A smudge on the glass
A rustling page
The tick of a clock
and the coming of age
The end of a dream
The sprinkle of rain
The drip of a tap
and the silence of pain
The kiss of goodbye
The sound of a tear
The whisper of love
when a newborn is near
The touch of a friend
The sigh of the heart
The stillness of grief
when two lovers part
Today is a day of loss. Another life, well lived has ‘graduated’. There is a sadness but it is a different kind of sadness. It is not a gut wrenching sadness; others will feel that. It is a sadness of not knowing, not experiencing parts of the journey and now realising one never can. It is a gentler grief, a grief borne of loss. Loss. An empty space that can never be filled. Life will never ever be the same.
Some live in darkness some live in light
Most are peace-loving creatures, but some love to fight
Some go to peace marches and wave banners and flags
Some just argue and some sort of nag
Penguins keep secrets, you might ask them what?
They will look at you blankly and then scream quite a lot
They will gather around you and then start to sneeze
Then you hear the leader, under his breath say ‘Geez’
Penguins range in intelligence, it is actually a fact
Some just smile and ask what is that
Some dont care about much anything at all
Intelligence is only a word after all
Penguins love driving, some golf and some cars
Some combine both, some drive into bars
Some Penguins love Beemers, some just stick to Fords
Some drive so fast they end up in wards
Penguins love rainbows, they look up and smile
Their eyes close over and they sit for a while
Then they all start to hum a Rolling Stone tune
until at least the thirteenth of June.
Penguins love movies, they watch them all night
They’ll argue their merits until there’s a fight
They’ll memorise titles and favourite lines
Until they’re asleep or badley maligned
Is it OK to cry for one’s country? I find myself doing that quite a bit these days. I cry for the lostness I see around me. I ache for the people who are voiceless, lonely and unnoticed. I cry for the things we are losing, for the meaninglessness of what we are gaining, for the lost children, the lost fathers, lost hope. Sometimes my tears flow because I feel lost, lost in an unfamiliar world, in a world that was once so cosy and safe, a world where what was good was good and what was bad, was bad. Now there is so much uncertainty. I cry for truth, that we might know and recognise it again. I cry for our language. What meant something in the past, now means something quite different. I cry for the freedom to question without intimidation. I just cry.
But there is hope…and as I dry my eyes I look up and see a beautiful rainbow and remember the promise of my Creator. I am not alone and I am comforted.
Another verse about Penguins…
Penguins have names like Harry and Stan
Betty, Joan, Felicity, Cheryl, Wanda and Pam
They have only one name, they think that is cool
especially when splashing around in a pool
Penguin babies (they are way beyond cute!)
Often seen sleeping in their parents old ute
No one knows why they enjoy doing this
and all they can say to you, it is none of your biz
Penguins are tricky and slightly erratic
They sit by their radios listening to static
They eat pumpkin pie with chopsticks and fork
Very strange, given they never were taught
Penguins are pious, they pray every day
They all go to Mass, but only in May
They know all the hymns but sing out of tune
They only do this on the 13th of June
Penguins get old, they go to a home
Its a place where there’s laughter but never a phone
They share crazy stories and poems such as this
They would tell you that this place is absolute bliss.
I have been reflecting on sunsets over the last few days. We know that every day of one’s life is book ended with a sunrise and a sunset. We might say that there is nothing remarkable or unusual about that. True. However, when reflecting about a sunset, I begin to ponder the array of evidences showing the day is coming to a close. I look at the sky to see how many hours of sunlight remains. I start to see the shadows lengthen. The birds gradually go quiet. The breeze freshens and I shiver. In winter, I anticipate the cold as the sun disappears over the horizon. In summer, I feel thankful for the coolness of the evening and I am moved to remain in the space; not just remain, but to savour it.
I feel a connection and a protection from the sun, almost as if there is a cosmic designer smiling down on the world. I often feel a sense of aloneness as the darkness enshrouds me and I look for something else. And then I see it… the beautiful (almost ‘friendly’ moon). The cosmic designer has not forgotten us after all!! I feel embraced and loved and I can now go to my rest with a sense that all is well.
I will write about sunrises next time.
It has been 5 years since I wrote about Penguins. I said I would add another verse back then, so here goes…
Penguins are naughty and some are just mean
Some are just cute and some are a scream
They see everything in black and in white
They’d all love to fly, but that’s just not right
They sit around Maccas eating burgers all day
Some actually live there, but that’s not OK
They make funny noises, some actually talk
But their mates call them nutters, weirdo and dork
Some enter politics, some say for fun
Penguins don’t vote so the whole thing is dumb
Some are comedians, they laugh all of the time
Some are too serious, they think that’s just fine.
Some penguins play sport and some of them dont
Some of them play chess and others just wont
Some love to bat and bowling a ball
Penguins and cricket just don’t match at all!
What a privilege to walk this pathway! Today I walked this pathway with a few fellow travelers. They were gracious to share their time, their memories, their challenges, their joys and their tears, with me. While on this journey I reflected on the preciousness of all life, from conception to the grave. I experienced, through their stories, the joy of first love, a wedding, sepia beauty from another time, the sound of war and deprivation, the fracture of a final parting, home, going home, transition, loss of freedom and self-determination, the expectation of family connection, loneliness and memories. I am remembering now, the ones I have met who can no longer remember and I am grieved. Grieved for the ravages of aging, of sickness, loss of freedom and sometimes loss of hope. I find that I am thinking more,lately, about beginnings and endings…but that’s a blog for another day!
Take time, slow down and let someone’s journey, impact you.
I love the quietness and relative stillness of the night. It allows one to daydream, to reflect, to be creative, to feel. I also feel the heart of God, almost like a heartbeat. I find myself talking, communing with my Creator. I wonder if God likes the night season? (For those who are theologians, I realise God is not bound by time or space!). In every movement there is a sound and every sound reminds me of my humanness and my fallibility. I begin to think poetically and musically. I let the world melt away, with all its catastrophes and trouble and I am left with a gentle urging to reach toward something and Someone beyond myself and my capability and I begin to dream of another dimension…and on the cusp of greatness, I fall asleep.