There’s a secret spot within me,
and maybe within thee,
a place I call I will.
It ruled for years – decades –
even as tiny voice within, and without
challenged I will:
whispering, testing, cajoling,
and warning . . .
of all those people, places and things
I could not will to be.
Had I been alert, or humble, or willing,
I might have heard that tiny voice sooner,
owning up: my will,
even in my modest corner of this life,
was smaller than insignificant.
But no, I slept, soothed by pride.
Reassured by booze, murmuring
I could and I would — someday soon, as
I ambled willfully through my nights and days
Still that tiny voice increased –
I opened my eyes and saw
His eyes – or were they hers — met mine, and in its hand
a calling card for me.
Except, louder, then, I heard a Voice:
What was it I saw?
What was it I heard?
But, I didn’t ask why . . .?
As death stared back at me, yawning, waiting.
Still, I wasn’t sure how to seek, or live,
or what I would find, or when.
But I became willing . . . a timely alternative
to my being oh so willful.
I began to hear the Voice when I opened the Bible
looking for answers—to unformed questions.
Death receded . . . in time.
The personalized calling card no longer terrifies me.
It is sobering, however.
Life blossoms . . .
Listening to what others say about pride and booze –
hearing my story in other times and places;
closing my mouth
and swallowing my excuses
was – is — the beginning.
I have yet to choke on any of them.
As one wise soul observed:
If I had been so smart . . .
well, I might have had words
worth listening to.
Have you ever seen Death, dear reader?
He — or she — is a companion who never leaves my side . . .
Can you hear Life, yet?
He, too, never leaves me . . .
and is death’s Master.
“In the midst of life we are in death;
from whom can we seek help?
From you alone, O Lord,
who by our sins are justly angered.”
(The Book of Common Prayer)
Thinking of you dear reader —
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful