Kathleen Hirsch | Blog and spiritual writings of Kathleen Hirsch
Blog and spiritual writings of Kathleen Hirsch including an archive of her columns for BostonGlobe.com and Cruxnow.com
Spiritual writing, Kathleen Hirsch, crux, cruxnow
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Letter from Venice

Going on a journey is a lot like stepping into an orchard at harvest time. Our sacks are empty. Even if we have had breakfast on the way, we arrive hungry for the feel of something we haven’t known in a long time.

Several weeks ago, I travelled to Venice for the first time in 25 years. I was full of hope that the city would be as magical as it had been when last I’d seen it. I took my adult son, which only raised the ante. Would he love the museum-quality of its postcard views and narrow calles? How many churches would he endure? Would we have enough space to see anything in the Piazza San Marco amid the cruise ship crowd?

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Found Poem

At a recent retreat, I led a group in constructing poems from found phrases and the words of other poets.  The process resembles the ancient method of lectio divina, and always rewards the effort.  Try it.  

 

On Longing

 

God needs our longing

(It doesn’t have to be perfect)

and long work

(It can be brunt brownies).

 

Turning our lives into celebration

is not easy.

Keep a modest face,

hope for deeper acquaintance

with the rose –

from thorns emerge the whitest stars.

 

A few words

uprightly burning

is all that is needed.

 

The day you see this,

That day you will become it.

 

(Thanks to Mary Oliver, Sun Bu-er, Nelly Sachs, and Gabriela Mistral)

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Finding the Poetry in the Prose

“Each of us is a citadel of metaphors.”

I believe it was the Jungian psychologist, James Hillman, who wrote this, and it’s as good a definition of a human life as I know.

We are in many aggregates of words.  Conversations, dreams, asides, and rants.  Temper tantrums.  Self display.

For many of us, the archive of our long trails of utterance is our journals.   At some point, what began as a vest-pocket monograph ends up a footlocker worth of pages.  Like a sand mandala, we don’t know what we are crafting, until one day we pause with an afternoon at our disposal, and open to the first page of the first one again.

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Humility in the In-Between Times

The pansy’s party dresses were crushed earlier this week, the birds bunkered, as baffled as we by April snow three days after the thermostat read 70.

Fat flakes fell, and a pair of Lenten roses occupying a vase on my desk bowed their heads.

Seeing them, I understood.  This is the in-between time, a season of illusions.  It is dangerous for early bloomers to expose themselves the way the true roses will in a month or so, perfumed and proud in their silks and pearls.

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