A Clearer View

A Clearer View
From the desk of John Kiemele


Since we turned our calendars a few months ago, who hasn’t thought about or heard references to this being a year for seeing with greater precision, for gaining or regaining vision clarity?

Little did I or any of us realize then what all would be involved in catalyzing clarity for us. Understandably this year, approaching Holy Week and the celebration of Resurrection Life feels entirely different with nearly every external set and prop and script stripped away.

In such barrenness where is the kindling for celebration?
I know I am not entirely bereft (or else what have I been cultivating these nearly 60 years?); however, my angst among the sparseness does catch my attention.

Much like Irish poet and priest John O’Donohue catches my attention when asserting that we have “utterly taken up with the outside world and allowed the interior life to shrink.” (“Divine Beauty” © 2003)

Hmmm…enter my question:
If I don’t have all the external accoutrements this Easter, what is there?

One possible answer:  A clearer view.

O’Donohue charges that somewhere along the line we have unlearned the patience and attention of lingering at the threshold where the Unknown awaits. Somehow my chronic distractions and or inattention erode interior capacity for a celebration wellspring.
Have I substituted ease and convenience for substance?
Has impatience set up layers and layers of expectations?
Do my persistent “ought-to-bes” and “really-should-bes” realign my inner willingness to linger?

Somehow if I want a clearer view, it seems that my stubborn familiars need to be turned…if not tossed.

Thanks be to God that our loving Unknown Turner lives…closer to me than my own breath…asking to clear my view during Holy Week 2020.

The prayer emerging for me is to relent, to soften, to allow, to invite a clearer view.  English poet Malcolm Guite pens my prayer this way:

Come to your Temple here with liberation
And overturn these tables of exchange
Restore in me my lost imagination
Begin in me for good, the pure change.
Come as you came, an infant with your mother,
That innocence may cleanse and claim this ground
Come as you came, a boy who sought his father
With questions asked and certain answers found,
Come as you came this day, a man in anger
Unleash the lash that drives a pathway through
Face down for me the fear the shame the danger
Teach me again to whom my love is due.
Break down in me the barricades of death
And tear the veil in two with your last breath.

(“Cleansing the Temple,” Sounding the Seasons, Canterbury Press, © 2012)

An unveiled, clearer view…so be it.

Peace and love to you in this good day.
John Kiemele
North Hampton, 2020


For more Selah Ponderings:  Selah Ponderings

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