One trouble with blogging is deciding what to put in so public a forum. The past six months have been among the most spiritually significant of my life, but I'm not sure that this is the right venue for what I have written about that. But my 59th birthday is approaching in just over a week, so here are some lines reflecting.
This doesn't rise to the level of poetry, but does provide me for a medium to think on paper.
At nine I climbed rocks
The hills of Matopo:
Into the crack between the rocks;
Up to the bell that called to us all.
School there was, with memories;
But over and under all were Rocks,
Ancient and lasting Matopo Hills.
A young man in a new school,
Fourth school in four years.
A year later I remember myself,
Nineteen, second-year student, in and out of my element.
My first girlfriend;
Lost alone in the woods;
Soccer and theatre – more play than work.
Becoming so slowly a man.
Three years of teaching; four more running a folder
(Constant clatter of machine: paper and ink gets in your blood),
Now at twenty-nine a man: back in school, and far more
Married; Wife and Friend and Lover,
Still too new to know.
Father, a role to learn and discover;
At thirty-nine two sons call me
Father, and other names.
I remember, but memories slide away,
Too shy to let me see them clearly.
What at that moment was important?
Many roles – husband, father, friend;
Pastor, teacher, print shop labourer:
What really mattered?
Memories slide around the corner
When I look at them. I remember
Anticipating forty, the angst of aging.
I remember preaching, teaching, caring,
Loving, fighting, living: memories slide.
What matters? I did them.
Forty-nine. A new country, new job;
A new life as fifty looms.
The path led back to school at forty-one,
That bend ended two years later;
Back to pastor, church in a cornfield;
And after four years in the cornfield
With trains sawing back and forth:
Again a teacher, back to the present.
I come to now.
God. Above all, beneath all, around all, in all. God.
Family: dearest companion; children grown.
Community: sometimes at school;
In the coffee shop and living room;
On the soccer field, across the chess board.
Family, students, colleagues, friends,
Gathered community of people,
Bound together by the search for
Truth and life.
Truth, the Good, matters:
Family, friends, colleagues, students
Relationships make life.
Fifty-nine. I remember, and
Leaving a trace, a shape,
A desire for more
Life, and Truth, and Good, and
21 May 2009