What the Angel Didn’t Say

WHAT THE ANGEL DIDN’T SAY

I notice that when
the angel spoke to Mary
she got news that God
was pleased with her,
and that she would bear a son
destined for greatness,
but no mention was made
of torture and early death
and the way her heart
would break completely and
irrevocably. The angel told her
not to be afraid, but didn’t mention
the need to take the baby
and run from Herod or even
giving birth in a stable.
If the heavenly being hinted
at a future seated at the right hand
of God, it never acknowledged
how different that feels than
having him seated at the
family table for supper,
and the ache of an empty chair.
Maybe she knew, and said yes anyway.
Maybe the big ask
is to open the door to suffering,
which is the door marked Love.

– Lynn Ungar –
December 16, 2021

Since returning to Italy in October, truly my heart’s home, or at least one of them, I splurged on a subscription to the weekly ITALY Magazine and follow its daily posts on language, culture, food – with beautiful photos – on Facebook and IG. Yesterday reading the current issue, I was reminded that December 8 is “la Festa dell’Immacolata Concezione,” the Feast of the Immaculate Conception when the Angel visited Mary, the day in many parts of Italy where trees are festooned with lights marking the beginning of the Christmas season. So this poem from Lynn Ungar, stored in the dark of my virtual file since last year, fit the bill for today’s post.

Earlier this week, I read an essay by Perdita Finn, wherein she gave an alternate interpretation to the feast day: that of Mary being immaculate, born without sin, free from karma. That she symbolizes the universe’s womb, the dark matter out of which all life emerges on earth. “This is why so many of the old Madonnas were depicted as black, as black as the original mothers, as the soil, as the space between the stars.”

Aligning with the Celtic celebration of Solstice and its honouring of the wisdom of the dark, when what is planted, resting fallow hidden in the depths, can decay or gestate, renew, transform. Mary becomes the the earthly embodiment of the divine feminine and its creative-destructive cycles of life and death.

Or as Lynn offers, the suffering that is Love.

Much love and kindest regards dear friends as you enter the ever growing darkness of December.

Author: Katharine Weinmann

attending to the inner life to live and lead with kindness, clarity and wisdom; writing to claim the beauty in her wabi sabi life

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