Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Love and Death — and coming alive

Bishop Stephen brought a fabulous love poem to today’s senior staff Eucharist. Reflecting on the physicality of Anglo-Catholic worship, and the propensity to kiss altars, books, even human beings sometimes, this poem somehow made sense of breaking bread — a kind of St John of the Cross thing. The poem is from Carol Ann Duffy’s extended exploration of love’s moods and realities, Rapture.

If I was Dead

If I was dead,
and my bones adrift
like dropped oars
in the deep, turning earth;

or drowned,
and my skull
a listening shell
on the dark ocean bed;

if I was dead,
and my heart
soft mulch
for a red, red rose;

or burned,
and my body
a fistful of grit, thrown
in the face of the wind;

if I was dead,
and my eyes,
blind at the roots of flowers,
wept into nothing,

I swear your love
would raise me
out of my grave,
in my flesh and blood,

like Lazarus;
hungry for this,
and this, and this,
your living kiss.

Carol Ann Duffy, 1955-
And then, precisely timed in the great scheme of things, I noticed a quote from Howard Thurman on Maggi Dawn’s blog:
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.

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