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Anything can be a holy path, says Kayleen,
and I begin to trace the outline of my left hand
with my right index finger, following
the familiar shape, surprised
at how intimate it is, this tiny tactile journey
 
of wrinkles and knuckles, fingers and thumb—
I close my eyes and my finger continues
to slowly travel the tips and webs, rises
and vees, a labyrinth of skin and nail
I navigate through touch.
 
How many years have I avoided knowing
myself as holy? How many days
have I desecrated this temple of flesh
and breath with belittling thoughts?
How many hours have I resisted the pleasure
 
I feel now as I explore this fleeting path,
this haptic trail steeped in awe?
Perhaps science could explain away
this divine excursion as nothing more
than a series of electrical impulses
 
moving at eighty feet per second
through my neural infrastructure,
but somehow knowing how the body works
makes this gentle path I choose today
even more oh! more holy.
 
 
 
*quote from Kayleen Asbo in “Blessing Thread: Wales and Ireland,” an online class
 
 

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Getting Ready

What might you need to let go of or “clean out” in order to make room for wonder or joy?

—Kayleen Asbo, Advent and the Arts: The Week of Hope

Just today I walked

in the shadows

and noticed how

they scrubbed me

the way silence sometimes

scrubs a room.

Wonder rushed in.

It wasn’t that I was trying

to keep wonder out,

it’s just that with my schedule

and rigor, I hadn’t left it

space to enter.

If only with mop

and broom I could sweep

out anything

that would keep me

from wonder, from joy.

Instead, the world offers

shadow, stillness,

quietude, loss,

and a red-tailed hawk

in the heart,

circling, circling,

wondering what

it might subtract next.

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