Today is the feast day of the Annunciation. What is that holiday? Simply put, it celebrates the encounter between the angel Gabriel and Mary, who would become famous as the mother of Jesus. He gives her the vision that God has for her; she agrees.
For a more theological reflection, see this post of mine which is up at the Living Lutheran site.
This morning, I was lying in bed reflecting on earlier times when I knew more people who were pregnant, breastfeeding, or adapting to small children. Twelve years ago, I wrote this line, "The world is awash in breast milk."
Thirteen months ago I was at a creativity retreat at Lutheridge, a church camp, at the same week-end where a camp counselor returned to get married. All their friends came too. They all looked so young. All day on Saturday, I saw young people in their dress-up clothes, adjusting a tie here, a strap there. I battled a rising sense of panic that once I went to weddings, and now I'll be going to funerals.
This past year has been a year of many types of cancers, none of them mine. Now when I think of Mary and the period of waiting, of incubating. I am resisting seeing the similarities to cancers. Maybe an idea that I resist because it scares me and it feels sacrilegious--maybe I should explore that idea in tomorrow's poetry writing session.
I am far more comfortable with the idea of a long incubation of a creative work that isn't ready for the world yet. I'm an older woman who has had visions for her creative work that haven't come to fruition yet. No blockbuster novel that's been made into a hit movie--no, that hasn't happened yet. I struggle to find time to create while also having time with friends and loved ones while also taking care of my day job responsibilities.
The waiting aspect of the annunciation story gives me the most hope. God has a vision for the redemption of the world. But that vision requires lots of waiting. There's the waiting through the 9 months of pregnancy and then the waiting that it takes to bring a child to adulthood.
But I also know that one can get mired in the waiting. I need to move into a place where I'm taking more action.
Like an expectant mother, I feel tired and overwhelmed at the thought of taking action. How can I possibly get the nursery painted and the crib refinished and the baby clothes bought and the quilts made? But stitch by stitch, the quilts will be made. If I can't paint the nursery today, perhaps I can get some swatches and decide on colors.
In the next day or two, I will send a chapbook manuscript to Finishing Line press. Everything is ready to go--now all I need to do is the uploading.
Perhaps in 9 months I will be welcoming a new chapbook into the world.
What would you like to see incarnate in 9 months?
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