Other Writings

I have been writing essays since the fourth grade.

On this page I will offer some examples of the ways writing words

helps me understand my own experience.

All are copyrighted and may not be used without my written permission.

The Request

In a gladed wood dappled with light—

a summer of my youth,

in a moment of rare solitude

I sat upon a stone

and asked for a gift large as Hope.

 

Shyly, as one would address a hidden king

I folded my hands in meek humility,

gazed skyward, and in my smallest voice

I dared to speak.

“Please,” I begged, “If it is allowed,

Let me have a vision.”

And closed my mouth to wait.

 

The breeze stirred and I looked for rustling wings.

The light glittered on new leaves—

I sought halos.

Nearby a bird twittered.

An insect hummed, then another

but no heavenly choir burst into “Gloria in excelsis!”

 

I listened intently.  

I peered  urgently into the shadows,

eagerly wanting to believe any sign of life

was the requested vision.

But, a truthful child,

at last I rose, stretched cramped limbs

and wandered back to people at play,

sad my request had been denied.

 

What only now I begin to know

is that something was given me in that hour:

a hunger,

a yearning deep as a wound

for the in-breaking of the Holy

in a way even I could touch.

 

That simple request

set me upon a path from which I have never strayed;

a seeking I have never abandoned.

 

Now, near half a century later

I see that what was granted me

was not a vision to explain and defend all my life,

but Vision itself,

a way of seeing apart from vision—

a certainty of Presence without sense or form—

a call heard not through the ears

but in the bowels.

 

O, Child of wood and dappled light,

I, your older self now bless you

for your courage to ask what could not be given.

“Trust your seeking,” I whisper in your straining ear.

“Trust the yearning—it shows the way.

  Trust the hunger—it is a gift.”

 

Thus I kissed you

and sent you on your way.

The Near Misses

Lydia, Margaret, Libby, Oren, Ervie

It is the near misses that make me cry.  Moments when the sheer magnitude of what might have been instead of what is looms up, reminding us on a cellular level of the vulnerability of each moment.  It is so improbable that our lives are what they are.

Sunrise on the Last Day

Canyon Journal 2019 - The Last Day

Final Journal Entry for this Sojourn:

 

The last morning.  There is always a last morning. It begins with a sense I remember: Urgency. Gotta get going. Gotta get ready. Gotta strip the bed. Gotta wash up. Gotta clean out the wood stove. Gotta move everything onto the porch. Gotta gotta gotta. It is a strange feeling in the Canyon, felt only once each sojourn here: on The Last Morning. I have no idea what time they’ll come. Maybe not til lunch time. Maybe in ten minutes. Andrew came ridiculously early one year when I was in the middle of my personal wash up. Good thing I have about three minutes of warning from the time they enter the Canyon to the time they reach the casita. That cloud of dust is not from an elk.

 

Sunrise on the Last Day

Canyon Journal 2019 - The Last Day

Final Journal Entry for this Sojourn:

 

The last morning.  There is always a last morning. It begins with a sense I remember: Urgency. Gotta get going. Gotta get ready. Gotta strip the bed. Gotta wash up. Gotta clean out the wood stove. Gotta move everything onto the porch. Gotta gotta gotta. It is a strange feeling in the Canyon, felt only once each sojourn here: on The Last Morning. I have no idea what time they’ll come. Maybe not til lunch time. Maybe in ten minutes. Andrew came ridiculously early one year when I was in the middle of my personal wash up. Good thing I have about three minutes of warning from the time they enter the Canyon to the time they reach the casita. That cloud of dust is not from an elk.

 

The Spanish Man

Moving Momma's Pretty Things

Eight times I have done this. Each time the stack of boxes gets smaller as she goes to places which can meet her increasing levels of need. Eight times I have unpacked them again, trying to set things as closely as possible to how they have always been. Eight times I have wrapped each pretty thing in bubble wrap, eight times heard the story of each—how Bernice gave her the blue bowl because my mother helped with her mother; how Aunt Goldie had promised her that plate when she was a child; how Aunt Louise had tatted that doily; how the church she had worked at had given her that cross in a goodbye parting, certain they’d never be able to replace my mother; how she had been given that stained glass bowl at a craft show in New Hampshire and how a former beau had given her this Lenox bird and how she really should have married him.

© 2020 by Carolyn Metzler.