The sun rose over the eastern hills as John and I walked down to the mailbox on a Saturday morning, hoping to catch Sarah, the postwoman, on her rounds. It's our quiet day--always on Saturday. Before dawn today John set a fire in the living room fireplace where we sat in contemplation, a daily ritual, but on Saturday's we continue in the calm it instills by engaging only in those activities that bring us into the still center of each moment. Right now John is sitting on the couch reading "The Living Flame of Love," in his complete works of John of the Cross. He's facing the fireplace where the logs have burned down to coals. I think of Hopkins' sonnet in which just such coals "fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion."
Sometimes I write incantatory prayer/poems. Here is one that will soon be published in our local Quarterly, The Applegater.
The incantation I want to share is entitled “Sheva” meaning in Hebrew “a fissure or wound—a house broken.” “El” means Divine Oneness, so EliSheva implies the coming together or paradox of opposites—a divine fissure or wound. It is EliSheva who speaks: