Friday, February 22, 2008

Faire is the heaven...

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening
into the house and gate of heaven,
to enter into that gate and dwell in that house,
where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light;
no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession;
no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity;
in the habitations of thy glory and dominion,
world without end.

after John Donne (1571-1631)

Singing Owl, in the calm before the memorial service for her beloved sister, has turned her mourning into a gift for us, with an invitation both to look forward and to celebrate the heaven in our midst....She asks

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):

1. Family get-together
Because I'm an only child of two only children, family gatherings aren't something I warm to hugely. Inevitably they currently tend to be very much about LCM's extensive family, and I am slightly aware all the time of the way my own children and parents have missed out on one another. So, a heavenly family gathering would have to be just that...with my parents finally getting to hug and be hugged by the grandchildren who have never known them.
Here and now, I think it might be quite small...My children and those special friends who have become honorary family members....together somewhere with log fires and candle-light, with time to sit and talk, tell stories and make music together.

2. Song or musical piece
Bach understands the music of heaven. The slow movement of the Double Violin Concerto, or the Theme from the Goldberg Variations would work for me every time.

3. Gift
Knowing all my children were happy and secure in themselves and their worlds.

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
A heavenly holiday would involve time to be with people I love, and time on my own.
Time to walk by the sea, and to drift along on Polyphony.
Time to explore new wonders, and to return to familiar haunts.
Time for excitement, and time for deep calm.
Time to read, and no guilt that others were working while I did so.
Long summer evenings, drinking chilled wine and watching the sun set slowly.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like?

What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"
The "Et Resurrexit" from the B Minor Mass playing...An open door and One whom I love saying
"Welcome home, Kathryn....There are so many people longing to see you" -and then going in, and finding (much like Greenbelt) an endless and delightful variety before me....
This poem by Stewart Henderson carries so much of the longing hope I try to articulate and share with others....

This day in paradise

this day in paradise
new feet are treading through
high halls of gold

this day in paradise
new legs are striding over jewelled fields in which
the diamond
is considered ordinary

this day in paradise
new eyes have glimpsed the deep fire ready
to flame the stale earth pure

this day in paradise
new blood, the rose red juice that gushed at golgotha
now ripples and races down the pure veins
of a recently arrived beloved

this day in paradise
a new heart pounds in praise
a new body shaped by sacrifice

this day in paradise
the daunting dart of death
has no point
no place
and no meaning

and whilst we mourn and weep
through these human hours
this day in paradise
the blazing embrace
between saviour and son goes on and on and on...

See you there.


j said...

This is such a beautiful post. Thank you...especially for the poetry.

Diane said...

yes, thank you so much for the poetry, and for the other wise thoughts, especially on family...

revhipchick said...

lovely post.

i especially loved your answer regarding the children.

Deb said...

That was a great post... thanks.


Sally said...

Thank you...thank you.

Sue said...

Lovely. Thank you.

Crimson Rambler said...

I love the phrase, "one equall light" -- there's a lovely anthology of Donne, both prose and poetry, with that as its title.