Sunday, September 30, 2012

That Invisible and Unlikely Sword of Truth

Judy's Launch Day, Sept. 22, ready for the party.


The Telling That Changes Everything XXIX. September 30, 2012

After the Flyleaf Reading, Sept. 29.  For Jamie and Land.


Any sword is
heavy to lift and hard to wield effectively,
especially the sword of truth. 
–The Telling That Changes Everything I.

Community is a
miracle I wanted, and yes, worked for.
Yet it doesn’t happen that easily.
It can’t be forced, only coaxed.
It means I forgive myself and other
people often.  It means I respect the
garden spider who set up housekeeping
among the raspberry canes, and she
respects me.  It’s the basis, the
raison d’etre of the turning, whirling
planet, if we attune ourselves and see.
–The Telling That Changes Everything XXV.

A major moment in Universal Time,
this transformation.  The secret, here, too,
is to be yourself.  Authenticity wins
in the long run.  Now all those 
whose fake smiles and pretend
enthusiasm has dismayed you will
have Old Pluto, with the help of his
sidekick, Uranus, stripping off the
layers.**  Now is not the time to be 
afraid of being naked.  It’s an art
to go defenseless, to take off armor
instead of putting it on, to lift that
invisible and unlikely sword of truth.
People would rather whisper it; 
bury it deep in their bosom; take a
sneak peek only once in a blue moon.
Terrifying to say what you actually
think; admit what you feel in front
of other people.  Then a curious
thing happens.  People love you 
because you said what they hear 
in their own ears and valiantly try
to ignore.  It’s catching, too.  They
begin to risk themselves.  Truth
spills out, souls catch fire, sparks
fly from one person to another. 
Hence begins a bloodless revolution.
Doug buys a copy of Killer Frost
for his mother; Billie will review
it on Amazon.  Sharon will put the
word out on Facebook.  Lori
persuades Joyce, who was in the
bookstore after the reading, to buy
the book, and I sign it.  Debra is 
trying to decide which character
she likes best.  Carol agrees to 
be reader for my other books; 
Andrea buys a copy at Walter’s 
launch; Marsha stops me when
I’m walking my dog: “How’s
my favorite author?”  The tech
giving me a flu shot wants to 
take her mother to a reading;
Jim, met on the sidewalk, will
go the McIntyre’s reading;
Katherine in Goldsboro works
to get newspaper attention. 
Susan splashes it across a page
in the Herald-Sun.  A community
police officer and I fall into a
dialogue about how to help 
young African Americans.  Mia
sends me an article on turning
around high school students 
through analytic writing.  Elaine
buys copies to give as gifts.
Seven-year-old Beckett wants
to read it.  This is the miracle.
This is the telling that changes
everything.  This may not be the
first split that opens a new world
inside the old one, but it’s the 
transformation on this cusp of 
Time that I am witnessing,  
resulting in nothing less than that 
human sacrament: community.

**  Thanks to Lynn Hayes for her thoughtful interpretations of the square between Pluto and Uranus.  See this link for details.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful poem, Judy. I love how you took the book signing event and turned it into a poem.