Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Movement of the Soul

Photo, Brian Federle; In Golden Gate Park, 2013

"All the passions can be reduced to four: joy, hope, fear, and grief. 
These four are so closely connected that, when one is controlled, 
the others all obey.  Consequently they can be reduced to one: joy.  
And desire is the movement of the soul seeking joy."  
Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth

is knowing
how darkness
bears down, how the
storm thrashes
the autumn-bare

Summer's birds
cannot withstand
the fearful night
so they flee.

leads to grief
when tumors increase.
Blood grows
until, together
at last, we stand
and wonder

This is the line that splits heaven from hell.

We comb his hair
and shave his face,
carefully fold a rosary
into his cold hands,
and wonder that
his chest is
so still.

But his eyes are safely
sealed against the
terrors of the grave,
so we lay him to rest
and slowly go
our separate ways.

those cold March days
when we stood, our
backs to the rising sun?

Too bright to see,
we felt the sun stroking us
with a lover's warmth,
rekindling in us
hope's desire.

Thus will it always be.

Death can never win
though the illusion is strong.
The mortal body succumbs
but the soul ascends,
like birds, joyfully rising
to the morning sun.

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