of the prayers we are already praying.
“D U S T I N G
Time to dust again.
Time to caress my house,
to stroke all its surfaces.
I want to think of it as a kind of love-making
… the chance to appreciate by touch
what I live with and cherish.
The rags come out –old soft pajama legs,
torn undershirts, frayed towels.
They are still of use.
It is precisely because they have exhausted
their original use that they have come
to this honorable task.
Rag in hand, I feel along each piece
of furniture I live with, and the luster returns
to the old sideboard, to the chair legs
and the lamp stands. It is as if by touch
they are revealed and restored to themselves.
Strange that in the dumbness of inanimate things
we can feel so much silent response.
What then of us animate creatures?
We are so many-surfaced: bumpy, smooth,
prickly, rough, silky, hairy, spiny, soft, scaly,
furry, feathery, sharp, and so on and on.
And don’t we all want to be stroked in some way
… to be restored to ourselves by touch
as much as by sight or smell or sound?
I want to be a lover of surfaces all day today.
Let this be the prayer:
that my hands not be ashamed
to give and to receive a passionate exchange
… to luster and to be lustered…
and so come to feel Your inward touch.”
………….GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book of poems,
Being Home ( 1991), illustrated with photos by Greta D. Sibley.
It is easy to be house-bound due to so much wintry snowy weather
here in the north-east. This poem does more than warm the rooms,
it warms my heart.
always with love,