I was ten
That winter night
When my brain
Burned with fever
And I lay
That you had come back
From the firmament;
An unwinged angel
Sitting at my bedside
That sounded like fire
In my ears.
I don’t know
If it was real anymore.
Maybe it was just yearning
To touch you once more
The way the blind read braille;
Or maybe it was just
The hot syllables of sickness
Wailing like sinners
At a tent revival
Behind my burning eyes.
But whatever it was
That night, with the snow
Beginning to fall
Your hand touched my skin
And the fever broke.
Tom Darin Liskey is a poet and a photographer
The photograph and the poem are his work
“Mother Maria Gysi, one of the founders of the Monastery of the Assumption, Whitby, dreamed that she was a “a big, square, rough old house; there was no glass in the windows, all very poor. But a lamp burning night and day for anyone who would come for a night or longer into one of the rooms — not to me. I would hardly know who was there. . . I was just the house, a place of welcome and warmth and infinite compassion — being one with each inwardly, demanding nothing, teaching nothing — above all no judging or categories or piousity of any kind, but the light every night showing the way.”
“I think we must ask ourselves: do we work like that? And are we the sort of people that people would want to get to know?” Fr Erik laughs.”
From the CHURCH TIMES article by Madeleine Davies
Men called you light so as to load you down,
And burden you with their own weight of sin,
A woman forced to cover and contain
Those seven devils sent by Everyman.
But one man set you free and took your part
One man knew and loved you to the core
The broken alabaster of your heart
Revealed to Him alone a hidden door,
Into a garden where the fountain sealed,
Could flow at last for him in healing tears,
Till, in another garden, he revealed
The perfect Love that cast out all your fears,
And quickened you with love’s own sway and swing,
As light and lovely as the news you bring.
Marie, c’est le Christ que tu portes dans l’ombre de la chair
Il est encore dans les entrailles pour un peu de temps
Tu vas le donner à la lumière du monde, lui la lumière éternelle.
Marie, quel fruit lumineux portons-nous dans l’ombre de la chair ?
Aide-nous à le porter encore une peu de temps sans le voir
Donne-nous aussi la joie d’une naissance
La naissance d’un fruit éternel, enfant de la chair et de l’Esprit
Porté, mûri, attendu, donné
Mary, it is Christ that you carry in the shadow of the flesh
He is still in the womb for a while
You’re going to give to the light of the world his eternal light.
Mary, what luminous fruit do we bear in the shadow of the flesh?
Help us carry it a while longer without seeing it
Give us also the joy of a birth
The birth of an eternal fruit, child of the flesh and the Spirit
Carried, ripened, expected, given
Gott spricht zu jedem nur, eh er ihn macht,
dann geht er schweigend mit ihm aus der Nacht.
Aber die Worte, eh jeder beginnt,
diese wolkigen Worte sind:
Von deinen Sinnen hinausgesandt,
geh bis an deiner Sehnsucht Rand;
gib mir Gewand.
Hinter den Dingen wachse als Brand,
daß ihre Schatten ausgespann
timmer mich ganz bedecken.
Laß dir alles geschehn: Schönheit und Schrecken.
Man muß nur gehn: Kein Gefühl ist das fernste.
Laß dich von mir nicht trennen.
Nah ist das Land,
das sie das Leben nennen.
Du wirst es erkennen
an seinem Ernste.
Gib mir die Hand.
God speaks to each of us as s/he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
(Rilke’s Book of Hours, I, 59)