Sunday morning I had the pleasure of delivering a poem to support a performance of Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia. This is a stunning piece of music, performed and recorded annually to great effect, with Winter himself conducting, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan on the evening of the Winter Solstice. It was no less stunning in this little Unitarian Universalist Church, with singers and musicians of my own community. Below is the poem, following my introductory words. I offer them as blessings for these times.
Last December, around this time, my friend, DC activist Paul Zeitz, asked me for a poem to help catalyze a broad based movement that challenges the way politics are being played in this country, a movement that he and his co-creators were calling the "Justice Movement."
Now if I had to give a reason why I write poetry—other than that it’s fun and I’m good at it— it would be this: to inspire any and all movement toward justice, toward a way of living that is kinder and more fair, not to mention more joyous, than the way we are living now. I told him that I had probably already written the poem, and yes, I would be glad to offer it.
At this time last year, you may remember, there was a full lunar eclipse concurrent with the winter solstice, an historic alignment. So, truth be told, I got a bit of extra help from the heavens with the poem. And then I was honored to deliver it last January on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in the very place where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, before a band of some seventy six others who hunger and thirst for justice. What could be more meaningful, more worthwhile? Perhaps nothing, except offering the poem here, in this little church in East Mt Airy, Philadelphia, my own neighborhood, with singers and musicians I love, in honor of the music that is created among us… and the planet in which we all take part.
The poem was dedicated, yes, to the birth of the Justice Movement, and I dedicate it now to the spirit of justice that moves within each of us, and to the Mystery within which this just way of living is, even as I speak, unfolding.
Dark of the Moon/Dark of the Sun
Dedicated to the birth of the Justice Movement
Yes, I am patient.
Yes, I will wait.
This darkness I bear within me
is the mother of all possibilities.
She takes her time,
as any mother must.
I plant my roots and place my bones
in the land of my birth.
I hold the faces of the moon in my crown.
The sun itself pulses
in dark rivers through my trunk.
This is the truth of my being.
I do not deny it.
And so, alive, pregnant
with knowledge of what I am,
I stand before you singing
my silence, my life in awe,
wrested from holy ground.
I do not need this world to change.
But it will. I tell you. It will.
© 2010 by Susan Windle
It was a wonderful concert, a glorious gathering, an exalted worship service that left me profoundly grateful. I am alive. I am able to offer my voice, my life, my work in support of these rich and loamy miracles that we are.
However you celebrate this season of darkness, I wish you much light and warmth.