advent apertures 2019: day 5

Between waves, under the moon’s light,

after the passing of your smile into memory

when the last silence falls and your voice

is no longer heard over the shadows

of the earth, when even the rain has stopped

and my memory and my words and my arms

and my hands that held you have fallen away

with the tide of time, retreating forever

into the beckoning everlasting dark;

when everything we know has gone,

when my heart has stopped and yours

no longer calls to mine through the distance

of our time together – others will live in this life

and this love and this light, that we have set

in motion, so that underneath that far off,

yet to arrive and sheltering darkness,

underneath the deep and almost touchable nearness

of all things, underneath the breath of our words

joining together for this privileged time of times,

they will see in the distant pinprick stars

the returning light of the dawn we made together,

as we live in the light and the love of those

who came before us, and who helped us to see

and celebrate and recognize ourselves

and who brought us here and whose light

we now pass on, so that even at the end

of time, even in what looks like silence,

even in the quietest sense of disappearance,

even in the far distance of times beyond

our present understanding, we will be remembered

in the way others still live, and still live on, in our love.


David Whyte

From The Bell and the Blackbird (Many Rivers Press, 2018). 


The fourth morning after an encounter that might change my life, if I let it. 

“How can this be?”  How can I be a part of God’s story?  Am I truly a part of this narrative that stretches back to the dawn of time and space?  Can it really be that I am a uniquely gifted, uniquely loved and loving part of what God longs to do on earth; on earth, in my time, in my place?

Just as I’m thinking about the way time and space have created our planet in striations and accretions, I remember that one of my favourite words is palimpsest: ‘a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing; something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form’. 

Is it possible that every encounter I have with God writes and rewrites its traces on me, so that I am made up of layers upon layers of God’s revelations to me?  Surely, most of this will never be visible to anyone else? 

And yet, is it possible that revelation by revelation, encounter by encounter, I am painted into becoming that character whom only I am meant to be in all eternity; I become intrinsic to God’s story, with a vital part to play? 


The essence of Christianity is neither more nor less than a belief in the unification of the world in God by the Incarnation … To be the alpha and omega, Christ must, without losing his precise humanity, become co-extensive with the physical expanse of time and space.  In order to reign on earth, He must ‘super-animate’ the world.  In Him henceforth, by the whole logic of Christianity, personality expands (or rather centres itself) till it becomes universal.  Is this not exactly the God we are waiting for?

from ‘Sketch of a Personalistic Universe’, Human Energy (p91)

Teilhard de Chardin

distant touchable nearness (bl)distant touchable nearness. iPhone image.

Published by Kate Kennington Steer

writer, photographer and visual artist

One thought on “advent apertures 2019: day 5

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