wisdom

    Sometimes it seems a synchronistic mystery,
    the blink of recognition when I scroll
    down the hallway—or the wallway—to the door
    of your confessions and then enter,
    prepared to meet the challenge
    as if this could be written like a book

    or like the pages making up a book
    with a procedure: romance or mystery,
    something solved or culminated. Challenges
    loom larger ‘round the edges of the scroll,
    sentences mentioned but not entered,
    not privileged. There is no door.

    I knock anyway, hoping for some doorway
    to some room that is already booked
    by someone else so when we try to enter
    there’s no getting ‘round the mystery.
    Who might be there? I want to scroll
    until the text reveals the challenge

    of revelation or resolution, challenging
    my conception of a window or a door.
    If your fingers were a ribbon ‘round a scroll
    I could untie you, but I am more a book—
    wide open— and cannot tap the mystery
    easily as keys. They melt me, move me, enter

    collective consciousness with the entered
    unaware that they are being challenged
    to warm hands over dimensional mystery
    or to expand quick thoughts through doors
    that slow the ache, that text the wrecked books
    and feed immersion. Keep scrolling.

    Perhaps a spell will weave throughout the scroll
    in my own hands. A fortune. A pen to enter
    through and in the doing we might find the book
    that reveals every secret. Ah, the challenge
    then? Is not to tell. Behind which door
    will be the voice that holds the mystery?

    You may find that scrolling past will challenge
    you to enter states of being that few doors
    can close like a book. We brush against mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

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