advent apertures 2019: day 14

weep not for me, mother,

although the world’s weight

rests on my shoulders

along with your parting embrace,

the dark shadow of the cross

behind us now

and the box below waiting

to transport me to the tomb.

Weep not, for what is finished

is but the conception

of the great beginning,

a birth you never knew

you had laboured for,

and this pain tearing

your motherhood in two

will rend the curtains of eternity

and from the darkness

deliver captives drawn out

by the forceps, by the forcefield

of sacrificial love.

This Caesarian section

is the wonder-wound

that separates for ever

evil from good.

Weep not, for the grief is nearly over.

It is almost time to celebrate

the new life born eternal

over which death

shall never more exercise dominion.



Joanne Tulloch


Alongside my mind’s terrors of what might be the results of an encounter which brings revelation, it suddenly occurs to me to be frightened that much may also be demanded of me physically.  Living with chronic illness, often in bed for days, can mean I often live in my head; but what if this time, God is making specific demands on my body?  I cringe, because I already feel at the bottom of the tank – what else is there left to give?  Aren’t I already answering those demands physically by merely continuing to endure? 

And yet, all around me, in both the natural and human world, I see that ‘birthing the Kingdom’ is not a theoretical exercise.  There is a process that must be undergone; and one which inevitably includes dying to something too, if ‘only’ to my idea of myself.  If to effect an eternal kind of change?  I gulp.  I suspect that means there will be an impact even on the laws of physics themselves.

At the very least, I needs must be stripped bare, ready to relinquish all my leaves of accomplishment, all my loveliness of image; my true shape cannot be revealed unless I allow the God-Light to shine through my most bare and barren outlines.


The wood brings together

time past and time to come,

the hour-glass pivot-point

of shifting sand;

this moment where I stand

eyes closed, letting time fuse.


A meeting place of roots and feet

where Autumn roars its fury,

drowning out all sound

save for itself and the hoarse

kaahr kaahr of rooks;

black rags that swirl and dive

and make the wind their own.


I am caught in this apex,

crossed-road of time and space

where all things meet and meld

where all befores and afters disappear,

become this now, this moment,

this herein of being.



Jane Harland

wounded by wonder (bl)wounded by wonder. iPhone image.

Published by Kate Kennington Steer

writer, photographer and visual artist

2 thoughts on “advent apertures 2019: day 14

  1. “Hello” by Sean Hill

    She, being the midwife
    and your mother’s
    longtime friend, said
    I see a heart; can you
    see it? And on the grey
    display of the ultrasound
    there you were as you were,
    our nugget, in that moment
    becoming a shrimp
    or a comma punctuating
    the whole of my life, separating
    its parts—before and after—,
    a shrimp in the sea
    of your mother, and I couldn’t
    help but see the fast
    beating of your heart
    translated on that screen
    and think and say to her,
    to the room, to your mother,
    to myself It looks like
    a twinkling star.
    I imagine I’m not
    the first to say that either.
    Unlike the first moments
    of my every day,
    the new of seeing you was the first
    —deserving of the definite article—
    moment I saw a star
    at once so small and so
    big, so close and getting closer
    every day, I pray.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abigail, thank you so much for this. I want to reply ‘Amen!’. I don’t really know Sean Hill’s work so I will have to put him on my reading list – thank you for the connection and the introduction. All blessings, Kate


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