Friday, October 23, 2009

Ritual – Lawrence

Our little local summer Writer’s Group has just had its last meeting. It went all too fast. But now fall has arrived and all our members begin the season where we are immersed in meetings, work, and outdoor activities. Holiday activities come upon us, too—Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s—all take up our time and attention. In the spring, we will renew our commitment to our Writer’s Group.

The last topic we had was “Ritual” for which I wrote two pieces; I would like to share them with you. One is a short prose piece; the other a poem.

“Ritual: We gather together; we light our candle; our ritual begins. We go round the circle and tell the story of our life’s happenings since last we met. This is a ritual of our own making and no less valid because of that.

Our leader gives us a topic and we write stream of consciousness for a designated time; we share our thoughts and words with each other. Critique is given and received from the offerings written at home on our last assigned subject; we wonder at all that has been written—so much synchronicity and so much diversity.

This writer’s group ritual has served us well and brought us a long way since we first began so many years ago. Faithful following of rites and ceremonies continues to bring us to maturity in our writing. Doors open before us; we move along the rite of passage, up the stairs and through the door that is ours, without fear.

We receive the honours given to us and share the glory with our companions on the way.”

Get washed, get dressed, my toiletry.
Feed the cats, feed myself, nourishment.
I feel like the child in Dylan Thomas’
A Child’s Christmas in Wales—
Get to the good part.
What is the good part?
Is it indeed Mary’s chosen portion?
What of Martha? Is her ritual not good?
She longs to be alone with God
But she has responsibilities—
They cannot be ignored and Martha’s
Part must be transformed into a prayer;
Her work be made into a prayer intent.
And yet, ah bliss, a moment in that secret place,
Door closed on all around her—
A moment of quiet with God.
Ah, that is bliss, the good part for which
The soul longs; the good part where she belongs.”

I will miss the ritual of meeting with the group but look forward to May, 2010 when we will take up our ritual once more.


Glynis said...

What a good idea, Judith...a summer's writer's group. Do you find it helpful when it is so short lived? Thanks for making me reflect upon my own rituals! :)

Judith Lawrence said...

Thank you, Glynis for your comment. Yes, even though the group meets for such a short period, it takes us back to the essentials in writing of meeting deadlines and being able to write on any given topic. We each feel renewed in our writer's calling and commitment.

Peter Black said...

A lovely perspective on Martha, Judith.
Your line,"And yet, ah bliss, a,moment in that secret place."
This brought to mind an old chorus sung (at least, in my fellowship circles decades ago) in times of quite worship:
"Shut in with God in the secret place / There in His presence beholding His face / Gaining new power to run in the race / Oh, I long to be shut in with God."
Thank you.

Judith Lawrence said...

Thanks Peter.
What a lovely verse you gave me. We never forget those old choruses, do we? And they serve us well in moments when we need reminders of God.

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