Saturday, March 29, 2014

March 29: Gratitude Twenty-Five, Coming of Wonders, Bruce Snider, New Cartoon

On Sunday the church was full.  The minister explained the miracle.  He said the words on the spider's web proved that human beings must always be on the on the watch for the coming of wonders.

The minister in Charlotte's Web is right.  We must always be aware of the wonders of the world.  Spider webs.  Icicles five feet long.  Rainbows on an oily puddle.  Green M&Ms.  Every day, God puts wonders in our paths.

Tonight, I went to church with my family.  During a Catholic mass, a lot of liturgical music is sung and played.  One of my favorites is the "Agnus Dei" or "Lamb of God."  There are several musical settings for it, and all of them are quite beautiful.  The English version, in one translation, is:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

For some reason, when the organ starts playing and the choir starts singing the "Lamb of God," I'm always moved to the point of tears.  I find something plaintive and longing in the words.  A yearning for compassion and harmony in the music.  It's a beautiful and moving point in the mass.  And I am grateful for it.

I'm also grateful for a poem by Bruce Snider tonight.  It was first published in The Gettysburg Review and reprinted in The Best American Poetry 2012:

The Drag Queen Dies in New Castle

Returning home
  at twenty-nine, you made
a bed your throne, your
  brothers carrying you
from room to room,

each one in turn holding
  the glass to your lips,
though you were the oldest
  of the brood.  Buried
by the barn you vanished,

but the church women
  bought your wigs
for the Christmas pageant
  that year, your blouses sewn
into a quilt under which

two newlyweds lay,
  skin to skin as if they
carried some sense
  of your undressing.  Skirts
swayed where sheep grazed

the plow and the farmer
  reached between legs
to pull out the calf,
  fluid gushing to his feet.
On lines across town,

dresses flapped empty
  over mulch while you
kept putting on your show,
  bones undressing like
it's never over, throwing

off your last great shift
  where a fox snake sank
its teeth into a corn
  toad's back, the whole
field flush with clover.

Saint Marty hopes all his disciples have something for which to be grateful this evening.  A song.  A poem.  A beautiful moon in a star-filled night.

Confessions of Saint Marty

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