by Abigail Hastings
The poet Ellen Bass talks about
when grief sits with you, “an obesity of grief,”
How can a body withstand this?
“Then you hold life like a face,” she instructs us—
“and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
But where does the will for that come from?
What deep reserves do we have
to say yes to another day, another challenge
or face yet another disappointment?
To say defiantly— as was scrawled on walls in Paris:
même pas peur!
“I’m not a bit afraid!”
As if we meant it, as if we could
be so brave
so very brave that we break our own hearts.
We become as wise men, as wise women
in this season of epiphanies —
following a star, looking for something
of promise, of change, something a little divine
but also within human grasp
as we gather here again
singing and asking once again
Grant us wisdom, O God, grant us courage,
for the living of these days.