Poetry Corner

Mary Oliver

Another mpoetryorning and I wake with thirst
for the goodness I do not have. I walk
out to the pond and all the way God has
given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,
I was never a quick scholar but sulked
and hunched over my books past the hour
and the bell; grant me, in your mercy,
a little more time. Love for the earth
and love for you are having such a long
conversation in my heart. Who knows what
will finally happen or where I will be sent,
yet already I have given a great many things
away, expecting to be told to pack nothing,
except the prayers which, with this thirst,
I am slowly learning.

One Comment on “Poetry Corner

  1. Dear Dr. Amy Butler,

    ” Love for the earth and love for you are having such a long conversation in my heart.” What I am being immersed into, it feels like, in reading your sermons and articles is the feminine language and thought process. It is the language of love, tenderness, heart, empowerment, etc. Consequently, I am getting anxiously concern about how I am evolving as a person. For some time now, I have been following your sermons, clicking on the suggested sources and website, and looking at pictures and icons that seem to be feminine in their contents, dimensions, and essences. I surfed on one of the sources on your website and clicked on the name Adriana Trigiani. Lo and behold, I discovered, she is the patron saint of everything female. Last Wednesday, I went to a Bible study which is predominantly attended by women, three men and twenty women. In that Bible study, who incidentally was led by a woman minister, I commented that her suggestions about the kind of heart that a Christian must have, seems to be easier for a woman to achieve than a man. Further, I am in a profession dominated by really, really strong women and being supervised by a woman half my age. Admittedly I have been reading the works of Theresa of Avila, Madame Guyon and the transcedental thinkers of early 19th and 20th century the likes of Florence Schovell Shinn, Hannah Smith of Friends and Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Science. I did read some of Elaine Pagels books also. As I compare their spirituality and that of St. Augustine, Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen , it dawned on me the stark difference. Male spirituality is enveloped by alienation, violence, and struggle against something or someone. Augustine debated bitterly against the Manicheans. Thomas Merton protested till his last breath against the Vietnam War. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was martyred by the Nazis. Henri Nouwen chronicled extensively his battle against loneliness. Honestly however, I still can’t figure out why I am now drawn or seems to be being pushed or forced to deal with the feminine understanding of the world, faith, and work. My hunch is that I may have made so many mistakes in life and that the only way to learn much of the things I missed, now that in a few months I will turn sixty, is to have the mindset and walk the path of a woman. God seems to be telling me that unless I learn to see and do things the way a woman does things, I would be making the same mistake over and over. Needless to say, that is a price I can’t afford anymore.

    Danilo Reyes

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