Being Known

Do you have items in your home, or experiences in your life, that carry meaning only you can sense—but still struggle to explain? Do you ever try to describe the meaning and end up with abstract babble?

That’s how I feel every time I try to describe a centerpiece in my writing room, consisting of John the Baptist, a nest, and two blue eggs. John came from Arizona, the nest from north Mississippi, and the eggs from south Mississippi. Somehow they form a piece of art and a source of inspiration for poetry.

Sometimes poetry doesn’t make sense, but the process of writing poetry helps us to make sense of mysteries. I hope you enjoy this reflection which is as much an exercise as it is a poem. May we all take time to pause with the mysteries God brings to to us for prayerful reflection and creative response.

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian

Being Known

He would want you

To have John the Baptist,

said the sister-in-law

of the deceased.

I never met the “he”

of whom she spoke.

I only knew

He needed a burial.

The urn of his ashes

Sat tall on the gravestone:

Regal, long, and shimmering

In the falling light of Friday,

Less than twenty of us

Gathered on that hill

When we laid him to rest.

The words of gospel,

The prayers for peace,

The liturgy of committal

Are the same for everyone:

The sinner, the saint,

The known, the mysterious.

No matter how known we are,

By few or by many,

The repeated words speak our sameness

As dust, as ash, as beloved.

Yet he was the only one

Who gave John the Baptist

To a stranger.

John has become

My home’s center for mystery.

Lamb on his shoulders,

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He stands guard over a nest

And two blue eggs.

He stands in the room

Where I write

While my dog dreams.

He speaks with presence,

A voice in the wilderness,

A voice in the wildness

Of unbirthed life,

That there is more to us

Than the dust to which we return,

That there is more to who we are

Than unformed and uniform words.