The Advent of the Holy Goose
I could have sworn there were teeth on that bird,
how She came roaring into the room,
wings wide, neck cast toward us like an arrow,
hissing, engulfing us with feathers and fire.
No gentle dove, She.
No quiet candle flame
setting the saintly halos aglow.
We were herded by holiness,
dented by Her divinity,
shaken, awakened–that beak
breaking us open.
We shattered, pieces
scattering the floor,
the fire pouring through us
as the wind spilled in the door.
Today was bookended by two powerful stories about language, how it differentiates, how it connects. This morning in chapel a colleague of mine spoke thoughtfully and reflectively about her own life story, about the Tower of Babel–how we build complicated structures of our lives, placing our hopes and expectations into them, and how we can be blindsided when they crumble. Her stories were affirming of those who struggle, acknowledging the struggle, and offering the hope of transformation, not only of the pain, but of inner prejudices and stereotypes.
On the other end of the day, in Faculty Meeting, was a presentation on resilience, particularly for women (and others) who have been marginalized and excluded from leadership roles in the church and its institutions. The framing story was Pentecost, another tale of people of many languages trying to communicate.
Language helps us to classify and analyze and differentiate. It’s an intellectual tool. It also helps us to connect and weave together and integrate. It’s a psychological/heart tool.
1. The scent of the honey locust tree blossoms wafting through the window just as I am falling asleep. Blessings on the bees.
2. Yesterday, Jon spotted a box turtle on the driveway, wandering off into the yard. I was sort of afraid that thee’d become too rare to spot anymore, but there is at least one living on Goldfinch Farm.
3. Rain, rain, rain. Slow and deliberate and steady. Free of high wind and hail and flooding.
4. Chasing rainbows. After supper we drove down to the Rt. 30 bridge to see the new girders that were just put in place last night above the highway by Wrightsville. We have some engineers in the family who just couldn’t wait to see them. As we reached the crest of the hill, we saw the rainbow, looking like one foot was in the hollow and another was at Sam Lewis Park, but the nearer foot kept shifting as we neared the park.
5. We parked by the River at the John Wright restaurant boat launch, and Ellis and I walked down to the water, standing between the two bridges in the rain. I found a shining 2015 penny there on the threshold between the land and the water.
6. Language, the gossamer thread of words that we send between us like trees, our conversation the webs cast by a spider.
May we walk in Beauty!