Sunday, February 7, 2010

Visiting the Blessed Sacrament in Christ Church Cathedral

Nassau, the Bahamas In memory of The Right Reverend Spence Burton, SSJE (1881-1966) Here I find you— veiled like an ancient doll in crumpled gold satin. Here you are in white-walled colonial simplicity yet still strangely Gothic enough to make me feel at ease. I genuflect before you, my aching right knee touching the flagstone with effort. I then pause. I whisper you name— the only prayer I am ever capable of when I stand before your presence. You simple name full of S’s sliding about within me. These visits— daily in my life in some vaguely northern place, so far removed from this strange glorious isolation— are simple events. Just a pause in the day, a breathing in and out of your name, a hushed moment in which my pulse slows within me— almost turning my blood to sap— and then back at it again, whatever “it” might be that day. Today, there is no “it” to go back to, only this city with its clean sky colored the way I could do if I could, its reflection a bit darker— but not much— in the water. You remember as you do my long-ago sickness in that unending wintry spring. In the midst of that misery one day I gazed up and saw in a store a painting very much like the landscape here— the same pale blue of sky and water, the same white sand, the same scattering of palm trees, its fronds blown askew. And the frail, enemic clouds. It was so simple and yet, at that sick-heavy moment, with that cold which settled into me and wouldn’t give up, it was heaven. I said so in that moment to my mother, who, like yours, could not recognize what I saw then. Now, here I am and here you are. It all seems so right in a way I could never plan or even imagine. Here, you wait and have waited and will continue to wait amid the Anglo-Catholic splendor Between us we know, this is what it be like that in that place I saw in my vision that long-ago sick day. This is how I will find completion, there in a place in which you will not be hidden by a swath of ancient satin, within a canister of tarnished bronze. Then, you will greet me as I you promised to do, with your arms wide open in joy, and not in the anguish someone painstakingly reproduced here above us in panes of stained color.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

向小善致敬,它使人生旅程較為平順。........................................

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