Dying/broken/forgiven.... now I begin

Born: 17-06-56....gemini.... monkey
re-born: 3-09-80
born again\found: 14-04-08
other notable dates: 10-03-68; 03-09-87; 23-03-96;
1-05-98; 31-01-02; 5-04-04

Interests: movement, stressed/transgressive embodiment, lived experience (body\space\time\relation)
expression ( word, dance, text, image, story, music, poetics)
learning, yielding......

Hopes for the blog:
offer up the wild intersectedness of lived experience and engage others in creative, expressive, perhaps irreverant, hopefully playful, and respectful encounters....
enact kindness
create moments of pause for disclosure, discovery, stillness

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Anthony

Milly wears a strange plaid coat. It used to be a blanket and will likely be one again in another incarnation. Functional and ugly, it attracts unsolicited comments and attention ...even so, it buffers her as she leans into the wind's cold howl. There is no howling within the cathedral's otherworldly quiet. In this sanctuary, all the screams are silent ones ... a borderland patrolled by angels (and gargoyles, when necessary)...perched ingloriously, impotent wings unfurled, leaning off watchtowers into a vast nowhere. Discretion is the order of the day. Smoke from a thousand snuffed candles hangs listlessly mingling with the odour of incense and oiled wood. The only noises are the soft sounds of footsteps and clothing and the occasional vibration of strings on an instrument in transit. Choir has been an unexpected delight for Milly... a shy girl's discovery of rhythm, ability and joy... she makes her way along the familiar shadow path, under the unwavering gaze of the pitiless, unseeing eyes of long dead saints.
Milly was 16 the first time a man of god used a dead animal to frighten her; she was 12 the first time she learned to become dead. Francis was a man of god...her first. Thursday evenings' choir practices are the hunting ground, rooms buried in the warren presided over by St. Anthony, the last sentinel, this man of stone, protector of travelers, nomads and lost souls, sees nothing, hears nothing, feels nothing, cursing man cursing god, his arms hovering in a gesture that will never begin or end.
Milly's small strange form glides along easily as breath... or smoke... or leaves... the shadows open up before her, the tiles are stones across a dark and lovely river. A lighted alcove appears ahead, a small sheltered doorway to the left... the stairs to the choir loft off to the right... even before she sees him, she knows he is there awaiting her...her chin and her eyes move up in the direction of his face and she adjusts the corners of her mouth... supplication complete, she drifts into the necessary silence and quiets her breathing...
Milly barely feels his hands on her shoulders, just there, near her neck, his thumbs anchored under her collar bones...the rough of his garments scratches her cheek, she bows to the privilege of being one chosen, inevitable, disposable... and the certainty that his ragged breathing and shaking are another kind of sacrament. Her last thought before she dies is that after...after...he will reappear upstairs with words of welcome and gratitude she knows are meant for her, and she moves into the stillness and sinks into the dark river.


  1. This is a dark post... but one that I felt I had to write. It has developed out of a lovely project I am working on with another blogger on Beckett's Unnamable and there is a link to that project built in. The unnamable can take many forms and this little vignette about Milly is a life experience that calls out for both silence and speaking...here, I thought I would give it a bit of speaking room.
    Comment if you are moved to do so... silence is fine, too. Indifference is the only betrayal.

  2. Your words are powerful and moving and they make me want to read more. I wonder where you have been . I am reflective about the dates and note that we share some eventful time frames.....Thank you for you lovely comment and know that your work isdefinitely NOT indifferent.
    I look forward to more

  3. (o)

    (It's a stone left at the site. It means I have been here, have read, am not indifferent.)

  4. What symbol do I use to express the pounding of my heart as I watch this girl be so brutally used?

    Beautifully done, Maureen. Your economy of words belies their impact.

  5. a bow to the innocence
    and her way to maturity

    a bow to the words that fly above
    'the unwavering gaze of the pitiless, unseeing eyes of long dead saints'...

    the 'unindifferent' crow