Thursday, May 16, 2013

take courage, I have conquered the world

I walked by familiar buildings, trying to love them, but failing to like them.
You've changed, they cried out, indignant and reserved.
The old you, they said, would have been ecstatic to be here.
The old me, I said, is as dead as the Minnesota trees.
The trees here have leaves alight with the green glow of photosynthesis.
I don't believe in stagnation.
I stared back at the limestone which I knew had changed, too.
You house stories that I am not a part of.


A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Melodies carry memories with them.
As I pushed play, I was instantly back in my happy little single in Badin Hall, remembering the sweet feeling of box fans blowing tepid air through the warm little room, and the way ND smells during the summertime.
I thought of walking everyday the same path across South Quad.
I remembered how the sun felt on my wet, newly-showered hair.
I relived, for three minutes and forty-eight seconds, the sweetness of the summer.

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
--Isaiah 41
Words carry stories with them.
Stories that begin on quiet August mornings, in the middle of the Minnesota prairies, at the height of summer, as it is about to tip over and fall into autumn.

I sat in a grove of trees, green sunlight filtering through the leaves.
Somewhere in the midst of my over-active mind there was a still small space of silence.
 Enough for a heart to rest.

The Christian sings with joy, and walks, and carries this joy.
-Pope Francis

Prufrock measures his life in coffee spoons. 
I've measured my adolescence in brightly colored notebooks and cloth-bound commonplace books.
Memory is one of those tricky things that can often get warped as we grow older; it evolves and shifts over time
Writing is a fact check for memory.
We can't always interpret events the way we would choose, from a later, wiser perspective.
Sometimes, we have to revisit what we were six years ago, or six months ago, or six weeks ago.
Sometimes, that person is embarrassingly naive, or laughably clueless.
But they probably didn't have the advantage of knowing as much as we know now.

You are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you
--Christ, to his disciples, because they had to learn to walk by Faith on their own two legs.
He went onward, and left them to follow him.

Last Sunday, at the end of mass, I don't think I sang the closing hymn because I was watching an intrepid little explorer boldly wandering farther and farther away from his family in the pew, into the unknown regions of the church aisle.
His little face lit up with a mischievous, joyful smile as he waddled out of reach of his little brother's hands, snatching at his shirt in a futile attempt to get the wayward young tot to return home.
As his rolly-polly little legs brought him to the edge of my pew I looked down at him and smiled.
He grinned back a gummy little smile of pure joy. 
The joy of one who had discovered that his two small feet could take him anywhere.

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