The Clearing

I went to the library yesterday 
It has been awhile
But retired, on a fixed income
Borrowing books is a viable option

I wasn't prepared for the hit of emotion
That enveloped me
Before a conscious thought surfaced
Tears flooded my eyes

Like a sleepwalker or homing pigeon
I headed straight to the 100-199 shelves
Feeling puzzled, distressed...and nostalgia
Stifling the sobs trying to escape

I ran my hand across the books
And was guided to
Matthew Fox's "Christian Mystics"
But now was not the time for reading

I needed to unpack the emotion
That I am now labeling a 'flashback'
Reliving a time when books saved me
When I needed the greatest minds

When I had glimpsed God
But was still lost in the woods
Trees of trauma trapping me
Obscuring the clearing

Books became my best friends
(Funny they are made from trees)
Words were the rope that I clung to
To pull myself out of the abyss

Words wove me a new sweater for warmth
Words wove me a brave new face
So I could be safe in the world
Before becoming faceless

For faceless and wordless
We must become--to enter the clearing
Naked, an empty receiver, a vessel
To be filled with love.

2021 bjbeyers

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