Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Here, Now

The purity is a question of
names. We are here to utter them. This is
a prayer. I have it now between my
teeth and my eyes, on my forehead. Know
the names. It is as simple as the purity
of sentiment: it is as simple
as that.

(JH Prynne, from Kitchen Poems)
"To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it." (Revelation 2.17)

The door of the year, this long year, is closing now. What we are called matters.

Just now, in the early evening, it is quiet here, the lights through the trees hardly disturbing the first hours of dark, the air cold now, not even moving the tracery of bare twigs across from the window.

"Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices."
(Psalm 37.7)

How the heart cries for stillness, in the clamour of obligation and rebuttal; and yet stillness is given, inside each moment. Only now is the divine touchable, and now, as if the instant were bread, and wine, in the space between breathing.

Mercy, the mercy that is Christ with us, can only rest on what actually is, here, now, in the moment given.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

(TS Eliot, from Four Quartets)

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