Thursday, March 21, 2013

THE HOME STRETCH OF LENT






 

I'm one of those people for whom every week of experience takes two to process (which partly explains why I need to spend a lot of time alone). I'm still not quite "done," for example, with Pittsburgh (from which I returned on March 3). After that, I spent a week in L.A., then a week in Palm Springs, the latter of which is to be distinguished from the week I spent in Palm Springs in February. That earlier week generated this post about the affection/incipient identification I've come to feel for P.S.'s large population of the decrepit and dying.

Which in turn, to my honor and delight, generated the following poem from James Clarke. A retired judge, a resident of Guelph, Ontario (where I'm visiting soon),  and a memoirist whose book A Mourner's Kaddish: Suicide and the Recovery of Hope I featured a couple of years back, Jim is also a wonderful poet.

Anyhoo, we're heading into the home stretch and I do mean stretch of Lent. Holy Week is always very deep, very emotional, and very tiring for me, and I'm sure for many of you as well.

Here's some food for the journey:

EASTER WEEK IN PALM SPRINGS
James Clarke

The sun still glitters in the aging palm trees of this desert oasis.

An effigy downtown  of a young Marilyn Monroe  pays homage to the dreams of its tanned denizens.


Odometers strapped to their arms, octogenarians shuffleon varicose-veined legs toward the health spas;


in the casinos the pfft, pfft, of breathing machines whisper:“keep playing, you never know, this could be your big day;”

round the private golf Club a doughty scraggle of retirees wends its way, gazes into the dim distance for the next green, praying for one last lucky shot,

the Resurrection, at the end of the course, a wavering hope.

                                                                   After Heather King


3 comments:

  1. The pool looks inviting. I have had enough of winter. The poem has its form and tone for the aging of Palm Springs. I have never been there-just from what I heard.

    I would love to step into the pool with my favorite season summer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I love the images in the poem. Pitch perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Heather: It's comforting to know there are others that have to take time to catch up. Lent is ALWAYS a very special time for me in my spiritual journey and often I'm left speechless for many days over something that the Lord has shown me through prayer or a meditation I've read. By the time I catch up, it is always something else that keeps me back for more time of pondering. It's Holy Week next week and I am hardly ready!! In Magnificat Holy Week Edition, there is a painting (in the back)of Christ. The crown of thorns absolutely broke my heart. Often during these times of special prayer (Lent, Advent, Christmas, Easter), there are things that pierce us. My very dependence on the air I breathe given to me by a Savior who wears that crown of thorns is mind-boggling. As an elder, I truly connect with James Clarke's poem. Resurrection! at the end of the course or at the end of next week!! Our only hope!! Oh, praise God. Thank you, Heather, for your always spot-on articles, comments and blogs. Your contributions are priceless.

    ReplyDelete

I WELCOME your comments!!!