Thursday, April 25, 2013

Washington Park

I ran across this poem by Gerald Costanzo the other day and it made me long for the Pacific Northwest. I grew up just outside of Portland, but my dad lived there and we would often go to Washington Park. We walked the train tracks between the park and the zoo, jumping out to scare the train goers. We would read the names and dates of all the Queens of Rosaria. In 2011, I took my family and we spent an afternoon in the park. I realized again how beautiful it is.

Washington Park

I went walking in the Rose Gardens.
It was about to rain, but the roses
were beginning to bloom. The Olympiads,

some Shreveports, and the Royal
Sunsets. This was in the beautiful
city I had taken away from myself

years before, and now I was giving it back.
I walked over the Rosaria tiles
and found Queen Joan of 1945. I sat

on the hillside overlooking the reservoir
and studied the Willamette and the Douglas
firs. I learned the traffic

and the new highrises as the rain
came down.

                    This leaving and returning,

years of anger and forgiveness,
the attempts to forgive one’s self—
it’s everybody’s story,

and I was sitting there
filling up again with the part of it
that was mine.

—Gerald Costanzo, from Nobody Lives on Arthur Godfrey Boulevard, Rochester NY: BOA Editions, Ltd., 1992. [chapter 9]

Monday, April 22, 2013

Piper on Grieving the Loss of a Child

“But there is another way God is honored in our grieving. When we taste the loss so deeply because we loved so deeply and treasured God’s gift — and God in his gift — so passionately that the loss cuts the deeper and the longer, and yet in and through the depths and the lengths of sorrow we never let go of God, and feel him never letting go of us — in that longer sorrow he is also greatly honored, because the length of it reveals the magnitude of our sense of loss for which we do not forsake God. At every moment of the lengthening grief, we turn to him not away from him. And therefore the length of it is a way of showing him to be ever-present, enduringly sufficient.”

—Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trueman on Thatcher and the Teenage Years

Recently, two connected thoughts have entered my conscience. First, that at 42, an end approaches. Second, that I still live much of my life in my teenage years. Carl Trueman, quoted here before, touches both of those thoughts.
Yet she is dead. The woman who defined the teenage years of many of us—and we all live a lot of our lives in our teenage years—has gone. As I thought of Hill today, I also thought of the film, The Iron Lady, an elegy to the erosion of power and of life itself that aging brings with it. The powerful woman laid low by old age. Her story beckons us all. When Thatcher ruled the waves, I was a teenage boy; and like all teenage boys, I thought I would live forever. Now, approaching the age Mrs T was when she became Tory leader, I am not so sure of my immortality any more. This is the land of lost content. 
Read his whole post.