21 August 2007

the slow migration of glaciers...

three postings in one day hmmm...lots of life lessons being learned in my life these days i guess. don't know what it is about a trip to alaska...but i always come back brimming with thoughts about life and living. so...here's some more of my thoughts...but first, a poem from jewel's book of poetry: a night without armor. it's called "the slow migration of glaciers"...and i've loved it since i first read it in a seventeen magazine back in high school. much more poignant to me now that i've left...left the land i still call home.

the slow migration of glaciers
unfolding through the centuries
their heavy wing
burdened with all the
weight of the earth
they move and carve and breathe

swollen rivers thick with soot
my pony and i drawing
deep sharp breaths
as we cross
in all that is natural and Holy

to run free with you once more
to let my hair tangle itself
in a wind that knows only motion

to lose my heart once again
in the thorns of primrose
on the plains of fox river valley
lost in a maze of timothy and blue grass hay.

these are the things which made me
these are the things i call home
these are the things that have filled
my heart with song and i raise them now in homage:

my father and i riding until after dark
chasing cattle or startling eagles into flight
cooking on a coal stove
cutting meat with a dull knife
my hands raw from picking rose hips
on the sea cliffs above kackamack bay
staring endlessly at the blue sky...

few would guess now how much i miss
you alaska

how my heart grows
heavy out here

so far away

so much talk
so much noise
strangling all stillness
so i can no longer
hear the voice of God whisper
to me in the silence

i will return to you, alaska,
my beloved, but for now
i am youth's solider
chasing down
an endless dawn

obviously, there are parts of that poem that don't really apply to me...like, i've never ridden a pony or picked rose hips above kackamack bay...but i can (and have) substitute my own memories and pieces of my alaskan history. but that last part especially...mmm. it hits me hard every time.

i've read that poem to john a couple times. i always cry when i get to the bolded part. i know he doesn't understand the attachment one can have to a place. it's hard to explain unless you know too. but i realized something when i came back from my trip a couple weeks ago. the reason my "heart grows heavy out here" has little to do with the traffic and the heat (though i'm sure they contribute) but to the fact iterated in the second part of that stanza: i can no longer hear the voice of God whisper to me in the silence. it's easy in alaska to be closer to God because you feel physically closer. the mountains, the sky, the fresh air...it all screams God's name, praising Him along with you. but here..."so far away...so much talk...so much noise". it truly does strangle the stillness. it's hard to find that quiet place everyday. but at least now, i know. i know why my heart becomes a parched wasteland and why i get so weary...so weary. i have to seek out that quiet place...that stillness and let God fill me up regardless of my geographical location. to stop relying on periodic trips to the land of my youth to quench my thirsty soul and trust God to do it instead...that's what i need to do.

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