Subtitle: I live in Lent
There are places within, tho’ for fear, I’d venture not, in integrity’s sake, I dare go…
Of pot-holed avenues, darkened alleyways of left, lost best intentions…
Of gardens long gone to seed, in the permanent-winter of the death of once grand dreams…
Of motley, moldy dwellings, fenceless with toothless shutters, inhabited by skeletal recollections of false choices…
Ne’ertheless, oft I visit lest I fail to be true to my self and to recall how the Spirit enfleshed in sincerity’s mettle ever leads to resurrection-light.
© 2022 PRA
#personalpilgrimage #selfexploration #selfexamination #spiritualgrowth
2 thoughts on “Via Dolorosa”
Oh, dear Paul. Dark….. and yet I recognize so well what you capture in this poem. I know my own tendency to spend time in those dim, musty hallways and ruined gardens, reliving and trying to recast the past, and reimagining what might have been had I been earlier aware of my Self (the one I am tempted to judge uniquely God-ordained and valued) as my history unfolded.
And yet, even the broken windows of those sad, echoing spaces let in light, and decaying flowers are sometimes a promise of nourishment for future blooms. Resurrection light is, I have found, very difficult to hide from. It has, on many an occasion, illuminated a face I didn’t want to recognize as my own, but which, on reflection (perhaps in a glass, darkly), I am finally learning it is my deep calling to accept and in some way, to love, because it is the one, after all, that God gave me to live within and to show to the world.
It is, I believe, those drear places within that mark the sacred territory of the Soul’s journey to know itself, to be itself, to know to Whom it belongs, to come upon the gifts it has always been marked to offer to the world. Does the pathway lead through Gethsemane? Does the road lead to a tomb? Very probably. Almost certainly. And yet…. and yet…. that light….. those green shoots poking through the detritus in the long-dead garden…. the fact that you write such words…. and I must write words in response….
Much love to you, dear Paul,
Thank you, my beloved sister and compatriot in this life’s journey that, as the psalmist would aver, both green pastures and the shadow of death — each and both perceived through our experience.
I thought, as I wrote: “What had stirred these images…these imaginings in and through me?” Then, as the question formed, I realized that I, for the past few days, had…have been in a dark place; the product, I believe, of my innate mental illness, that defect (or those defects) of my inner-wiring that is susceptible to spiraling down into deep pits of remorse. Surely, I think, something must have triggered this episode. However, upon reflection, I know not what or how. What I do know is that when such moments occur (and, surely, not only then), I am lead to renew my review of the lesser lights of my history of thinking and feeling, intending and acting. Blessedly, e’en when enduring the trial of trailing again over that barren terrain, I always (so far) find a pathway illumined by Love, which leads me out of the darkness. Throughout, I am grateful for each and both. Of course, the light of Love! Yet also the darkness, which, to paraphrase the Argentinian poet Antonio Porchia, reminds me that I am not “the highest point.”
With love, always and in all ways,