Despair has visited my house this season.
Has it come to your house also?
Has one you deeply loved
gone over to the other side?
The other side of love,
of life, of reason?
Many souls have departed.
More than ever before.
My Grandmother just left for Paradise
in a blue dress she made herself.
And my Mother tells me
that nothing will ever be the same.
Like Rachel mourning her children,
our cries are heard throughout the land.
How shall we be comforted?
Angels glean fragmented wisps
of my ‘wrestling with God’ prayers.
In the thin night, an invisible wing
brushes my cheek. Just in time.
One is at my shoulder, pulling golden strands
from Grandmother’s handmade shawl,
and bright colors from the end of my paint brush,
mango, marigold, watermelon, and sea foam blue.
Do you wonder what it is all for? Why it has turned out this way?
Rilke asks us to love the questions themselves.
Eliot assures us that indeed there will be time.
Rumi calls us to come. “It doesn’t matter
if you’ve broken your vow a thousand times,
Come. And yet again, come.”
Leonard Cohen tells us,
“Though your promise counts for nothing,
you must keep it none the less.”
Robert Herrick advises,
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
Alice Walker counsels us, “Hard times require furious dancing.”
We are told to listen to the birds singing.
We are reminded to breathe, to not give up. You have
heard all that already. You know all that already.
I have something else to say. Though I have said it countless times.
We must create art.
We must heal through beauty.
It is unreasonable to believe that beauty can heal.
We must be unreasonable. Love must be at the center of all choices.
Each of us must define for ourselves
what those unreasonable actions are to be.
It is personal.
We know it when we find it. Because it seems
like the most important thing in the world.
There is bliss.
For whole moments at a time. And
we commit art. It keeps us going.
It keeps the “open” sign on our heart. Yet,
we wonder at its value, wonder at its worth.
Is it time well spent? Does it count?
Through our days of despair and our nights of perplexity,
our works of art must continue. Our commitment to beauty
must continue. Even when it is too dark to see.
We can reach out for each other. We can court the Angels.
Angels pull notes from my husband’s
spell breaking songs and heart breaking rants,
and use them to put healing in place.
His harmony joins the great symphony of transformation.
Suffering will always come. Not just because
childhood’s wounds are yet unhealed, or because
we cannot make ourselves think good enough thoughts.
Suffering will come until every one of us can know
that we are forgiven and whole, and can act
in accordance with that knowledge.
Think how different life will be
when we are able to come, not from pain, but
always from love? But, until then,
dancing in the moonlight is not for nothing!
It is to remind us that we have been given life!
The grace to see us through! And the ability to create!
We do not create art for the sake of art.
We create art for the sake of life!
We create for each other. We create for Angels.
Angels use what we create for our sakes.
How the Angels use our music, our art, our writings
our dancing, our gardens, and our prayers, we do not know.
But we know that they employ our poetry on our behalf.
I know my prayers reach all the way around the world.
We continue in art, for the mother
who cannot sleep at night, the father
who holds both ends and cannot make them meet.
For the child who has no mother, and the mother who has no child.
For the monk who has lost his peace. For the warrior who has lost her cause.
For the dog friend buried at the foot of the Goddess this Spring.
For the cat friend, who somehow lost her way home last Winter.
We continue for those who cannot continue all over creation.
And for all who continue to stand against oppression,
and for all those who are able to choose happiness amidst the chaos.
And still, we wonder, “What is this continuing…worth?”
We cannot see through the veils. And still, we create beauty anyway.
We manifest generative life substance,
and when despair comes to our door, we have something to do in response,
something to offer Angels to work with. A glistening wisp.
Our art. Our heart. Our compassion. Our presence. Our friendship.
We will not be taken out by a broken heart,
but be taken IN by a love so great that it must be expressed.
The ones who guard and guide our lives reach through the veils to us.
We hold hands with Angels. And we continue.
Shiloh Sophia McCloud © July 2008
I wrote this about one year ago now…amazing to think of where I was and where I am.
New town, new gallery, new friends, new book, new possibilities!!
I miss my Grandma so much – my mom just sent me for my Birthday, a whole box
of her things to go with my blue kitchen….I think it was her who inspired it…
I have never used blue in my home before, but her home was all blue.
So I called my mom and asked if there was any of her blue kitchen left
and a big box arrived…wrapped in floral paper…