The Word by Mary Oliver
How wonderful! I speak of the soul and seven people
rise from their chairs and leave the room, seven others
lean forward to listen. I speak of the body, the spirit,
the mockingbird, the hollyhock, leaves opening in the
rain, music, faith, angels seen at dusk—and seven
more people leave the room and are seen running
down the road. Seven more stay where they are but
make murmurous disruptive sounds. Another seven
hang their heads, feigning disinterest though their
hearts are open, their hope is high that they will hear
the word even again. The word is already, for them,
the song in the forest. They know already how everything
is better—the dark trees less terrible, the ocean
less hungry—when it comes forth, and looks around
with its crisp and lovely eye, and begins to sing.
From What Do We Know: Poems and Prose Poems (De Capo Press, Cambridge, MA: 2002)
In the beginning was the Word and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and glory, so the message of the Gospels tells us. The word becomes Word, the baby becomes the Savior. The world is changed to Word. Announcements become real and for some, the whole world is lit like a million candles fluttering at once. Who could deny such a moment? Who would not see and be changed?
Beauty lasts but a fleeting moment but words turn into Word. Our journey is to re-live these moments. One moment we understand and receive the Word and then at other times the Word presents its beauty and we leave the room. One day we lean forward and another we receive a glimpse of Love and we are changed.
In the beginning was God. Today is God, and tomorrow will be God. This is the gift given to us in the birth of the Child. Some left the room. Some stayed to listen. Some leaned forward and heard the cry and wept with joy.