Saturday, November 28, 2009

advent #2

table all set for Alex' 16th-birthday dinner

In the history of Advent, many have observed a season of fasting similar to the Lenten season.  In the Murphy house, we celebrate a wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Alex' birthday & Natalie's birthday all between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  There's only feasting around here!

Even though the Advent observance doesn't officially start until tomorrow, I've been reading ahead. (kind of telling, that I can't wait the time it takes to focus on the waiting of time!)  I've posted it at least two other times in the history of this blog, but every time I read this Sylvia Plath poem, I want to weep.  (and I highly recommend listening to this while you read)

Black Rook in Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers
in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident

To set the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather
some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.

Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can't honestly
A certain minor light may still
Lean incandescent

Out of the kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects
now and then --
Thus hallowing an interval
Otherwise inconsequent

By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate,
I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape);
Yet politic; ignorant

Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know
that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant

A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content

Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you dare to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's 
begun again,
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent.

Descend to us, we pray.

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