Lent — day eight

Buechner once talked about a character that he wrote
as if the man were a friend, born of a chance encounter;
which, in some ways, I suppose he was. Buechner spoke
of the way the man stuck with him – a shadow,
an unasked for cat – and how he couldn’t help
but to write him, again and again.

My brother, who is twelve next Monday, is a writer.
He prefers doing anything that involves sweaty skill,
to writing; and I wonder sometimes that he’s afraid
he can’t love both, that he’s afraid he is not created
to live in all kinds of paradox, though he doesn’t know
that word yet. He is a paradoxical thing – we all are –
so, he writes. Mostly for school. Still, he writes.
And his words remind me how words can play,
and look like one thing, but mean another.

I wonder, sometimes, what it was like to worship
Jesus wrapped in swaddling cloths, still a small bit
purple and slimy. I wonder what it was like to
celebrate Love itself, the one who came to rewrite
every ill-spoken, misguided, wrong word; the one
who came to look at you with visible eyes.
What it was like to look at him and see only
the promise of a story still to unfold.


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