For my prayer this morning I have tried to unpack Jane Hirshfield’s poem about watermelons lying out in a field under the sun and stars, in the rain.  Under the weather we might say!  The poem is lavish with meaning.  Read and pray this poem remembering that the watermelon is you.

Green-Striped Melons

They lie

Under stars in a field.

They lie under rain in a field

Under sun.

Some people

Are like this as well –

Like a painting

Hidden beneath another

Painting.

An unexpected weight

The sign of their ripeness.

—Jane Hirshfield—

(Alaska Quarterly, Fall & Winter, 208)

 

watermelon art

 

I look in the mirror and see my face and I think: this is the face I show to the world and yet when I look deeper there is something more.  Something is hidden beneath  this face, something beautiful and unharvestable.

I walk through a field and see the watermelons growing there in all kinds of weather.  I walk through the food market and see bins of fascinating melons, beautiful in there green striped attire, waiting to be chosen.  I imagine the field they once lay in, the stars, sun and moon that shone upon them, the wind that caressed them.

And YES!  Jane Hirshfield is right.  Hidden beneath that first glimpse of the watermelon there is an exquisite world of scarlet delight—like a painting that hides beneath another painting.

The poet sees!  You are not a poet because of what you write but because of how you see.  Look in the mirror and wake up to layers of loveliness that you are.

Maybe this is what conversion is: connecting with the invisible face beneath the visible.

Today cherish the painting you are with its many layers of loveliness and loneliness.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It has been easy to see the many layers of loneliness…but loveliness? It is one of the hardest things to do in life, at least for me that’s how it’s been. Only by seeing myself as a masterpiece of the Creator – as all things are, am I able to see glimpses of that loveliness. It’s enough to make me smile.

  2. This entry got me to thinking about how time with God is at it’s best when it is not just another task to check off of the “to do” list. It is so much richer when we take the time to be present to our God. 2 quick visuals come to mind. My Mom went home to be with God in 2013. I still think of her everyday and continue to miss her. I used to frequently stop by her house on the way home from work for a cup of coffee and some conversation. There were times when there with big things to discuss and decide. Other times, nothing terribly significant. We usually, however, could count on a few laughs and statements about changes that we wanted to make in ourselves and/or the world around us. Regardless of the content of the conversation, I generally always looked forward to that time together. We followed no formula and did not rush through the moment. There are moments when I feel the same desire to be with God in the same way that I looked forward to having coffee with my Mom. If only I could remember to bring that presence and perspective into my prayer life all of the time. I believe that encouraging our prayer life to be more than an item on the to do list will truly allow us to find the only true contentment that exists, contentment in the presence of God.
    One other quick story. I have a little dog by the name of Henri. He is a Bichon, a small dog known for its affectionate qualities, its non-shedding coat, and its adorable expressions. Henri is becoming quite the senior as he recently turned 13. As a younger dog, he would love to sit with me, cuddle for long periods of time, and just be as close to me as he could. Of course, I just loved it! However, in his old age, he doesn’t seem as comfortable cuddling. He seems to only pay attention to me when he wants something like his walk or treats. The other day, I found myself saying to Henri, “Henri, you only know me when you want something.” I immediately thought, “Wow., I bet that is the way God might feel sometimes…….You only know me when you want something………A few days later, Henri did decide to sit on my lap while I did some reading. It felt so good. I enjoyed having my pup be his old cuddly self. I imagine that God enjoys when we are close to him, too. I didn’t care if Henri sat on my lap, sat next to me, laid with his head on my foot. Whatever. It didn’t matter. I just wanted him to be close to me and I was happy when he was. Maybe God feels that way about us. We sometimes worry about whether or not we are doing it right. Are we praying the right way? Are we praying often enough, about the right kinds of things, etc. etc. and Maybe God is saying, all I want you to do is to be close to me and that will make me happy. As we wait for the Spirit to show up in our prayer, I think we are making sure that we move from doing to being. I don’t need to do prayer with perfection to prove something. I can wait and dwell quietly in the presence of Our Most High and I can just enjoy and be nourished by the closeness. Thank you Sister Macrina, for your ongoing encouragement and willingness to share your journey. It is much appreciated. May God continue to bless you abundantly!