I started yesterday steeping myself in the Annunciation. On Thursday, I had tried writing a list poem of reasons why women before Mary might have said no to the angel Gabriel, with his message of God's plan to take on human flesh in the form of a baby.
I didn't really like the list poem, although it helped me think about the categories of reasons why women might have said no to the opportunity of being the mother of the Divine. Yesterday I wrote a different version of the poem, and I liked it much better.
I have the Annunciation on the brain because today I am in charge of the interactive service at our church. We are off lectionary, so we're looking at the story of the annunciation. I was trying to think of something new to do. We've done plays and that kind of approach.
Today, I'm taking copies of Annunciation: Sixteen Contemporary Poets Consider Mary. One of those poets is me. When the book came out a few years ago, I ordered extra copies because I could get an author's discount. I thought I might want to have them if I did readings, but so far, that hasn't happened. They have sat on my shelf since they came to my mailbox.
So, today, we'll look through the book to see if any of the poems or woodcuts speak to us. Yesterday after I wrote my poem, I looked at the book to be sure that there wasn't anything too intense for children. I should look again, because I got distracted by the poems that I read, and then I wanted to find more from the authors, and then I was down the rabbit hole of the Internet--but in a good way.
I've meant to return to this book since I ordered the copies. I thought I might use it for an Advent practice, but that hasn't happened. I'm glad to have an opportunity to spend some time with the book, and I hope others will enjoy it too. If you'd like a copy, you can order it here.
I am often in charge of the interactive service during Advent, at least one of them, and I often choose the Annunciation. I do worry that I say the same thing year after year. There's nothing wrong with that--in fact it could be good.
But this year, I'm sure I haven't had this approach. Tomorrow, I'll report back on how it goes.
The rest of the day moved me away from thoughts of the annunciation. We did some trimming of the hedges. I kept my spouse company--he did some grading for his online class on the porch, and I read--very pleasant. I got a haircut and spent time with the friends with whom I always get a haircut.
Our talk turned to how the hurricane has impacted our thinking. Our hairdresser is thinking about selling her house and renting for as long as she continues to live in the area. One of my friends spent $17,000 to get a whole house generator. I play with a variety of possibilities, like buying a house further inland and north of Lake Okeechobee (I could get there on one tank of gas, so it would give me an evacuation shelter), but the first thing to do is repair the damage to the 2 small houses on my property.
When I got home, my spouse and I took a walk to the marina where we saw huge yachts docked at Hollywood restaurants across the Intracoastal. We went home to a pasta supper and a glass of wine--perhaps just a variation of what those rich yacht folks were eating. It's good to remember the pleasures of this place, even while preparing for disaster.
I wonder if I could weave those elements into an Annunciation poem?