three diptychs, a poem, and a bible passage

Posted by on March 18, 2013

 for a cold spring and the first day of a late lent

Birdwings

by Rumi

Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
                                                                     and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.

* * *

And a passage from Isaiah 58:

Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.
And the Lord will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.


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  1. Manuela
    March 18, 2013

    Thank you, Julia. This is beautiful. It has been a cold Spring, but it is wonderful to look at the colors of your diptychs. I love them all, especially the first one. The advantage of a late lent is that you get to celebrate your Easter hopefully in warm Spring weather and with flowers outside instead with snow on the ground.

  2. Julia
    March 18, 2013

    Thanks, Manuela. The top diptych came out and I immediately knew that it was entirely influenced (or maybe born out of) years of looking at your photography.

  3. Evelina
    March 21, 2013

    I confirm. I thought I was on Manuela's blog and wondered how comes Esme in the picture, have you been visiting each other and so on. Only when I opened the comments did I realize where am I.