April 9, 2006

True Revolution

St. Francis and the Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them;
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

~ Galway Kinnell

(Recovered comment from this post)

A spiritual revolution is possible, but it requires your willingness. Are you willing to reteach a thing its loveliness, to put a hand on its brow... and retell it in words and in touch it is lovely, until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing? Are you willing? The question is not rhetorical. Even in a godless society, are you willing? Even if it is only to a sow or a donkey, like St. Francis? The Italian society of his day was no less corrupt or godless or contemptuous of revolutionaries than ours. Are you willing to love unconditionally? Like St. Francis, are you willing to lower your self to the sow and whisper in her ear, telling her in words and in touch, the blessings of earth? For this is where true revolution begins: in the lowering of our selves to the blessings of earth. How otherwise would you be able to feel the great broken heart of sadness in the sow? How would you realize that brokenhearted sadness in your own chest? How otherwise would the hardened heart be crushed blessedly into awakening? Where else do we go to find the wellspring of compassion, if not into the dark earth of our own broken hearts?

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