As I continue on my path of becoming less of a nurse and more of a writer, I decided to attend a writer’s conference. For me, writing takes a lot of time. Studying writing and learning about it takes even more time, which is why I don’t usually do much of it. I know I should read more but life takes over. I know I should read more but I fall asleep after about an hour of it (unless it is absolutely riveting). I have a daughter who reads a lot and writes beautifully – she is the one who suggested I come to the conference, which she also will be attending. I have a feeling that for three days we will be immersed in a world that is different from the one we normally inhabit. I have asked myself, “how can I prepare for this?” The voice in my head answered “By reading some of the books (untouched) on your shelf – stupid.” My inner voice calls me stupid sometimes but I know it is said with affection and I don’t let it bother me.
I picked up a book this morning and read a poem that I liked. I liked the way the author analyzed the poem too. The book is “Praying through Poetry: Hope for Violent Times” by Peggy Rosenthal. The poem is “The Translation of Raimundo Luz: My Imitation”
I sold my possessions, even the colorful pencils.
I gave all my money to the dull. I gave my poverty
to the president. I became a child again, naked
and relatively innocent. I let the president have my guilt.
I found a virgin and asked her to be my mother.
She held me very sweetly.
I watched father build beautiful shapes with wood.
He too had a gentle way.
I made conversation in holy places with the chosen.
Their theater was grim.
I suggested they cheer up. Many repented,
I floated the wide river on a raft.
I set Jim free.
I revised every word.
One morning, very early, I was taken by brutes and beaten.
I was nailed to a cross so sturdy I thought
father himself might have shaped it.
I gestured for a cool drink and was mocked.
I took on the sins of the world and regretted my extravagance.
I gave up and died. I descended into hell
and spoke briefly with the president.
I rose again, bloodless and feeling pretty good.
I forgave everything.
-author, Scott Cairns