Write a letter to a landscape or scene you pass through today.
For example, “Dear Branner Trafficway.”
You rest now in my way.
The plastic cartons I put you in
clutter the path
I step around the contents of your dismembered
trying not to trip,
coffee cup in one hand
sheaf of papers in the other.
Squeezing past a bin
I stumble upon
tales of trips
to the woods
what happened last Tuesday,
and how Gladys brought over a pan of sweet rolls,
still warm from the oven
poems about birds and babies
and things you cannot change and break your heart
word snapshots and watercolor sketches -
scattered orange road construction cones
confuse the once familiar scene.
The blue china sectioned dish you fed me from,
when I kicked my legs in the high chair,
peeks over the top of another box.
Photo albums, the ducks you carved,
and all the letters and cards I ever sent you
occupy the landscape of my life
and I am no longer sure
how to get from here to there.
Periods of disorientation are part of the spiritual life Biblical theologian Walter Brueggemann tells us. Such periods precede what he calls new orientation. Brueggemann charts how the history of Israel tells the story of orientation, confusion and loss of direction, and new clarity over and over. The story culminates in the crucifixion and resurrection and then continues with the church and our individual journeys as well.
What are the inner and outer landscapes you are passing through today? Take a moment to share what you are witnessing so we all may grow closer to seeing the big picture.
Thanks to Melissa Sewell and Leah Sewell and the Topeka Writers’ Workshop for inviting me to pay attention to my landscape.