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.
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. iPhone image.