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A Poem: Wake Me, Oh I Pray
This is the January afternoon photo which led to this poem.
She awakened suddenly to eternity with the righteous desire to awaken us, too.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Wake me, oh I pray.
Wake me new this very day.
True Self within me hid from sight;
My Self no more than slept last night.
I would the wakened dreamer find,
With naught yet still to me remind
Of past days journeyed in the night.
I yearn. I long, yet stumble on in turmoil and despair.
I would a sacred vessel be,
Your Spirit to enfold,
To quench their thirsts I find in me,
Your other children lost and cold.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The wakened dreamer found,
Is bathing Self in light.
The brilliance of Her day
Has suffocated night.
The drifting, lifting soar
Has traversed doors thought tight.
Come back fair maid!
Your promise heed!
To wake us, if you could!
We too perceive our need!
Come wake us, if you would.
~ ~ ~~ ~ ~
A mirror stood before Her face.
She saw it with a grin.
Then waves us on.
So, quickly gone,
She bids us to come in.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There is an extraordinary story behind this two-parts poem, and I want you to know of it.
I will try to find the photo I took one day in a memorial garden park in Falls Church, Virginia where I had gone the afternoon of that january day to meditate and pray. I want to put the photo with this poem, but you can visualize what I saw.
The park there was blest with statuary by a noted Scandinavian sculptor. Some of his sculptures stood raised just above a fountain pool and represented his life-sized figures of real people, and what he felt it must have been for them to awaken suddenly to eternity.
One of those figures was of a young woman who had died in a traffic accident (in Paris, as I recall.) Her beautiful statue appeared to me to be an almost pleading of humble joy in which she was reaching to something more than herself.
Coupled with this impression was my realization that, because the fountains had run during the cold night before, the warmth of that day's sun had melted only the ice on the south side of her statue . Her other side was still coated in ice.
I left the park and hurried to my home nearby for my camera, returned and captured on film what I had just seen. I knew I would one day soon write a poem of this "person" only partially thawed to God's love, for (to me) she was like me and like so many others.
When I did write the poem you see above, I wrote only that first part. I was satisfied that I had captured those earlier thoughts in my poem.
Within a week or two after completing the poem, I was sitting in an empty classroom at Fairfax High School during my "break period" while teaching a day as a substitute teacher. I was reading a book on comparative religions. A voice as clear in my mind, as it would have been had another person entered the room and spoken to me, said, "I want you to write a poem."
I immediately replied, albeit silently, "I will, but what would you have me write?"
The reply was "Don't worry about that. Just pick up your pen and start writing."
I was dumbfounded, but did as I had been told, and after writing only the few words, given one after the other to my consciousness...."The..wakened...dreamer...found...is ...bathing...self...in...light...The ...brilliance...of...her...day...has...suffocated...night". I realized to my astonishment that I was being given the continuation of the poem I thought I had already finished!
The words continued to flow, and in a very few minutes, with tears in my eyes (and having just corrected the poem to capitalize references to this perfected being) I sought out the head of the faculty whose subject I was teaching, and recounted this extraordinary story. I told her that "Poems are just not written line after line in that short a time with so few changes!"
To this day I have no doubt that going to that park for that purpose, and seeing that statue at that time of that day, and recognizing the symbolism in its half-thawed condition, led ultimately to a poem which can have meaning to others seeking to know better their relationship to God..
To me, the key to her coming to that perceived perfection was that she wanted to be more perfect, not for herself alone, but for what she unselfishly could do for others.
"The drifting, lifting soar" that "traversed doors thought tight"? To me, that represents the times we tell ourselves: "I can't!" "It's impossible!" "No way!" For, with God nothing is impossible!
The other lesson I have drawn from the poem is this: we cannot lead others to their perfection; we can only encourage and draw them, based on their own desire, to see the true reflection of their own true selves, and through that vision to come into their own divinely intended relationship with God.
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