Monday, March 09, 2009

lenten journal: beatitude

I had a chance to see Richard Thompson in concert tonight in a solo acoustic performance. His songs were well crafted and beautiful, his stage presence was engaging, and his guitar playing was magnificent, evidence of someone who has spent his life determined to be a great guitar player. He has accomplished his goal. Watching him brought two statements to mind, one a Beatitude of Jesus and the other a book title:

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Jesus

“Purity in heart is to will one thing.” – Soren Kierkegaard
I remember reading Kierkegaard in seminary and contemplating the book title as an explanation of Jesus’ words. Both statements are problematic for me because I am not a person of singular interest or effort. I play guitar, but I play like someone who also likes to cook and write and, well, do just about anything I come across, including writing poetry. This one’s for Richard.

you played me a blues song
and brought down the house
I sat in the dark with my heart
torn open by your hands
on the strings, making music
I could not even imagine

can I afford for my response
to such beauty be to fret –
I am not one to will one thing
still, I could see the divine
in the way your hands moved

practiced hands at home
with the frets and strings –
and you’ve been home there
for a long, long time
while I have wandered

and wondered with dreams
of my own, less practiced
perhaps, less familiar
with focus, but still
hoping to see God.


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