Friday, March 15, 2013

Poem: Liturgy

There are as many ways to stand in church 
As there are neuroses. 
You can do it with righteous gratitude like the Pharisee. 
You can do it for fear of doing something wrong, 
Or in hope of Doing Something Right. 
You can do it to manifest your identity (whichever identity you choose).
You can do it in hope that the aesthetic superiority of this ancient rite will make an impression on the people you hope will wander in.
You can do it simply as something to be gotten through,
Even if you’ve forgotten why getting through it was important in the first place.  
But if you’re lucky, 
(Stay there, and you will be), 
You’ll sometimes stand there simply present, 
At least for a moment or two: 
No separation between you, your concelebrants, and the words and acts of thanksgiving and awe, 
Or between you and the Cosmos, for that matter. 
You’ll see that luck actually had nothing to do with it. 
And you’ll bring that simple presence home. 
It’ll get you out of bed in the morning and put you on the bus. 
It’ll graciously infiltrate your coffee drinking, your budgets meeting, your argument with the neighbor, and your watching of Star Trek reruns, 
At least for a moment or two at a time. 
And with gratitude for that moment or two, 
Wanting or expecting nothing else, 
Wanting or expecting nothing, really, 
You’ll return to stand there again and say, 
With sincerity, 
Or at least the aspiration for sincerity:
In peace let us pray to the Lord.

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