salt and water sting
falling cherry blossoms weep
disrupting our spring
drops of nard spill free
a bride's gift miraculous
a woman's unction
her love joyful sacrifice
song of songs fall's rite
incense sweet from eyes
memory's layers divined
winter's ground cracked soft
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas
I wrote this poem for Tuesday's Blog Carnival, sponsored by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time. The Blog Carnival is a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write either original poetry or prose reflecting their consideration of the one-word prompt or topic. The prompt for October 5 is "healing".
At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the Blog Carnival contributions, which are posted throughout Tuesday and often through to the end of the week.
The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.
The prompt for the next Blog Carnival, scheduled for Tuesday, October 19, is "condemnation". The complete schedule of prompts through the end of the year is available at Bridget's and also on the FaceBook page.
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I also offer this poem for One Stop Poetry's weekly "One Shot Wednesday" event. Be sure to visit the site late Tuesday afternoon and every Wednesday for links to the many contributors' poems.
A Possible Inspiration
Recently, I read Makoto Fujimura's "The Beautiful Tears". I realized only after writing and redrafting and reading my poem that Fujimura's essay might have served as my inspiration. I think the essay speaks beautifully to the meaning of tears: Tears given up in the experience of deep loss (our own, that of others) represent, to me, love. Tears also sometimes come with the sheer joy of experiencing the act of love. Love is healing. Moreover, both literally and metaphorically, tears help keep our vision clear. Tears, of course, are made of water; they also contain sodium chloride, or salt (in a concentration that, according to MadSci Network, is approximately equivalent to that of our oceans), as well as vitamins and minerals that nourish our eyes and keep them healthy. Water is life-giving, spiritually nourishing and cleansing, and therefore healing. Salt, in some amount, we require for good health. It is durable, long-lasting in the way our faith and hope should be, and it serves to preserve, disinfect (think of our uses of salt water when we have infections), and purify. We heal when we are made whole and pure in body, mind, and spirit. Tears heal.
Nard is mentioned in the Gospels. (One explanation of its uses is here.) It was in ancient times precious, as was salt, as is water still today, as is love always.