NIGHT PRAYER: Monday 10/19

Photo by Dan Tobyne











I'm grateful for the mystery of gourds,
beautiful fall gourds!

I wish we'd found a finer moniker 
for things as delightful and colorfully variegated as - gourds...
perhaps their beauty will eventually convince me
that gourd's a fitting name...

And their mystery?
Why did you create them, Lord?
They're hard to open and when you do,
there's little inside for nourishment
and what's there, I'm told, is bitter to the taste:
so their only purpose seems to be
their service as vivid, eye-cathching punctuation
in autumn's prose of rusty orange and dusty brown...
But I'm grateful for the gourds' annual appearance
and the joy they bring my soul
as nature all around me nods
and drifts towards barren winter's long, cold sleep...

I'm grateful for gourds, Lord, and look -
their name rhymes with yours
and perhaps in that alone is found
the beauty I'd thought missing...

Open my eyes to your beauty in all things, Lord,
and especially in the counter, original, spare and strange*...
I thank you, Lord, for gourds!
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Given the playful colors of gourds, I've chosen for tonight's song, "Pied Beauty," a poem* by Gerard Manley Hopkins.  There's a beauty in the sound of this poem that comes across when it's read well, even exquisitely, as it is in the first video here, featuring Michael Graves.  The second video is an oh-so-simple sung version of the same poem by Alana Boudreau.  The text of Hopkins' poem is between the two videos.

Glory be to God for dappled things—
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
       For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
       And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

*All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
       With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                     Praise Him.



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