Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "Passion Week"

This morning, I am thinking of that term, "The Passion."  I tend to think of it in love and sex terms, as in to respond with passion.  As an adolescent prone to reading bodice-ripper romances, using that term in conjunction with Christ and the crucifixion confused me to no end.

If only I had read Henri Nouwen earlier.  In today's meditation, I discovered this nugget of wisdom:  "It is important for me to remember that Jesus fulfills his mission not by what he does, but by what is done to him.  Just as with everyone else, most of my life is determined by what is done to me, and thus is passion.  And because most of my life is passion, things being done to me, only small parts of my life are determined by what I think, say or do.  I am inclined to protest against this and to want all to be action, originated by me.  But the truth is that my passion is a much greater part of my life than my action.  Not to recognize this is self-deception and not to embrace my passion with love is self-rejection" (Show Me the Way:  Readings for Each Day of Lent, page 125, taken from Road to Daybreak).

Almost a decade ago, the marriage of two of my very good friends came untwining apart during the Lent and Easter season.  Suddenly, symbols swirled around me in a whole new way.  It was interesting and agonizing to hear their tales of heartbreak while finishing the season of Lent and going through Holy Week.  Out of that experience came many poems.  One of them is below, published here for the very first time.

Passion Week

He decides to remove this cup
from her lips, to rescue
her from this crucifixion
of their marriage. He removes the splinters
from her back as he divides
their possessions. He frees
her from her wardrobe of thorns
and bandages her wounds.

If only he could have lavished
this attention on her earlier,
at the beginning of their marriage, not the end.
How might the prophecy change
had he anointed her head with oil,
cooked her meals magically
made from multiplied loaves and fishes,
if he only he had worked harder to transform
water into wine.

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