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Captivity

Blue_Jay_(Jim_Ridley_2010.)

God, I cannot see. The lids are heavy on
my eyes; they close involuntarily. They
want to send me back to sleep, and I would
readily obey, except the day’s too fine,
the world is busy soaking up the sun.
Am I the only one who’s overcome by
lassitude? Is mine the only drowsy heart?
The children in their back yards kick their
soccer balls from fence to hedge; each
footfall is a separate victory. The new spring
grass is long enough to need a mowing.
Engines chugging, droning, coughing mask
the softer sounds—the women planting
dahlias, petunias, zinnias… roses if they are
ambitious. How I long to be among them
and to have a garden of my own.

I should be so much that I am not. I should
not be so alone. I should be more sociable,
more cheerful, and more passionate for
other creatures’ happiness—for mine is
certified. The robins tell me so, as do the
redbirds and the sparrows. Even raucous
blue jays say aloud, Go out and dance! But
I, you know, am vaguely unwell. I am weary
of myself.

Shake off this torpor, woman trapped in
twilight. You are made of carbon, oxygen,
and other elements like other humans in
their lucent shells. Your spirit shines like
theirs with no exertion on your part.
You are a work of art the angels have
composed, conceived by the Divine, by grace,
for love, not striving, straining. Look your
captor in the eye—it vanishes; your shackles
fall like rain. Earth swallows them.
Look now! They never were, nor
will they be again.

Amen.


Image: Wikipedia Commons, Jim Ridley

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