By anonymous contributors
What is necessary, what is required, what is possible on pathways to collective flourishing?
Through our “poetry through Lent” practice, each day we provided a different word for reflection on these questions. Over 450 people journeyed with us – one poem, one phrase, one prayer at time.
Enjoy a few of these nourishing glimpses, anonymous contributions from companions on the journey.
May they be nutrients for your day.
a dichotomy constructed between imagination
and real life–practicality, feasibility, productivity
elides the collective power we hold to imagine a world without prisons, without pipelines, without death that could have easily been flourishing
Remove the deadbolts, unlock the chests, throw open the coffers.
Then, do not walk away; rather remain present and watch as those who feel need come and take what I have called “mine.”
Abandon the idea of ownership:
Healing requires honesty
Yours. Mine. Ours.
Let everything that shrouds the truth be lifted.
The hope in fruit trees,
Planted in the present time
For eaters unborn.
the door I can’t
fear is the lock
This simmering rage fueled by all the things
we have brushed off too often – “leave it”
“it’s nothing really” – is ready to boil over.
I will not
Kill my body
To save you.
Let go of whiteness, child, you are just g(r)asping
For illusions in a vacuum, no
Air for you to breathe
There are only two men in my life
who hug me like my body
doesn’t make them afraid or disgusted.
With the recent passing of my father
Another link to my ancestors is now gone
The echoes from the past are becoming more incoherent
To make any meeting shorter, make it about apologies we have made
If it still feels too long, make it about apologies we owe
a justice issue
those who can afford it rest
the rest provide the labor to make that happen
So much release
I feast in the abundance of spring
flowers drinking warm sunshine
delighting in beauty
Be encouraged by what seems fragile
Remember the strength found in the spider’s web
Courage spins your silk-strong threads
Staying with the pain:
The body remembers; laments.
Takes me toward healing.
A scream abandons all pretense of control
I’m too pretentious
Screaming risks repercussions
I’m too careful
Screaming might open us to a powerful daring and raw deity
I may never know
Mourning is the vulnerability of meeting reality free of protective illusions. Mourning together says, yes, this hurts, and this is the reality we share.
Mourning is radical empathy.
No wonder we feel so very alone without it.
I’m not sure I know much about humility
I think what I have is rehabbed insecurity or reformed self-deprecation
Even my phone suggests humiliation instead
To not be aware of our societal mutuality
Is such a privilege
Have you ever called for help from rock bottom?
You’re too emotional
You’re too aggressive
You’re too unconventional
Unlearn that shit
We need diversity
We need young families
We need the pews filled
Unlearn that shit
I’m not good enough
I don’t fit in
They want to put me in a box
I will, with God’s help, leave what is not unlearned.
I am done shrinking myself to a mouthful so that you can consume me in comfort. It only leaves us both hungry
for the feast you forced me to abandon.
Practice is the risk we take when we allow
our ideas to take on flesh and live.
It certainly doesn’t make perfect.
sunlight caressing skin–cold flesh warming
thawing apathy, sadness, numbness
from the outside in
transformation is sacred
(trans formations are sacred, too)
daring to believe:
in possibilities luring