The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until
Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.
The cricket has such splendid fringe on his feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it ever sleeps.
Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did,
the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t
Maybe the lake far away, where once he walked
as on a blue pavement,
lay still and waited, wild awake.
Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be part of the story.
– Mary Oliver –
It’s Good Friday, Passover, and mid way through Ramadan. To my way of thinking, the convergence of such significant holy days across these Abrahamic faith traditions signifies an energetic, archetypal potency, transcending dogma. So suggests Mary Oliver in the last stanza of this poem…the inevitability of utterly human error and vulnerability…as if written in the stars for all to unfold as it must.
I’ve written here in the past that I was born on Good Friday. For those who follow the traditions, this doesn’t translate to having a Good Friday birthday every year, though I have had several. Too, I’ve shared how having a birthday on what many view as the darkest day of the Christian calendar gave way over the years for much consternation and contemplation. Now I simply accept it as a meaningful thread within my personal narrative.
This year my birthday is tomorrow, Easter Saturday. Nearly three decades ago, I intuitively evolved the creation of a “coming of age” ceremony for that day, one held within the earliest traditions for baptism. For me, the declaration before my God that I was from that day forward accepting responsibility for my life…that I would now become my own “god mother.” This culminated in legally changing my name to honour the women after whom I’d been first named, and taking a third in gratitude for another who had championed me as a young girl. I became Katharine Maria Anneliese, names that took some time for me to publicly claim, and that I have been growing into ever since. Names that, in my opinion, age well with the promise and potential for ever becoming. Names that every day honour the ancestors, ancients and angels who guide me.
In a most lovely, spontaneous revealing, I learned a few months ago that I share a birth date with poet whose work I admire. Given some other shared affinities and affections, we’ve concluded a soul connection at work that might eventually bode well for some poetic collaborations. In the meantime, I send her my love and warmest wishes for a lovely April 8th birthday.
Much love and kindest regards, dear friends.
11 thoughts on “Gethsemane”
Beautiful, wise words. Blessed birthday, my friend. And, again, the sharing of a poem—one of Saint Mary’s that I did not know. Much love, Ann
Thank you. 💖
Thank you for this. My birthday, Apr
Rich, warm & wise sharing, Thank You. Happy Birthday tomorrow.
Thank you, my friend. Happy Easter to you.
Always ‘thought provoking words’…may you have a Blessed Easter and a wonderful Birthday celebrating ‘wonderful YOU’🌹
I am so deeply moved by your recent blogs, thank you Katharine, Aries sister. You are in such a place of eldership…the photo of you is like National Geographic… I have printed it for my journal along with this post and poem. love, cb
I have three elder “heart sisters,” to whom I am deeply grateful, for inspiring and mentoring me well into this life stage. Thank you. Much love.
Thought provoking words…may you have a Blessed Easter and a wonderful Birthday celebrating
Thank you, Debra, and Easter blessings to you, too.
Happy Birthday, Katherine, I too love Mary Oliver and appreciate you sharing this poem, at this time (given that it is your birthday and Easter).