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It was a dream like no other

with Pam and me in a tree-house.

We had a small, brown blanket.  There was

more than one door to enter the room.

Each door had at least one latch.

Yet the stairs and the landing had

no railing at all:  nothing to keep us from

falling into the sky

or down to the ground with a thud.

It was a scene like never before.

Not that we were children in it,

nor that it was evening.  Not that

Pam decided to go down

before it got dark,  nor that Michael was

standing, yelling, on the ground.   No, no,

it was Bill—

who, sleeping now beside me, planned to

shoot me with Cupid’s sharp arrow,

because he loved me.   And I, being

the child that I was, took him literally.


first published in Domicile

If indeed the spiritual life is essentially a hidden life, how do we protect this hiddenness in the midst of a very public life? The two most important ways to protect our hiddenness are solitude and poverty. Solitude allows us to be alone with God. There we experience that we belong not to people, not even to those who love us and care for us, but to God and God alone. Poverty is where we experience our own and other people’s weakness, limitations, and need for support. To be poor is to be without success, without fame, and without power. But there God chooses to show us God’s love.

Both solitude and poverty protect the hiddenness of our lives.

August 2006
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