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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Mystic by Sylvia Plath

The air is a mill of hooks --

Questions without answer,

Glittering and drunk as flies

Whose kiss stings unbearably

In the fetid wombs of black air under pines in summer.



I remember

The dead smell of sun on wood cabins,

The stiffness of sails, the long salt winding sheets.

Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?

Once one has been seized up



Without a part left over,

Not a toe, not a finger, and used,

Used utterly, in the sun's conflagration, the stains

That lengthen from ancient cathedrals

What is the remedy?



The pill of the Communion tablet,

The walking beside still water? Memory?

Or picking up the bright pieces

Of Christ in the faces of rodents,

The tame flower-nibblers, the ones



Whose hopes are so low they are comfortable --

The humpback in his small, washed cottage

Under the spokes of the clematis.

Is there no great love, only tenderness?

Does the sea



Remember the walker upon it?

Meaning leaks from the molecules.

The chimneys of the city breathe, the window sweats,

The children leap in their cots.

The sun blooms, it is a geranium.



The heart has not stopped.



I found this poem a few days ago while looking for the poem Mirror by Sylvia Plath.

She has this haunting, depressing look at life, but her view of God in this poem

shows
an interesting and refreshing perspective.

The words in the second and third verse gripped me because I understood where she was coming from.



Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?

Once one has been seized up



Without a part left over,

Not a toe, not a finger, and used,

Used utterly, in the sun's conflagration, the stains

That lengthen from ancient cathedrals

What is the remedy?



It reminds me of Isaiah 6:1-5

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne,

high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Above him were seraphs, each with six wings:

With two wings they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory."

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined!

For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips,

and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty."



Isaiah also experienced what it is like to wonder Once one has seen God, what is the remedy?

Later on in Isaiah 59:2 it says:

"Your sins have cut you off from God."

This is what causes that miserable feeling.

The glimpse I get of God also shows me a glimps of myself and that is not something I

can stand to see and still be able to live with myself.

How can God live with me either? because I have a mediator who loves me.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men,

the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a testimony for all men - the testimony given in its proper time.

(1 Timothy 2:5-6)

"For Christ died once for all. . . to bring you to God." (1 Peter 3:18)



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