“Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed
as if limits to our ability did not exist.
We are collaborators in creation.”
Teilhard de Chardin
"Towards Sheryl's House - 7:05 (Study)"© 2011
"Approaching Newen, NC"© 1996
Acrylic on Canvas 4' X 8'
"where lamps are lit as symbols, not as facts"
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
We arrive too early at the Festival of Lights
where the tents are still erecting, the Ferris wheel
lies pitched against its axle, and the lanterns overhead
wait in ranks to be lit. I point you toward the Greek church
but you are willful as mercury, off the concrete walk
following your own low road across the grass
like a ball on a bad break, determined to bogey.
Your foot catches and you almost buckle
on the forked root of a droughtstruck tree,
but you run on, past a barricade of angels,
the crossed stone dolls of another generation,
over the lawn into darkness, away from me.
I find your shadow where the churchyard ends
at the edge of a fallow tobacco field
where the windings of raspberries and stronger grasses
rise up and stop you. Nothing here frightens you:
not night, climbing like moss in the trees,
or the truck beside you impounded in weeds,
hoarding lockjaw and bluebells in its clasped doors.
It is here you choose to play. I watch for weeds
with triplet leaves, for snakes sining the world
into waves of luck and danger, a covered ditch,
the small clay pots of budding hornets.
All we find is a box of Happy Meals
its yellow cardboard sogging in the leaves,
some half-ripe berries, a scrap of arrowhead
and a violet beetle that may or may not be dead
from harboring a virus I will read about
in next year's journals. It takes all I have
not to drive you away, but to stay and watch
as you inch your hands toward the thorny fruit
you covet. With such ease I could lift you up
to where you want to be, across this break
and into the wild garden, the forbidden field
that you cannot imagine you can be whole without,
where you would grow almighty, or not at all.
Son, we are here tonight to celebrate
what is neither light nor dark but both at once,
this margin we inhabit between eternities:
the one we think we know and struggle in
and the one that leads us on and seems to know us best,
like a car following behind us down the street
and forever offering to take us in,
its deft doors open, the strangers inside beckoning
to come and join them in that perfumed cabin.
Behind us, the hurdy-gurdy starts to swell
with children turning on the music rides;
their fathers lift a sledge to ring the bell,
they lift, and fail, and lift and try again;
their mothers clutch together in the halls
to speak small lies and taste the lamb for salt;
they drink retsina, watch the biscuits rise,
and set up tables as they talk about their faith
that still endures, although they bleed each month.
Come, turn back with me. Our place is there,
where lamps are lit as symbols, not as facts,
and every path lies twisted in unreason.
Son, turn back with me. This is the sacrifice
we make in terror every day.
"Story Time"© 2011
"we are here tonight to celebrate
what is neither light nor dark but both at once"
“Novena for Sendai Series©”. Study #5.
This concludes Week Twenty Two of
All art and writing by Tom Schulz unless otherwise noted, or unless it is so cool
he will try to get away with claiming it as his own."The God and The Universe Conversations" are based on Tom's protracted reading of Process and Reality, by Alfred North Whitehead.
The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to
sacrifice what we are for what we could become.
Charles Du Bos