gathering, to rise


We gather brightness,

snatch words from the air,

copy out by hand the lines of poets, sinners, saints.

These things we lay down in our souls,

layer by layer,

greedy for their beauty.


Like leaf litter, they gather under us.

Season after season.

Layer upon worthy layer.



Far below,

time and nature, those old handymen of God,

work their gnarled jaws,

churn our beauty into soil.



Our roots will drink it in,

dank and dust,

forgotten snippets we once took in our hands and held to light,

shreds of dreams we let flutter,

now become food to steel our spirits for the rising once more.



For still we rise,

and still we will rise -

even though we tremble -

groping toward the light,

shaking bits of beauty from our heads.



"...the role of reason in human conduct is overestimated and the roles of the will and the imagination are underestimated. [...] The moral imagination is active, for well or ill, strongly or weakly, every moment of our lives, in our sleep as well as when we are awake.  But it needs nurture and proper exercise.  Otherwise it will atrophy like a muscle that is not used.  The richness or poverty of the moral imagination depends on the richness or the poverty of experience."


  •  A friend once said to me that when her world became unbearable she would watch violent movies, "to let the anger out."     Yes....but who, I wondered, was going to let the beauty out?