End the World (or the week) with a Poem

Assorted thoughts rolling into Christmas, plus a link that will make your day:

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I got a piece of mail today that said on the envelope, “Will 2013 be the year that writing becomes your day job?” and I had to laugh. I have supported myself and my family as a writer of one kind or another for 20 years, and sadly very little of my writing happens during the day. If 2013 was the year that I stopped writing late into the night to meet deadlines and got more done during the afternoon I would be thrilled.

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I head-wrote about three different little blog posts on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, none of which I could post. They may all have been brilliant. Certainly they would all have had a morsel of nice wordsmithing. But the risk of being pseudo-profound or getting it wrong seemed too high for whatever benefits I might achieve. I cried watching my 9yo sing in church that Sunday, something about children’s stars shining a brilliant light into the night. It was Gaudete Sunday– “rejoicing Sunday” –and it felt so weird and wrong. But I was reminded that my church, at its best, offers comfort not merely with the promise of a better world to come some far-off day, but with the willingness to walk alongside people in their deepest suffering.

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My last post, “Closing Doors,” has been my most popular so far on the current blog, and I have been delighted by how many people that idea resonated with. Neurotics need reassurance, people! My friend Kelly, a feminist blogger at How I Learned to Wear a Dress (SPOILER ALERT: She hasn’t!), reblogged it today, which I thought was very generous, so I’m paying it forward. But really, it is a gift to anyone who takes the time to click the last link.

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My friend Molly also keeps a blog, The Stanza. She’s a poetess, but when I met her we were moms and lay leaders together at our old parish. Talk about walking alongside you during your suffering! The things we lived through then. She moved away, which made me sad, but since moving she has flourished like crazy as a writer, which makes me happy. I cannot believe the poetry she writes now that she has been able to carve out a space for it. This poem put tears in my eyes — you will have to scroll to the bottom of the linked page to see the rest.

Prayer Before Dawn

Lord of the spun globe,
of roofline silhouette, pale wash
of coming sun,

this thinning hour is the only threshold
I’ll ever need.

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1 Comment

Filed under Catholic stuff, writing life

One response to “End the World (or the week) with a Poem

  1. Shaun, thanks so much & I’m glad you liked the poem. Funny, just yesterday I was thinking of the good times on PC (“good” times). Y’know, I think my writing only blossomed out here because all my kids are in school now, and my body’s finally cooperating, but I’ll take what I can get! I miss seeing you, and knowing you’re near.

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