Monday, August 3, 2015

Poem in response to Ordination of Barbara Billey ARCWP written by Suzanne Woitowich, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

I am the cloud
I am floating with the wind with my feet bare in the wet grass of the morning
my eyes dazzled by sunlight on the glimmering tips of leaves holding pools
and droplets in the eyes of flowers...
moved by the sound of God in the visions seen on the screen of my minds garden
moved by song, in the voices, in the smiling eyes seen in singing songs and chants
drumming drums and dancing dances-
In the chapel for the ordination of the first woman Catholic priest in our town.
What a momentous occasion with reverberations of hope
 in this morning of beginnings and letting go of endings-
to be a part of ---in unison with other grateful souls- dressed for the occasion.
You and I make the same note, but who is louder and who has the purest tone
the bass or the soprano, the alto or the tenor
the ego rears its ugly head of arrogance and is satisfied by the disruption!
Our need to compete --men and women-
Who is louder and who has the clearest tone,
reveals your fear and my fear and our vulnerabilities and sameness!
My desire for the soft note the reverent harmony is also your desire
I yearn for the awe that comes when brought to our knees in prayer-
an old sound that rattles in my heart breaking open in reverence.
The crack of tears that cry out from me to God
opening my heart of hearts just like yours,
erupting spontaneously with cascades of warm chills
that rattles cages long locked in chains of hurt against dangers,
the crust fragmenting now by trust in love and hope in justice
the earth of my heart quakes
and I let go momentarily in the moment
adoring the disarming- the laying bare of the clear ringing crystal bowl
the balanced note of equality rising to meet the day
my beating heart sings a song of celebration
clear and clean as the bell in the steeple of my church.
Can you hear the sound of the church bells ringing there?
The birds singing in the voices?
The waves washing through our minds in rhythmic breath?
carrying all the debris away away
healing the struggles of yesterday
clearing the way for the morrow
when women walk as Catholic priests!
The bass tenor alto and soprano brought into balanced harmony
and now our voices lighten as we listen to each other...
as we sing
I know when you are softening and when you rise
I hear your bass bravado
mixing with my soprano
sweet balance and harmony is heard and known
my voice lost in yours
dissolving into spirit
resolving the illusion of separation
resolving the illusion of our outward appearances
as men and women
the loudness of the masculine decreases to include the softness of the feminine
and the chorus repeats
All our hearts are heard by God
All our hearts are heard by God
and for today
Grace descends upon the one in our focus
The woman who receives the challenge and chalice
to stand alongside the men in robes
and minister in love and in confidence
with God's blessing...
and now with man's blessing... as well!!!

Poem 7/18/2015 by Suzanne Woitowich, a member of the choir
at Barbara Billey’s Ordination, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Member of the choir at Barbara Billey’s Ordination, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

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