Food for Thought-The Unseen Snow

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On a forgotten summer night,
Among the fighting waves of humid heat,
I catch a glimpse of cold grey light,
In that moment summertime grows weak,
Glimpsed between the blinds in my sight,
The unseen snow beckons me.

–Richard Bryant

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Food for Thought-The Mourning Indicative in the East

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I awake to the absolute humiliation,
Of darkness’ irrevocable defeat,
Seeking certain validation,
The foregone superstitions clash,
Redemption overcomes sleep,
Dissolving from the subjunctive black,
To a mourning indicative in the east.

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-The Blind Forerunners of Dawn

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Translucent sparrows,
Dart among the invisible leaves,
As the sunset races,
Tangerine skies cursed between,
The dying grasps of sapphire and wine,
We think we see,
Harbingers of night,
Beckoning the blind forerunners of dawn,
Flickering hope among rustling leaves,
Who sing simple harmonies,
Now only at first light,
We may see again,
And bid farewell,
to death’s fading cloak,
the diminishing gray of night.

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-Reading Between the Light, Looking at the Theology of an Illuminated Devotion

Book of Hours

I am fascinated by devotional books. Some of the oldest devotionals in the western Christian tradition were known as “Books of Hours”. Usually smaller than most books, they were exquisitely decorated with illustrations of scriptural scenes, depictions of the Virgin Mary, and art outlining the understanding and insights of medieval theology. If you see an illuminated manuscript these days, it’s probably taken from a Book of Hours.

There is a page from a mid 14th century Book of Hours which always catches my eye. It’s a depiction of the universe and all things between heaven and earth. What makes this illustration unique (particularly for this time in history) is how the artist conveyed Earth’s relationship to heaven. Earth is portrayed at the lowest and darkest point of the universe. At the top of the page, light from heaven, light from beyond our universe, streams down to illuminate the earth below. Earth isn’t the light filled center of the pre-Copernican universe. Languishing in layers of distorted darkness, light comes to the whole of creation from the epicenter of heaven. Somewhere in the Middle Ages someone wanted to be reminded that God’s light shines on everyone and that humanity’s relationship to God is one bathed in light, hope, and love.

Food for Thought-Gratitude on a Broken Blue Sky Monday in May

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Broken Blue Sky Monday

I’m grateful the rain has stopped

the sky is broken, ripped, and torn

it needs no mending, it isn’t worn

the blue is breaking through the grey

at nine pm we start the day

Mary walks the dog with Mackenzie

her day has been the usual frenzy

the doorbell never ceases ringing

now I hear someone singing

Christmas carols in mid May

is this weird or a Monday?

Some of both, who can say

I wouldn’t miss this either way.

This is my posse, these are my peeps,

I live with my gang, this is for keeps.

Darkness rises on an Irish night

will all things be all right?

Behind the hedges, we will sleep

and our strangeness help us keep

safe until morning, rested till dawn

when our fears are safely gone.

–Richard Bryant