The Snow Man
Saturday, January 07, 2023
Tina shared poem by John Guzlowski:
What My Father Believed
He didn't know about the Rock of Ages
or bringing in the sheaves or Jacob's ladder
or gathering at the beautiful river
that flows beneath the throne of God.
He'd never heard of the Baltimore Catechism
either, and didn't know the purpose of life
was to love and honor and serve God.
He'd been to the village church as a boy
in Poland, and knew he was Catholic
because his mother and father were buried
in a cemetery under wooden crosses.
His sister Catherine was buried there too.
The day their mother died Catherine took
to the kitchen corner where the stove sat,
and cried. She wouldn't eat or drink, just cried
until she died there, died of a broken heart.
She was three or four years old, he was five.
What he knew about the nature of God
and religion came from the sermons
the priests told at mass, and this got mixed up
with his own life. He knew living was hard,
and that even children are meant to suffer.
Sometimes, when he was drinking he'd ask,
"Didn't God send his own son here to suffer?"
My father believed we are here to lift logs
that can't be lifted, to hammer steel nails
so bent they crack when we hit them.
In the slave labor camps in Germany,
He'd seen men try the impossible and fail.
He believed life is hard, and we should
help each other. If you see someone
on a cross, his weight pulling him down
and breaking his muscles, you should try
to lift him, even if only for a minute,
even though you know lifting won't save him.
Poem by John Guzlowski
The poem is taken from his book about his dad and mom and their experiences in WWII, Echoes of Tattered Tongues
The story says angels, wise folks, and shepherds came and saw the child.
It’s a good story, told for two thousand years.
In Maine tonight bright moon on fresh snow.
There’s a sparkle about arising faith alongside diminishing belief.
Bald mountain knows only itself.
Friday, January 06, 2023
The story changes
Poem says father sent son
To suffer. Maybe
Jesus was born into this
Suffering world existence
The way snow alights
On mountain because it’s there
Sky, cloud and cold air
This, and as this is, itself
To suffer this is
To allow what is to be
As fully engaged
With … with…not separate, with —
Presence intimately here
Forget puppet God,
Rather, come to understand
God as being-with
The whole of this existence
Nothing other, no outside
The inner life is
All of life seen through and through
Through and with and in
Itself, beholding what is
Allowing itself to be
I’d like to say this —
But “this” is unsayable.
So, that’s that.
But this —this resides well within itself.
When Gibran’s prophet-protagonist is asked to address the matter of talking, he responds:
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
This thought is morning light come up over night slumber.
(The silence of truth)
Thursday, January 05, 2023
In Rome, at this time
Pope Francis at Vatican
Gives homily at funeral mass
For pope emeritus Benedict XVI
(Remaining in simple wooden casket)
As bare-headed Argentinian Jesuit
Knows he, too, soon enough,
Will follow in death, as we all do