Words to Live By: Roxane Beth Johnson

A Shaker Speaks to the Invisible

My box and broom are not finer than my faith; my prayers unmade are better than the slender seams of my clock. I know wood’s moan and ring all day. I dream myself as a tambourine in hand. My friend, there is no morning lacking a tonic loveliness; no night without its apocalypse. Monotony’s drumbeat I play out with what I’ve got: pith, thistle, and knife. What I build has the beauty of sparrows pecking frozen ground. It is my salvation, my cross, my song. I once loved the daughters; longed to lick my salty deeds. These chairs I make are my repentance. The spirit in them is revelation, the coming harvest, my need. The evening silence is the only god I know. Like dust occupying sun, He settles. Let the daughters sing. Their voices sand my heart down to a seed.

I’ve been craving the holy, longing for the spiritual, reading Thich Naht Hanh and The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.  Truth and beauty are in the every day, the extraordinary is that which we almost miss, these things I know.  But in the midst of summer chaos and constant movement, the moments I remember to stop and breathe are far fewer and further between than I’d prefer.

This lovely prose poem highlighted today on Poetry Daily speaks to what I’m longing for, I think, for finding solace in work, peace in the doing and contemplation at once.  May it help both you and me be present today.

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