Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lent, day 6: 'Homesick'


When we love, when we tell ourselves we do,
we are pining for first love, somewhen,
before we thought of wanting it.  When we rearrange
the rooms we end up living in, we are looking
for first light, the arrangement of light,
that time, before we knew to call it light.

Or talk of music, when we say
we cannot talk of it, but play again
C major, A flat minor, we are straining
for first sound, what we heard once,
then, in lost chords, wordless languages.

What country do we come from?  This one?
The one where the sun burns
when we have night? The one
the moon chills; elsewhere, possible?

Why is our love so imperfect,
music only echo of itself,
the light wrong?

We scratch in dust with sticks,
dying of homesickness
for when, where, what.

Carole Anne Duffy - from New Selected Poems 1984-2004

The season of Lent is one of wandering, wilderness, exile.
We have buried the Alleluias
and wonder how we will find strength to keep walking.
It can feel an odd, dark time; hard.
Without the shout of acclamation,
how do we sing the Lord's song in this strange Lenten land?

Lent reminds us that we are exiles.
Looking for light and straining for lost language.
Lent reminds us of our imperfect love;
a season that brings about homesickness
as we long for our heart's true home.
Amid the Lenten reminders, however, is hope.
We have buried the Alleluias
but we know they are there, waiting to burst forth from the tomb.
'We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song'. [St Augustine]
Now is the time of yearning, longing,
of scratching in the wilderness dust with our sticks,
but soon and very soon the day approaches
for heart's-rest, and Alleluias,
and hope fulfilled.

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