Why does the crow
perched somewhere above our tent
in soaring pines
gently kissed by morning’s first rays
insist on waking us
with his strange and raucous squawking?
I think someone wise once told him
he and his song are beautiful.
And he believed it.
(Deer Island Point, July 5th 2018)
This little poem brings together three things that have been meaningful to me over the summer season:
- Taking up a practice of writing for TEN MINUTES ONLY a day (more creative writing rather than journaling, which I do regularly and for longer), so as to escape the rut of waiting around for the lightning flash of inspiration, which hasn’t struck me for years (or so it feels)! This is getting me into a routine of writing, takes the pressure off it being any “good”, but also makes me READY to write something I actually like because I am in the habit, and the habit makes me notice things more as well. This poem was the first thing I wrote that felt meaningful to me.
- DD Amelie likes camping but I haven’t enjoyed it for a while and we’re done with camping as a family (cottages and condos FTW!). However, I decided that I CAN manage one night per summer and this year Amelie wanted to watch the July 4th fireworks in Eastport, ME, from across the water in Deer Island point campground, NB. Although I started off feeling a little “dragged into it” our time at the wilderness campground – watching porpoises, seals and even a minke whale (magical!!) surface in the calm ocean flowing past our campsite towards the tidal whirlpool, bathwater warm lake-swimming, and the simple pleasures of camping outside IN GREAT WEATHER (important caveat!) – ended up feeling so rejuvenating and was a wonderful way to spend time together. Maybe I’ve been won back over to camping?! (When conditions are perfect 🙂 ) And maybe I should let myself be dragged into more things that don’t come naturally to me or don’t initially sound life-giving, because maybe I unwittingly keep myself from so much life with my various ruts?
- I had the privilege of participating in the first ever East Coast Generous Space retreat, beginning the day after I wrote this poem. It was a rich, thought-provoking and inspiring experience “at the intersection of faith and sexuality” which, surprisingly, both echoed my original intent in this poem, and brought to it even deeper resonance and meaning. While I had mostly hoped to gain from the retreat more understanding of what it means to be an ally for LGBTQ+ folk – and that did happen – my biggest takeaway ended up being that I NEED MY QUEER FRIENDS. I need them for their unique human gifts and for the unique perspective they offer on life and marginalization and privilege and struggle, on celebrating who you are whatever others’ perception or treatment of you, and on being the Beloved of God. We all have those parts of ourselves and of others that we dislike or disapprove of or just don’t understand, and they showed me again and in a fresh way – because many of them have fought long and hard to stand in this – that all is and all are intimately and delightedly held in the extravagant love of God. We need each other to remember and wake up to this truth. As in the poem, this retreat experience felt like an awakening of sorts for me, which will no doubt be ongoing, and through it all I FELT for the first time a little of the depth and beauty of this strange word “queer.”